Advice on Aftercare After Silicone Axillery Explant? Massage? Stretches? Recovery Time?

I need some advice on recovery time after axillery explant. As it has been 2 weeks and I am still in a lot of pain & discomfort. Very tight across my chest and I have limited movement. Also quite a lot of numbness and soreness even down the inside of my arm. I had this surgery done in Thailand so I'm finding it hard to communicate with my doctor. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as i can't get in to see a doctor till early January.

Doctor Answers 7

Medical Tourism

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I frequently deal with patients who have gone to other countries for plastic surgery. For the public, I woud say cheaper is not always better. Please research your "surgeon" prior to going for surgery. Most of the patients I see who come postoperatively for a consultation after being butchered by a foreign "surgeon" say, "everyone told me he was the best" or "he had a really nice office."

In regards to your problem, early in the recovery process, it is common to have a change in sensibility but it sounds like the nerves in your arm may have been bruised or worse. A nerve conduction study can sometimes show whether the nerves are intact.


Problems as a result of medical tourism procedure ... and can't get follow-up

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Unfortunately, your issues and problems highlight the imprudence of medical tourism. It can be summed up to some extent by the old adage: "Penny wise, pound foolish".

Given you protracted and somewhat atypical symptoms following the explantation, it would be in your best interest to see a plastic surgeon in your area as soon as possible.  

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Advice for Implant Removal

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Since you don't have access to the surgeon who operated on you and are having more problems than I would expect, you should see a local plastic surgeon who can examine you and offer proper recommendations. Bring your medical records and operative report from Thailand.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Surgery in Thailand; can't see doctor for weeks.

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I'm sorry you traveled to Thailand for surgery, now have questions (and maybe problems), and have to resort to obtaining "free" advice on the internet from doctors who can't examine you to see what's wrong.

Surgical tourism is the REAL problem here; the surgeon you paid not only for surgery but post-op care and expert advice is "not available."

Upper inner arm numbness may be related to sensory nerve damage, which can occur with an axillary incision that cuts (or injures) the intercostobrachial nerve. This may be temporary or permanent, but other sensory nerves will help to diminish this area of numbness. Don't worry about this; it can't be "fixed" and does not cause additional concerns.

Tightness should be decreased after implant removal, so this and limitation of movement could be a sign of bleeding, infection, or seroma. This is worthy of concern.

You should see a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for examination and advice; obviously, more than one visit may be necessary. You should expect to pay for his or her expert care. It would be normal to encounter reluctance from any surgeon who you hope will attempt to solve another surgeon's problems, since any complications from the Thailand surgeon's procedure will be "inherited" by your next surgeon. This is unfortunate, since you may really need another surgeon's expertise now that you are in this situation.

Please make an appointment soon so any issue does not become a bigger or more difficult-to-remedy concern. Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Advice After Axillary Explant?

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It is important that you try to contact your doctor or, preferably, that you see someone near you.  It is relatively unusual in my experience to have this degree of discomfort at two weeks post-op so I'm concerned that you may have some bleeding, or an infection, or any of a range of problems that cannot be addressed via an online forum.  Most likely you'll be okay - not having an implant in place means you're much less likely to have a significant problem in the post-operative period - but that cannot be assumed or taken for granted.  You need to be seen by someone in person, whether a surgeon you find on your own or perhaps someone that your surgeon can help you find.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Breast augmentation questions

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This is part of the problem of going outside the country to get surgery.  Problems can develop and now who do you go to for answers and help?  WIthout an exam it is dificult to tell. It may be normal post-op or may not.  You should see a doctor to be evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Recovery after Breast Implant Explantation?

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Thank you for the question.

The symptoms you are experiencing are unusual after breast  implant removal.  This operation tends to be relatively pain-free  unless there is a complication. At 2 weeks postop with “a lot of pain and discomfort” I think you should be seen and evaluated sooner than your scheduled appointment in January. The “numbness and soreness  down the inside of the arm” suggests nerve injury/swelling  after the trans axillary implant removal.

Unfortunately,  it is not possible to give you precise advice online;  in person consultation with a well experienced plastic surgeon is advisable.

Best wishes.

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.