9 months after brachioplasty, scar feels very tight? (Photo)

For the past few days the brachioplasty scar on my left arm is feeling very tight, especially when I'm sleeping, is this normal? A little background - I had brachioplasty in December followed two weeks later by emergency surgery to reopen my left arm to treat acute compartment syndrome which caused nerve damage (brachioplexus injury) - that's healing but the crushing pain has recently returned as well. Scars are hypertrophic scars and I've had steroid injections, last one was two months ago.

Doctor Answers 7

Scarring after surgery

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Thank you for your question.Although you are many months out from surgery, your body is still healing. It can take a year or more for nerve regeneration after a surgical procedure. As those nerves are healing, you can experience many different sensations. The scars do look hypertrophic which can cause a lot of discomfort. Have you tried silicone sheeting and massage. You should ask your surgeon if they have it at the office, it works really well in these type of scars. Good luck.

Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

9 months after brachioplasty, scar feels very tight?

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Scarring can take many directions after surgery.  Although the wound has been healed for many months, the scars will continue to mature. Part of this maturation can include some scar shortening or tightening. This often improves with more time and with some maneuvers such as scar massage, silicone treatments, steroid injections among others. Your case is unusual in that your scars and the operative site have been through so much. At 9 months after surgery, it would be very unlikely that anything particularly dangerous is occurring. Your best bet is your physician's careful history and examination. They have the best frame of reference and insight into your history and previous examinations. I hope this helps.Best of luck

Bram Kaufman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tight scars after brachioplasty

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Thank you for your question.  In addition to steroid injections, massage and silicone sheeting may be beneficial.  Please discuss your concerns with your surgeon, especially since you had a complicated course.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arm Lift/ Brachioplasty/Skin Tightening/ Body Contouring/ High Definition Procedures

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I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Scarring post surgery

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The scarring can take some time to heal even now. I would contact your surgeon to discuss the options to help relieve some of the discomfort. Either a cream or gel for the scar, or some silicone tape. There are a few options to try and improve it.

Healing after brachioplasty

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As far as your body is concerned, you are still in the early stages of healing. Scars tend to soften up over time. It is difficult to assess whether your symptoms are from hypertrophic scars or, less likely, nerve problems. You should follow these closely with your plastic surgeon as you continue to heal.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Scar feels tight?

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Thank you very much for your question and photos. I'm sorry to hear about your brachioplastu experience and wish you the very best as you continue to recover. You do have hypertrophic scarring which is common with brachioplasty. I would suggest a check up with your plastic surgeon to find out the cause of your most recent discomfort, especially if there's increaing pain. Best wishes always, Dr. Aldo

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 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.