Bleeding non stop from armpit 9-10 days after brachioplasty/arm lift. (photos)

Brachioplasty was 10 days ago, yesterday while cooking felt a gush of warm blood running down my side, been putting pressure but blood hasn't stopped, blood is very dark red, surgery was in Mexico, not sure what to do now, scared I'm slowly bleeding to death, think maybe I need more stitches, how long should I wait for bleeding to stop before I do something else? I have a video of the bleeding but can't upload it, I uploaded stills from the video.

Doctor Answers 10

Arm lift arm reduction brachioplasty arm liposuction post-operative bleeding

Thank you for your question about post-operative “bleeding” after an arm lift or brachioplasty.  It is extremely important that you contact your plastic surgeon IMMEDIATELY. If you cannot get ahold of your plastic surgeon, you should consider going to the nearest emergency room. If it is indeed bleeding, this is not normal after an arm lift.  You should not wait for anything. You should especially not wait for the bleeding to stop. Good luck!

If you have any other questions regarding an arm lift or brachioplasty, please contact my office.  Sincerely, Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews


Bleeding is a serious concern and should be evaluated immediately. Since your surgery was done in Mexico, you should present yourself to the emergency room and they can arrange for a plastic surgeon from their on-call schedule to see you. 

Warmest regards, Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Bleeding from armpit

This sounds like you have had a haematoma(post operative bleeding). The blood has collected in the space and has now liquified and decided to leak out of the wound. The fact that it is dark suggests it is old blood and that you are not actively bleeding( so will not bleed to death).

Your options are to allow the body to get rid and/or reabsorb this, or to have it evacuated which will speed up your healing

Mansoor Khan, BSc(Hons), MD, FRCS(Plast)
Southampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Wound breakdown

unfortunately, this is a reasonably common complication of that surgery.  moisture leads to maceration, and the repair breaks down.  it does sound like you may have had collection which evacuated itself.  would likely treat this with local wound care, followed by scar revision if necessary.  definitely air your concerns with your treating physician.

Ethan Philpott, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Bleeding 10 days after surgery

You may have either a hematoma or seroma.  You should contact your plastic surgeon immediately, but if he/she is not available given your surgery was in Mexico, you should contact a local plastic surgeon or go to the emergency room.   Based on your description, this does not sound like a life-threatening issue, but you should address is as soon as possible.

Samir S. Rao, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Post op bleeding following brachioplasty

Contacting your surgeon would be a good place to start.  If that avenue is a dead end, then you could contact local plastic surgeons and see if they can help.  If you have no plastic surgeons locally available then an emergency room visit would be your next option.  Best wishes

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


thank for your question. I concur with previous opinions on a previous collection of blood that has started to drain though a partial breakdown in your incision.  (The blood looks very dark suggesting an old collection) My concern for you isn't the blood leaking, rather the possibility of having a significant wound breakdown along your incision.  The pictures are hard to assess, but the darker areas could represent skin edge compromise.  The areas at the T junction are under the most tension.   If your incision opens, you will have to discuss wound management with your surgeon.  My concern for patients that have surgery outside of this country is that while the operations are less expensive, the postoperative management is lacking.  Complications do happen and its hard to get adequate treatment when you are not near your surgeon. Internet recommendation are helpful, but nothing replaces in office visits, wound evaluation and clinical examination.  Good luck with your progress, and I hope you incision heals better than the pictures appear.


John Renucci, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Thank you for your question and pictures. From the looks of it, you probably had an old blood collection that is now draining through the skin.  Make sure to contact your PS in Mexico, you may have to go back to see him there.  Otherwise, a trip to the ER may be your other best option.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Old blood

good morning!

from your photo it appears that you have old blood that you lost from your vascular system days ago leaking out.  Though it might seem alike a lot of blood, I am confident you are not going to get dangerously low in your blood count from this loss.

I would let your PS know what is going on for any further treatment.

Robert Steely, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Bleeding after brachioplasty

You appear to have some old blood, hematoma, leaking out. While it does not appear to be new or active bleeding please make your PS aware.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 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.