Brachioplasty - staples or sutures?

My PS used staples for my brachioplasty instead of dissolvable sutures (also in the armpit area). Is this normal? She said my skin was paper thin and that it takes 6 - 7 weeks for your body to break down the sutures. Is this correct. I have to say that the staples were very uncomfortable/painful during recovery - especially in the armpit area.

Doctor Answers 7

Staples versus sutures

Many times staples are used to help close the skin and sometimes these are done instead of sutures because the plastic surgeon thinks the closure may be tight or the skin is not very thick. While uncomfortable, there is likely a good reason your plastic surgeon used them. Follow up with your plastic surgeon is important and you can always ask her/him in person. Sometimes placing an ABD pad can help stop the rubbing of skin in the armpit if staples are bothersome. Best, MMT

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Arm lift arm reduction arm liposuction brachioplasty staples sutures

Hello,Thank you for your questions regarding the use of staples to complete an arm lift. Every plastic surgeon performs ever procedure slightly differently.  In addition, every patient is slightly different.  Since 2000, I have performed hundreds of arm lifts or brachioplasties.  During my career, I have never had to use staples.  During an arm lift, I perform arm liposuction.  During the same procedure, arm liposuction is followed by opening the upper arm from the elbow to the armpit.  The excess arm skin and fat are removed.  The arm incision is closed with three to four layers of absorbable sutures.  I have never found the arm “skin to be too thin”.  I hope this helps. Again, thank you for your questions about the use of staples during an arm lift or brachioplasty. If you have any other questions about an arm lift, please contact my office. Sincerely,Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Staples or Sutures for Brachioplasty in Melbourne, Florida

I generally use dissolvable sutures in my brachioplasty incisions; however, it is not an incorrect decision to use staples as it is mostly a function of patient and surgeon decision making. I would recommend you discuss this with your board-certified plastic surgeon. I hope this information is helpful to you. Best of luck!

Amy Ortega, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Staples in brachiolplasty

Thanks for your question. When I perform this procedure I prefer using dissolving sutures instead of staples. There isn't anything necessarily wrong with using staples, and they will provide a good scar provided that they are removed in a timely fashion. If they are left in place for too long a duration they will be more likely to leave track marks. It's best to follow-up with your plastic surgeon to ensure that everything is being done to ensure that you end up with faint, thin scars once you have fully healed. 

Ian MacArthur, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Staples with Arm Lift

Thank you for your question.  I do not use staples because I do not like the appearance of the scars.  Arm incisions do have a difficult time healing and often want to widen.  Your plastic surgeon may find that the final results are better with staples.  I would recommend having a discussion them him/her about why they choose the technique they did.  Best of luck!

Aaron D. Smith, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Brachioplasty - staples or suture

Staples would not be my first choice for closing an arm lift incision in any patient. It may be that it was necessary in your case. Ask your PS.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Arm lift

 Personally  I do not use staples to close arm left surgeries. It is not necessarily wrong to use Staples. Staples do tend to leave track marks  after they are removed. And you are right they can be a lot more uncomfortable. 

Brian P. Tierney, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 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.