This is an excellent question. And the answer depends on what was done to your lymph nodes. If you had just 1 or 2 lymph nodes removed (i.e. sentinel lymph node biopsy), then you are likely ok to consider an arm lift. However, if you had a full axillary lymph node dissection and/or radiation to your axilla, I would not advise an arm lift. Why? Because if your lymphatic drainage is suboptimal from your arm, you will be at significant risk for infection, seroma,...
Prior to consideration of a brachioplasty (batwing correction), be sure to check with your surgeon about the status of the lymph nodes. For patients that have had a lymph node dissection, or radiation to the axilla, brachioplasty is absolutely contra-indicated. For patients that have had a sentinel node biopsy only, brachioplasty may be a consideration. One of the most common symptoms after mastectomy is the redundant skin along the lateral (outer) part of the chest,...
Thank you for the question.
Arm lifting is an excellent procedure to improve the contour of the arms; the downside is a relatively high rate of unsatisfactory scarring and the need for revisionary surgery.
If your mastectomy involved lymph node dissection you would be at greater risk for significant swelling/complications after arm lifting surgery. Arm lifting may be contraindicated in your case.
You may want to check with your oncologic surgeon to...
Contouring the upper arms is an extremely successful procedure. Batwings, hanging skin from the upper arms, is removed to provide a smooth and youthful contour. This can be performed after breast reduction or in conjunction with other body contouring procedures. There is a long scar, but this is usually well hidden at the back of the arm.
If during the mastectomies, lymph nodes were taken, or you have any swelling of the arms, hand, lymphedema, then do not do any surgery of the arms. Consult your plastic surgeon, for complete examination, review of your medical records and a chat with your general surgeon about lymph nodes removal during the mastectomy.