Garment issue after brachioplasty?

i am 10 days post op and still have a significant amount os swelling at the elbows especially. I wear my garment religiously but by the end of the day it is so painful. It restricts my movement and leaves wrinkles in my skin. By measurement it is the correct size. Any help appreciated

Doctor Answers 8

Arm pain from garment

You're correct… It's very important to keep the garments on religiously. That said, it should not be causing pain. I strongly recommend you seek the advice of your plastic surgeon. You may want to change the garment or get better information on how to use it.

It is imperative that you seek the advice of a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has extensive experience in brachioplasty / arm lift.

I wish you the best.

Dr. Gabbay.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Garment issue after brachioplasty?

Wearing the garment is a very important part of your post surgical recovery. That said, it shouldn't be causing you pain. You may wish to speak with you surgeon about size and length of time wearing the garment. 

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Garment issue after brachioplasty surgery

Its normal for swelling to be present at this stage of your post operative recovery and it will increase as you become more active and use your arms more. Elevation and rest will help. That said your garment should not be causing significant pain.  Elevation and rest will help.  Speak to your surgeon and you may be able to change your garment or move to dressings.

Robert Drielsma, MBBS, BSc, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews


The problem may not be in the size of your garment, but the fit.  (Just as every pair of jeans you try on in your size will not fit the same) I recommend visiting your plastic surgeon's office with your garment in place so that the proper fit can be determined.  Sometimes what fits well immediately after surgery may not be appropriate as healing progresses.  Significant and painful swelling is an indication for evaluation by your surgeon.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Arm Swelling

Hello and thank you for your question! It is not abnormal to still be experiencing major swelling at 10 days post op. Especially when you begin to use your arms more, you might see an increase in the swelling. Have you spoke with your surgeon concerning this? Maybe you could try wrapping your arm, (ace type bandage) instead of wearing a full garment. By wrapping, you still need to compress yet you can control the tightness. Make sure you're still moving your joints so you don't get stiff, (elbow & shoulder.) That might be the cause of your elbow discomfort.
Good luck to you and I hope you begin to get some relief and can start enjoying your new look!

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Garment after arm lift

Its is normal to have swelling after 10 days especially because you are probably using your arms more. That being said your garment may be needed to be changed. The garment should not be causing you pain. The best thing to do is see your surgeon so he/she can guide you through the process. I hope this helps

Ritu Chopra MD

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

I am 10 days post op and still have a significant amount os swelling at the elbows especially. I wear my garment religiously but

If you can try to elevate your arms above the level of your heart, that may help.  Its not unusual for there to be some swelling after surgery, particularly when liposuction is performed at the same time. You can try placing ice packs on your arm as well and see if that helps.  Im not sure if you had drains placed, but in my patients I usually leave drains in place for about 1 week.  Fluid collections, called seromas, can happen in the arm after surgery and may require draining. Good Luck. 

Christian A. Prada, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Brachioplasty and compression garment

Congratulations on undergoing body contouring surgery!  As you are probably aware, it is normal to have swelling this early after surgery, and it is not uncommon for the edema to increase as the day progresses, primarily due to use of your upper extremities.  Elevation can certainly help control the swelling.  Limiting activity may also be useful.  But perhaps most important, you should discuss the matter with your operative surgeon.  They can assess the kind of garment that you selected, as well as the fit.  Furthermore, different practitioners have differing opinions regarding the use of compression, method to achieve compression (garments versus wraps), and duration of use.  Good luck!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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.