Brachioplasty About 2 Months Ago and It Still Hurts. Why?

I had a brachioplasty done a little over 2 months ago and it still hurts. Some days are worse than others. My arms still feel sore, I have shooting pain at times, and it sometimes feels like little pins sticking me. I saw the doctor about this. He said I should not be in pain still and there is nothing he can do. Is there anything that can be done or anything I can take to releave the pain? Also, since the doctor said I should not be in any pain still, I'm wondering why it still hurts.

Doctor Answers 5

Pain following brachioplasty.

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Thanks for your question.  It is very normal to have temporary pain or numbness following brachioplasty surgery.  Nerves can be divided into two main groups: motor nerves and sensory nerves.  Motor nerves help us to move muscles and sensory nerves help us to feel things.  Sensory nerves can be further divided into different types as well.  Some help us feel pain, some help us feel vibration or pressure.  The small nerves that help us feel pain are very small and often can take many months to fully recover after this type of surgery.  The tiny "pin pricks" are a sign that the nerves are "waking up".  If you are, or have been a smoker, or if you have prior circulation problems it can take longer for the nerves to fully recover.  In some cases it can take up to two years for the nerves to fully recover.  Give things time.  Manage your current discomfort with tylenol or anti-inflamitories as long as you are medically able to take these meds.

Hope that helps.

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Pain after Armlift

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It is very difficult to decipher the reasons you may still be experiencing pain as there could be a multitude of reasons. I highly suggest you contacting your operating surgeon to discuss your concerns as soon as possible.

Sometimes it can be a nerve damage concern, or it can just be that your body heals at different rates from other patients. Please inform your surgeon immediately.

Pain After Arm Lifting?

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Thank you for the question.

It is very difficult to know exactly what may be going on with your discomfort level after surgery without examining you. However, the patient's pain threshold is different and  at the 2 months post op.  a  few patients  still complain of discomfort. Careful examination may  pinpoint a specific nerve  impingement or neuroma.

I would suggest continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Pay careful attention to the level of discomfort associated with certain activities etc. If this does not resolve with time a referral to a pain specialist (to rule out unusual causes of persistent pain after surgery)  may be indicated.

Best wishes.

Pain Following Brachioplasty

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Patients who undergo brachioplasty often complain of pain, swelling and skin hypersensitivity. These are normal findings immediately following surgery and usually resolve with time.

The pins and needles sensation that you describe is known as a dyesthesia. It's very similar to what happens when your leg falls asleep. This phenomena occurs when nerves are compressed and stretched. In many cases, this is made worse by swelling.

Patients typically describe a tingling sensation which they describe as burning. In many cases, clothing rubbing against the area can elicit a pins and needles sensation.

Shooting pains can occur for a variety of reasons in the immediate post-operative period. The most likely causes include nerve regeneration and nerve fibers caught within scar tissue.

These symptoms usually resolve in about six to eight weeks without intervention. In some cases, aggressive massage can desensitize the area and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.


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Occaisionaly we see patient with prolonged pain after some surgeries. Reason can vary from nerve regeneration to no  good reason

Massage will help and see a pain specialist. there are some medications that can help with chronic pain.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore 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.