What can I put on the open wound under my arm pit to get this to heal? (photos)

I had an arm lift and TT on May 16th 2014 5 weeks ago. Under my pits especially on the left side there is an opening that keeps oozing and is wet. The PS looked at it at the last two visits and said there is no infection and that this happens a lot because it is an area that perspires and has a lot of stress on it. Three days ago at my last follow up the PS put something on it (sulfur nitrate ?) that he said would dry it up and form a scab. It is still oozing and wet.

Doctor Answers 6

Quite normal

You are having some delayed healing which is not atypical in this area after arm lift.  It does not look infected. It is important that you follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.  Most important to keep washing the area to keep it clean and prevent infection. Keeping it covered is also important to prevent infection and keep it somewhat moist for a better healing environment.  Too wet is not good either.  Silver nitrate was probably used to shrink down the sprouting red tissue (granulation tissue) which your body is producing to fill in the wound.  If it grows too much above the skin surface, the silver nitrate helps shrink it to allow the surrounding skin cells to migrate over and close the wound. There are many nice dressings that keep the area moist but also breathe a bit and prevent drainage. A saline gel dressing is good and an absorbent foam gauze over that can be helpful especially if it has its own surrounding adhesive seal to keep it in place, flexible for arm movements and minimize tape irritation.  Check with your plastic surgeon or a local surgical/wound supply store.   


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Wound Separation Following Arm Lift Surgery

It's not unusual for patients to have wound healing problems following arm lift surgery. The problem typically occurs where the vertical incision meets the transverse incision. This location is at risk for wound separation for a variety of reasons. These include poor blood supply to the skin flaps and high levels of bacteria that occur in the axilla. Both of these factors can contribute significantly to wound breakdown in this area.



Once breakdown has occurred, wounds tend to heal by secondary intention. Tissue tends to form a layer of granulation and wounds contract. The skin grows over the top of the granulation tissue. In the initial phases of healing, there may be an intense inflammatory response that can make the wound look red and angry. Depending upon the size of the wound this process may take 4 to 6 weeks to reach completion.



For these reasons, these wounds should be monitored closely. If infection appears, antibiotics should be started immediately. In the interim, local wound care should be continued with dressing changes. When this approach is taken, wounds tend to heal nicely. Rarely, scar revision may be necessary as a secondary procedure. If you have questions or concerns about how your wound is healing, it's important that you discuss them with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to address your concerns and alleviate your anxiety.

What can I put on the open wound under my arm pit to get this to heal?

Congratulations on having undergone the arm lifting procedure. These types of superficial separations may take a few weeks to heal. Close followup with your your plastic surgeon will be important; for example, he/she may be able to help you with exposed sutures and/or removal of unhealthy tissue. This type of local wound care may help expedite the healing process. Best wishes for outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.

Brachioplasty heaing

This problem affects 50% of people who have brachioplasty - you are not alone.
Silver nitrate can heal small wounds but cannot heal this one. Time and good wound care are needed.

The best treatment of any uninfected wound, per research, is 2-4 times a day dressing changes with moist saline compresses. However talk to your plastic surgeon about his recommendations for you - and have him advise you about how he wants you to do moist saline dressings. 
If he cannot/will not, you can go on-line and find detailed instructions. Best wishes.

Arm lift brachioplasty arm reduction Arm liposuction

I'm sorry you have had this problem after your brachioplasty or arm lift. 
It is extremely important that you stick with your plastic surgeons advice. Only your plastic surgeon knows you, your medical history and exactly what surgical technique was used. 
If you were my patient,  I would suggest a spray called Granulex.  I would suggest you use the spray twice a day. This aerosolized spray helps wounds like this close quicker.  However, it is essential that you check with your plastic surgeon first to see if this spray is acceptable. I hope you heal quickly. Be well. 

What can I put on the open wound under my arm pit to get this to heal?

I use on my patients red laser light with PRP infusion therapies. There is a cost to doing this treatment.. Other options are wound care aggressively done or just allow secondary intention healing... 

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.