Is it possible to have lipo on bat wings and under armpit after breast cancer? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 6

Liposuction of the arms aftertreatment for breast cancer.

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Even without the issue of breast cancer from the photographs I'm not certain your a very good candidate for liposuction the first place. There seems to be a sizable amount of redundant skin. Any violation of lymphatic drainage to the armpit would be a relative contraindication to elective surgery.

Arm liposuction after breast cancer treatment

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Thank you for asking about your arm liposuction.

  • I hope you are doing really well with your cancer recovery.
  • Your incision looks fairly recent, so if you are having cancer treatment, wait at least 6 months until you are finished before elective surgery.
  • If you are having radiation - upper arm surgery may not be wise.
  • If you have lymphedema from the node surgery - elective surgery may not be wise.
  • Your photo suggests that there may be little fat and the issue is loose skin, not fat.
  • Given these 'ifs' - first check with your breast cancer surgeon as to if and when anything elective can be done -
  • Then find a plastic surgeon to advise you as to whether liposuction, arm lift or both is the best approach for you.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes

Options for bat wings

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Liposuction of the bat wing area can be performed but won't tighten the skin appreciably in most cases. The harvested fat, so long as it does not include breast tissue may be used as a donor site for reconstruction of your breast reconstruction. The bat wings can also be excised which is a more effective treatment for removal but leaves a scar. There are also procedures where the issue can be transferred to supplement your breast reconstruction under certain circumstances. This is called a LICAP (lateral intercostal artery perforator) or a TDAP (thoracodorsal artery perforator) flap. 

Liposuction to arm pitts and arms after breast cancer treatment... To do or NOT to do

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Congratulations on your breast cancer survival and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.
If you do not have lymphedema (chronic swelling of the arms after lymphonode removal for breast cancer treatment) the use of lipo to the arms and armpits should be the same than normal patients.

Finally, make sure that you have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in after weight loss surgery.

Wishing you the best in your journey

#Liposuction - lipo after breast cancer?

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Generally, it's okay to have lipo after breast cancer surgery (and many other procedures). 

However, the recovery may be delayed.  This is because the lymphatic drainage is often interrupted or damaged from the surgery and, since that's what helps the swelling abate post-operatively, the recovery may be delayed.  That means that it may take longer for all the swelling to go down.

You should of course discuss this in person with (at least) one board-certified plastic surgeon for a complete discussion, including the surgical options.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of #RealSelf100


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Thank you for your question about liposuction.

Yes, in general, is is possible to have liposuction in these areas, but it is not likely to tighten the loose skin.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have liposuction or related procedure(s).

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

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