How to Correct Poor Mini Arm Lift Results?

I had a mini arm lift and now have a web between the chest and upper arm! Not only was the procedure ineffective, the skin pulls between the side of the chest wall and arm to create a web when the arm is raised. It is also uncomfortable as it pulls. Can this be corrected with a full brachioplasty? If not, what can be done to correct this?

Doctor Answers 12

Mini Arm Lift V.S. Full Arm lift (brachioplasty)

Hi,  Based on your description, this will require a combination of procedures,

  • Full arm lift or Brachioplasty,
  • Reconstruction of the axilla (armpit by rearranging tissues such as Z plasty)
  • Bringing tissues form the arm to correct the webbing and tissue pulling

Hope this was helpful.

Dr. Sajjadian

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 reviews

Revision of an arm lift surgery

Really, I would need to see you or your photos to tell you exactly what's happened, and how to fix it.  You may need a scar revision with a Z-plasty, or you might need a full brachioplasty.  Overall, I'm not a fan of the short-scar brachioplasty operation - it's rare to see a good result with it, as it only treats the upper third of the arm.


All the best,


I am not a big fan of a mini-brachioplasty.  Most patietns are better off with a full brachioplasty except that they do not want the long incision.  Without an exam I do not know what to suggest to you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Mini-brachioplasty like most "mini" operations are usually disappointing.

It sounds like a mini-brachioplasty was not the right choice of procedure for your problem (I am presuming much here).  Like most "mini" operations, only the occasional patient is a good candidate.  Revisit your surgeon and discuss a solution.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Mini-Brachioplasty: Not the Magic Bullet

Based upon your description of the outcome of your surgery, a Full Brachioplasty, rather than a Mini Brachioplasty was the procedure of choice for you. A Mini-Brachioplasty is best used when the upper 1/3 of the upper arm has skin laxity limited to the long axis (shoulder to elbow distance) of the arm. It is a procedure that reduces excess skin in only one dimension, even when combined with liposuction. Only a Full Brachioplasty combined with liposuction can deduce both the diameter (size of the arm to fit into a short sleeve shirt) and shorten the length of the hanging upper arm skin: A 3-D Sculpting of the Upper Arm.

Treatments for the webbing of the under arm scar such as Z-Plasty Scar Revision and Kenalog (steroid injections) are stop gap treatments until you can proceed with a surgical revision to a Full Brachioplasty. Discuss your problems and concerns with your Plastic Surgeon so that she/he can help you achieve the outcome that you desire.

Christopher D. Prevel, MD (retired)
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Mini Brachioplasty

Liposuction of the arms may be combined with a mini brachioplasty (mini arm lift). The purpose of the mini arm lift is to tighten the skin of the inner one third of the arm. A relatively small group of patients are candidates for this procedure. The formation of bands in the armpit and upper lateral chest is relatively frequent in the early post-operative period, as is a limited range of motion. I generally recommend starting range of motion exercises and message about 3 weeks post-operatively. This can be supplemented with physical therapy, ultrasound treatments, and micro injection of  an anti-inflammatory steroid (Kenalog). The bands generally resolve with this conservative treatment. If there is persistent limitation in the range of motion, or webbing in the axilla, a release of the scar in the form of a Z-plasty may be in order. If there is still a great deal of skin laxity, a full brachioplasty may be required. Discuss your concerns with your Plastic surgeon. I hope this helps.

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Mini-procedures often mean mini-results

It sounds like you would benefit from a full brachioplasty.  Many women don't want the long scar associated with this surgery, though, so the surgeon compromises and does a "mini" version of the brachioplasty.  Most women are NOT great candidates for a mini-brachioplasty, though, just has most women aren't great candidates for mini-tummy tuck, etc.  Have the procedure that will give you the results you want--don't compromise.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mini Brachioplasty vs Full Brachioplasty

Different options are available for you.  Either a scar contracture release can be performed like a z plasty or the surgery can be converted to a full brachioplasty which will improve the results of the skin tightening in the arm even more.

Hope that helps.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Mini arm lift revisions are problems

The mini arm lift is a good procedure for a small subset of woman with arm laxity limited to the upper 1/3 of the upper arm. It tough to make recommendations based on your description alone- but if you feel that the 'band' limits your arm mobility, then a local tissue rearrangement flap like a Z-plasty might be able to lengthen the scar across the armpit area.

Arm lift

You have multiple options, This ranges fro a simple scar revision and a Z-Plasty to correct the contracture, to a formal Brachioplast a d a form of Z_Plasty at the axilla.

Consult a Board Certified Plsatic Surgeon who can help you achieve your goals. Meanwhile continue excercises to the arm and the range of motion to the shoulder so that the scar contracture does not affect the shoulder range of motion.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.