I have lumps and bulge after Arm Lift. Is this normal? (photos)

I had arm lift June 23. My results R fairly satisfying but I have 3 concerns & I'd like independent advice 1. I have raised little lump of skin. I can't imagine this smoothening out. ? 2. Other arm, 1 area is like a bulge, and under skin I feel fat ..it feels to me like an 'under correction" My dr..said, maybe he ''didn't take enough skin/or enuf lipo. .. wants me to wait until Dec. no discussion yet, but would I be resposible for $$ ??? I hope not ! 3. can stitches be pulled too tight? thx

Doctor Answers 6

The Management Of Scarring Following Brachioplasty

Unfortunately, gathering of the wound margins can sometimes occur when patients have large amounts of skin removed during brachioplasty. This bunching occurs when surgeons intentionally avoid extending the incision beyond the axilla and elbow to avoid secondary complications. This type of problem is unrelated to the tightness of the suture closure.

Although these scars can be very noticeable in the immediate post-operative period, they tend to improve with the passage of time. It's important to understand that wound healing is a dynamic process that continues for over 12 to 18 months following surgery. During this time, wounds remodel and scars soften and lose their redness.

This process can be facilitated with a variety of maneuvers designed to avoid tension on the wound closure. Examples include steristrips, silicone sheeting and compression garments. Massage with a variety of topical agents has been shown to be helpful as well. Rarely, if these steps are unsuccessful, secondary scar revision may be necessary.

When secondary cosmetic procedures are indicated, financial arrangements can vary depending upon a variety of factors. If this situation arises, it's important that you have a direct conversation with your surgeon regarding this topic. Your surgeon should be able to address your concerns and alleviate your anxiety.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews


Usually accordion like skin irregularities settle out with time. It makes sense to wait several months.  Under correction of the arm if far easier and safer to manage than overcorrection.  Re-operative costs are can vary among surgeons and for various reasons.  Regarding the swelling "bulge", a seroma (a collection of fluid) can occur, especially toward the elbow.  The fluid may need to be drawn off by your surgeon.  

Aras Tijunelis, MD
Libertyville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lumps and bulge after arm lift

Hey there,

Great question! Yes, this is perfectly normal. You are still in the healing process, but I recommend that you do minimal activity for at least two weeks to aid in the healing process.

Best wishes,

Dr. Newall

German Newall, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Lumpiness of scars after an arm lift

Some lumpiness of the incision line after an arm lift is normal.  Given time this will resolve.  Massage will help.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Healing, $$$, Tight stitches...

Wound irregularities: Most of time all of these areas settle out. I recommend getting a roll of 1/4inch "paper tape". Apply the paper tape over the wounds and leave it in place changing it every couple of days. The paper tape helps with the smoothing out process. I would try to use the paper tape for at least 6 weeks. (There are several research papers on the use of paper tape in treating scars) ...if this sound a bit strange.

$$$: Every doctor is different about the revision policies. Only he or she will be able to answer that one.

Tight stitches. Stitches can be pulled to tight, and in some cases, can cut off the blood supply to the tissue causing wound problems. That rarely happens to a well trained plastic surgeon, but it can. 

Hope those answers help.


Paul W. Papillion, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Arm lift

Thank you for the pictures. This looks like typical closure for body contouring procedures as his arm lift. The skin will settle out this move down over time. It will take months. Revision policies differ from office office you just have to discuss this at the appropriate time with your surgeon. Good 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.