Do I have a case against my plastic surgeon? (photos)

I went into surgery for a bilateral brachioplasty, the surgeon marked my arm pit and down my arm pit about half way. After surgery I realized it didn't happen. He never chased down. He just did the arm pit. The bunching is now worse and moved to the front. When I asked him, he said during surgery he "changed his mind" I was expecting something else like a "T" shape to remove most of the loose skin. What can I do now? Can he change his mind like that without my consent or knowledge of it?

Doctor Answers 6


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Based on the pictures posted, you need a revision of your brachioplasty. with incision from the arm pit to the elbow. Choose a Board certified plastic surgeon who you can communicate with regarding the surgery, the desired results the pros and cons of the surgery.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Brachioplasty disappointment

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it is very unfortunate to hear about your situation. As many have said, you should seek consultation from a board-certified plastic surgeon. I would start with your doctor and discuss your results with them first. Hopefully there is an agreeable solution. 
This is not a forum for legal advice and frankly any physician that is not intimately involved with your case should refrain from suggesting any legal action on your behalf. And even then, it should not be discussed openly but in your strict confidence. 
I wish you the best in finding an answer. 

Do I have a case against my plastic surgeon?

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I'm sorry to hear about the disappointing outcome;  frankly, given your starting anatomy and the operation performed, it is not surprising that you are displeased. Unfortunately, this is not the appropriate forum to receive medical legal advice. There is no way, without knowing much more information, of giving you meaningful advice online.
 Second opinions from well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in your area may be helpful to you. 
Best wishes.

Do I have a case against my plastic surgeon?

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Thank you for your question and for sharing your photographs.  It does not appear that the appropriate resection markings were performed to address both the vertical and circumferential skin excess of your arms and you will likely need a revision with a scar running down the inner portion of each upper arm.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to discuss your results and how you would like them revised.   

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews


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Well, you don't have a malpractice case, and it would be difficult to win a breach of contract dispute, but you do have a general disagreement with him that sounds genuine and should be rectified in some way.  A conventional brachioplasty is a very different procedure and yields a very different result than a 'mini-arm lift', and a surgical plan for one should not have suddenly changed to the other based on findings in the operating room.

Be sure your surgeon is an ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeon. If not, you may not want anymore to do with him. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Arm lift - can I sue my surgeon

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Thank you for asking about your arm lift.
  • It doesn't look as though your surgery was done by a qualified plastic surgeon.
  • An incision half-way down the arm would not be enough, based on your photos.
  • You can ask for a refund - you probably won't get one.
  • You can ask him to revise it - not a good idea. He doesn't seem to know what to do.
  • You can try to sue - but in California most patients sign a waiver and agree to arbitration and the damages are capped. You are unlikely to find a lawyer to take your case.
  • That leaves you with either living with this unfortunate result or consulting a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon about having a revision that includes a standard, long scar arm lift.
  • I am very sorry this happened - but it does point out the importance of having a qualified plastic surgeon to do one's plastic surgery....a hard way to learn a tough lesson .
  •  Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.