I feel a lump underneath my skin next to my scar. Do I need to massage? Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 11

Bump under scar

Congratulations on your recent arm lift! Lumps and bumps under the scar is normal after surgery. The sutures that are used under the skin need time to dissolve. I would recommend massaging the area in a circular motion with mild pressure to help.  Sometimes it can take a few months for the body to dissolve these sutures.  If the lump gets bigger or changes in anyway I would recommend contacting your surgeon . 

Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Suture Nodules Following Brachioplasty

It's not unusual for arm lift incisions to be closed with a series of absorbable sutures. These sutures typically resorb in 3-6 months following surgery. During this process, inflammatory nodules can occasionally develop which are sometimes tender.

These nodules typically respond to massage and often dissolve with the passage of time. It's important to discuss this issue with your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to address this problem and reassure you.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Lump near incision

The lump you feel is likely scar tissue or suture material.  You can massage the area if it is not painful.  If it is suture material it is easily removed by your surgeon in the office.
Contact your surgeon for instruction regarding massaging of the incision site and surgical area.  The amount of massage advised is dependent upon how far out you are from your surgery.

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

Lump near incision after surgery

Lumps near incisions are often scar tissue or dissolving sutures. In the first few months after surgery, this is likely over-abdundant scar tissue forming. Massage is very useful at this point. If you are more than 6-12 mos out from surgery this may more or less always be present. Continue your massage and discuss with your surgeon the possibility of removing these lumps if they are bothersome or visible. 

Tracy Kayan, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lump after arm lift

I am sorry that you are having concerns about your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Based on your comments it seems that the lump is scar. However, physical exam is granted to do a differential diagnosis. If scar is the issue, massage will take of it.

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Lump in skin next to scar after arm lift

The lump may represent a normal condition after an arm lift (brachioplasty). It could most likely be:

1. scar tissue
2. suture material under the skin

Check with your surgeon. If it is scar tissue, massage can be helpful.

The lump could also represent something more concerning, such as:

1. blood clot or collection
2. fluid

Again, check with your surgeon. Make sure to describe if it is changing or remaining the same.

Best of luck!

Samuel Rhee, MD
Clifton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Lump after an armed lift

This is most likely a reaction to a suture. Some sutures are placed deep to strengthen the wound and hopefully minimize the scar. Most of the sutures are observable and you may expect this to get better over the course of a few months.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


Lumps under skin scars are usually normal and are caused by the sutures. However, it is best to be evacuated by your surgeon in case this is something unusual.

Terry E. Restivo, DO
Napa Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

I feel a lump underneath my skin next to my scar. Do I need to massage?

Congratulations on your arm lift.  It is common to have lumps near or under any incision for several months after a procedure.  Usually time and massage will correct the lumps.  In your situation, this is probably the case but you didn't provide and information as to the timing of your surgery or photos for better advice.

Jeffrey Antimarino, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

I feel a lump underneath my skin next to my scar. Do I need to massage? Is this normal?

This is likely a very normal result and you can show your PS at your next visit for final determination. 

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 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.