Banding on my arms after brachioplasty. They were there before. Surgeon wants to do a z-plasty. How does that work? (Photos)

3 lbs of skin was taken off my left arm and 2 off my right. Right arm has one band, left arm has 2. Surgeon will do more lipo on both. Especially on upper left and near elbows. The bands hurt. I am 4 months post op. Still wear compressions. He thinks on the smaller bands he can cut them loose with tiny incisions. But the larger upper left one would probably need a z plasty. Can't find info online to this specifically. more than one z? What is recovery like ? Pain? See him again in a month.

Doctor Answers 3

Arm lift brachioplasty arm reduction arm liposuction arm revision surgery arm z-platy arm band

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Hello, Thank you for your questions regarding arm bands.  I have seen this before.  I believe patients are born with arm bands.  Arm bands can become more prominent with weight gain.  When a patient with arm bands undergoes a brachioplasty or arm lift, their plastic surgeon needs to be very careful.  During an arm lift in a patient with arm bands, I preferentially liposuction on either side of the band, not on the band itself.  Liposuction on the arm band itself further aggravates the arm band.  During the arm lift, I place minimal tension on the band. Therefore, the band disappears. From your pictures, it appears that you still have arm and forearm fat. First, I would suggest more arm and forearm liposuction.  I would preferentially liposuction on either side of the band.  Only after further arm liposuction would I perform the arm z-plasty.  The z-plasty is a procedure to release contractures and scar bands.  The problem with the z-plasty is the scar and the resulting increase in the circumference of your arm.In regards to your specific questions, one arm z-plasty should be enough.  The arm z-plasty recovery takes about two weeks.  The pain should be less than the arm lift or brachioplasty.  Good luck.  If you have any further questions regarding arm liposuction, arm reduction, brachioplasty, arm lift revision, arm lift z-plasty, please contact my office. Sincerely,Dr. J. Timothy Katzen   

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Z Plasty question.

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A Z plasty is an operation that rearranges the skin to alleviate the tension/pressure in a linear scar. The markings for the surgery resemble the letter Z and two skin flaps are elevated and then they switch positions rearranging the skin. Be sure you discuss this carefully with your plastic surgeon so you can understand the process. Recovery should not be too long, but varies from patient to patient. 

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Post op brachioplasty

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it is difficult to determine what is the best approach for this because a physical examination is needed to determine the cause. A z plasty is just a rearrangement of the tissue to lengthen the scar.

Susan Kaweski, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.