Can I do two procedures at once with the same incision?

I want to get breast implants & an arm lift. I was told about the new technique used for arm lifts where instead of going from your armpit to your elbow they make a minimal horizontal incision that hides under your armpit. For the breast implant the technique that places them through your armpit and by what Ive seen its a vertical line on the armit area. My question is, is it possible to do both procedures at the same time while making that same incision for both the arm lift & breast implants?

Doctor Answers 9

Minimal incisions produce minimal results

and if you have floppy arms, a minimal arm lift will not do the trick.  In addition, contamination from the armpit is greater than when going under the breast.  Why take this risk when you could avoid it.  Before you have this procedure done, make sure your expectations are understood so that you will not be disappointed later.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Axillary Incisions for Implants and Armlifts


Transaxillary breast augmentation is a good technique when performed using endoscopic equipment. Axillary or short scar brachioplasty is old and ineffective. If you are a candidate for an arm lift, you have circumferential laxity mostly, and little axial (along the axis of the humerus or arm bone) laxity. A short scar armlift only addresses axial laxity. Go visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Breast augmentation through armlift incisions

Thank you for your question.  I would not suggest placing a breast implant through an armlift incision.  You would be compromising the results of both procedures.  In addition, a short scar armlift may not be indicated in your case.  The short scar armlift is by no means a new technique.  Rather, it is the procedure recommended for individuals with minimal excess skin of the upper arm limited to the area adjacent to the armpit/axilla.  I suggest you consult with one or more board certified plastic surgeons to discuss your options.  Best wishes!

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

Thank you for your question.

What you are requesting may be possible however, I would not recommend as it is not the most safe or best approach to give you optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Breast augment and Arm Lift

I am sure you will get a variety of answers to your question. Yes, you can certainly do it that way. The real question is whether or not it is a good idea. The small scar under the arm for an arm lift gives you a small results. If all you need or want is a small results then that would be a good incision for you. If you need a big arm lift, you need the longer scar. As to the breast augmentation, the literature is clear that the infection risk is significantly higher with augmentation is done through the armpit thus leading to a higher risk of capsular contracture. For that reason, that approach has fallen out of favor.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Brachioplasty and breast aug via same incision

theoretically yes, you can do both the surgeries at once. However, and this is a big BUT, in my opinion doing both these surgeries the way you describe is using a compromise and not the ideal way to do either surgery. 

Placement of an implant through the armpit only works well if your surgeon is adept with endoscopic video equipment and few plastic surgeons are. It is very difficult to get the breast implant pocket perfect and symmetric this way, unless special equipment is used. 

The brachioplasty you describe isn't really new and the tightness that your get in your arms is just not as much as you would get from the traditional. In fact, 8 have done several revisions on patients who first had the armpit incision, only to come back for a second horizontal incision because they were dissatisfied. 

Lily Lee, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

One incision

Thank you for the question and theoretically what you are asking maybe possible and even tightening the skin of your arms with NO incisions but an examination is needed.  So see some experts in your area who use RFAL and do axillary breast augmentations

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Armpit Incision for Arm Lift and Breast Implants

Thank you for posting such a great question. While I can understand wanting to maximize the use of one incision, I wouldn't recommend this strategy. Without pictures I cannot see the appearance of your arms to know if a minimal incision is possible for your arm lift. If your situation is very mild, it might be a possibility, but in most cases a longer incision is needed to properly address skin laxity and fat (if present). If you are considering standard breast augmentation, an areola incision may be a viable option. This type of incision is well hidden in the margin of the areola and typically becomes undetectable over time. 

Please do your homework when researching plastic surgeons. Make sure the doctor/s you interview are board-certified plastic surgeons with experience performing both procedures. If you are considering BA with an armpit incision, make sure this a technique the surgeon routinely performs. 

I wouldn't suggest using the same incision.

Most patients who are plagued by significant loose skin of the arms are still going to need an incision down the inside of the arm to fully address the laxity.  The shorter incision arm lifts are only good for minimally loose arms (a rare situation in my practice); nonetheless, in the right patient, these techniques are fabulous.

Implant insertion via a short scar arm lift incision will likely position the entry point for the implant too far away from the breast, complicating the augmentation and potentially leading to a poorly positioned implant.  Furthermore, the higher bacterial count in the armpit is one reason why I do not like using that incision site for insertion of a breast prosthesis.

With regards to combining the two procedures (arm lift and breast augmentation) it can be done, but I always worry that the patient will need to use their arms to get out of bed after an augmentation, and that my be hard to do if an armlift has been performed.

You should ask a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for their opinion about your situation.  They'll be able to give you the best advice possible.

Best of luck!

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.