Can You Revise a Short Scar Brachioplasty Gone Horribly Wrong?

Doctor Answers 12

Brachioplasty healing difficulties

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Patients with significant arm skin laxity respond well to mini or full brachioplasty. This procedure has some risks like all surgery. One of these risks is wound separation which may be caused by numerous issues such as infection, bleeding, diabetes, cigarette use. Once the wound has opened it requires local wound care till healed and then the inflammation should be allowed to resolve. A revision with removal of the prominent scar tissue and repair of any contour issues would be performed at that time. The final result will often be similar to a scar that had no healing difficulties.

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

Scar revisions for brachioplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You are definitely a candidate for scar revision following your brachioplasty.  Allow your incisions to heal from the first surgery for at least a few months before undergoing the second operation.  

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Can you revise a short scar brachioplasty gone wrong?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
From the photo, it appears that you have had a wound separation, called a wound dehiscence.  This can be corrected and the desired outcome still achieved, but not right away.  Causes of the separation include tension, infection, smoking, and poor surgical planning.  It is best to allow for wound healing to proceed until the wound is stable, without any sign of infection, and the arm tissues are pliable enough to be put back together after the wound is excised.  With proper wound care, these wounds heal quickly and the revision may be possible in several weeks to months.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Wound Separation & Breakdown Following Brachioplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Wound separation is one of the more common complications associated with brachioplasty. This complication can occur for a variety of reasons including tension on the wound closure, infection, diabetes, smoking, inappropriate activity levels and thin medial arm tissue.

                  When wound breakdown occurs, a variety of treatment options exist. The exact procedures chosen is dependent upon the anatomic deformity encountered. In most cases, wounds are allowed to heal with dressing changes before surgical revision is undertaken. Surgical revision shouldn’t be undertaken for at least six months following surgery.

                  Your pictures suggests a significant wound separation that will most likely require mobilization of skin flaps for closure. In this situation, a normal arm contour may require extending your current incisions. Utilizing this approach, a reasonably good result is still within the realm of possibility. 

Healing and later extension if possible

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}



Your possibilities for revision depend upon how much laxity there is in the areas around the wound after it heals and softens. As long was your mobility is not affected, I would wait until the scar matured.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Wound separation following a short scar upper arm lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You have had separation of your incision which will take some time to heal. Typically, I would wait at least 6 months before considering a revision. Smoking and diabetes are some of the issues that can lead to what you have experience.

I would suggest following up closely with your plastic surgeon and making sure that he/she understands your concerns.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Revision of short scar brachioplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Revisions are possible.  However, you need to give time to allow the wound/incision to heal.  In addition, you need to give time for the local inflammation and swelling to settle.  Generally, I recommend waiting at least 6 months before considering a scar revision.  Remember, a scar revision does not erase the scar.  It replaces an undesirable scar with hopefully a better looking or better camouflaged scar.

Wound healing complications after arm lifting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am sorry for what you are going through.  When results are less than ideal, we are as heartbroken as our patients.  The first priority is wound healing through local wound care and antibiotics as directed by your surgeon.  Once this has healed and the scars have softened (anywhere from 9-12 months after wound closure & healing), a scar revision can be undertaken.  Hang in there.  It is very likely that your surgeon has a plan to improve your result dramatically.

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Short scar brachioplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

IT appears that you have a wound separation. Although common sense might tell you to close it up , that could result in a worse problem. Generally, it is nbest to allow it to heal with proper wound care and then pursue definitive treatment as guidied by your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Severe Complication of Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Truly sorry for what you are going through. From the picture you provided it seems the tissues in the center died, the wound has separated and you have a redness which may be associated with a rumbling infection. With proper care the infection, if there is one, will be treated. You will then need to care for the wound until all the not-so-healthy tissues are removed and a nice, red wound bed appears. Such a wound can then heal by itself in a matter of several weeks.

I would advise you to wait 8 months or so until the tissues are soft and pliable before embarking on a revision surgery. If you are a smoker or exposed to smoke - Don't. If you are a diabetic - your diabetes needs to be carefully controlled. Then, when you are ready and your tissues are ready, the scars can be excised and the Arm Lift revised with a MUCH better success rate and appearance.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.