Hello, I am a 45 yr old woman. I have never been very heavy. I have/had large arms since I was a little girl. I have/had excess fat & slightly sagging skin on the upper part of my arms & would not wear sleeveless tops. I went to 2 plastic surgeons seeking the limited incision barchioplasty. Both professed to be able to do the proceedure, however, that was not the case... I was left with no armpit, no/worse results & now have scars in addition. I am very depressed.I need help & refrence in CA 2 revise them. Please help
Revision for Bad Brachioplasty?
Doctor Answers 12
A limited scar brachioplasty leading to a poor outcome: revision may be possible
Without pictures to better delineate your situation, it appears that you required a "standard" arm lift and instead got a limited incision approach which was not the appropriate option. Unfortunately as a consequence, the result is quite suboptimal.
Scar revision and recontouring can be performed the outcome of which would depend on multiple factors including the extent of the deformity that you presently have. I would suggest that you contact a reputable board certified plastic surgeon in your area who has extensive experience in brachioplasties.
Although your history is helpful, it's virtually impossible to evaluate your result without pictures or a physical examination. In general terms, wound healing is a dynamic process which can last for 6 to 12 months. During this period of time, wounds remodel, swelling resolves and scars lose their redness and soften.
For these reasons, it's important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon. If you're unhappy with your surgeon, it's appropriate to obtain a second opinion form a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area.
Revision brachioplasty sometimes can be offered but you have to wait at least 6 months or longer for the tissues and scars to heal and soften.
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Brachioplasty is not a technically difficult operation, but getting good quality brachioplasty scars is a challenge for any surgeon. For this reason, there is a fair amount of collective experience revising brachioplasty procedures. It may be that you had the 'wrong' operation for the arm problem that you had- a limited incision brachioplasty is not a great operation for most patients. Seek out a good plastic surgeon in your area for some expert advice.
Arm Lift scar revision
Scar revision for brachioplasty is an excellent choice and can be performed to reduce the scarring and deformity after your surgery.
Revising a poor outcome in brachioplasty
Limited incision brachioplasty is designed for a very specific subset of patients. You might not have been an ideal candidate for this procedure. Furthermore, disappearing armpit can result from improper planning and performance of limited brachioplasty. Good news is that almost always this type of sub-optimal outcome can be at least partially corrected with well planned and executed procedure.
I perform many brachioplasties, both limited and full, and have revised a number of brachioplasties. If you'd like, you may send to my office some photos and I'd gladly comment on your options for surgical correction
Brachioplasty scars: Full vs. Limited Arm Lift
Limited incision brachioplasty is great for a minor amount of very high excess arm skin and when pushed to try to take the place of a full brachioplasty it can lead to wide scars, pulling of the armpit and poor contour to the arm. This could be easily converted to a full brachioplasty with scar rotation into the armpit with a z-plasty. You should consult with your board certified plastic surgeon to correct this and someone who does both techniques to correct it.
I hope this helps.
Advertising Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Harlan Pollock have summerised advertising of cosmetic surgery very well.
He put his thoughts as follows:
With a minimum of risk and little or no downtime, a variety of procedures, products, manipulations, etc. promise a dramatic improvement in ones appearance.
• Generally the terms "non-invasive" and "minimally invasive" are designed more for marketing than therapeutic value. Certainly these are far more inviting terms than "surgery".
• High tech names suggest a new approach and an expectation of effectiveness. For example, if "laser"or "endoscope" is mentioned, cutting edge technology and superior results are implied. This may or may not be the truth but the patient may have difficulty separating hype from reality.
• Though these individual procedures may be inexpensive, multiple treatments are common and the cost adds up. Often the cost of multiple such procedures may be comparable to the cost of surgery.
• Many of these procedures may be effective in combination with surgery, but alone may be futile.
The old adage "sounds too good be true" is important to remember when presented with a minimal procedure that produces wonderful results. Certainly a second opinion may be helpful to put things in perspective.
Correcting Bad Arm Lift / Brachioplasty Scars
I agree with my colleagues. People frequently demand a mini procedure when the "full' procedure was the clear cut answer. Correction of the problem becomes hard to nearly impossible.
Without pictures, I cannot comment more on your situation. But I join my colleagues in recommending you see a few of our colleagues (www.PlasticSurgery.org) and see what they recommend.
Limited incision cosmetic surgery
Unfortunately, there are very few instances where "limited incision" plastic surgery is great. Usually, there are enough tissue excesses that a limited excision won't do the job and can leave deformities.
Patients however are easily "sold" on these operations, often by doctors who aren't even real plastic surgeons in the first place. I'd go to some Am Board of Plastic Surgery certified surgeons and ask them what can now be done to improve the situation. Good luck with this frustrating problem.
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.