I am 8 days postop from a brachioplasty. Today I noticed swelling from my elbow to my wrists in both arms.

I've been wearing compression sleeves only for the last 3 days. But swelling is making my wrist movement difficult. Is swelling like this pretty typical or normal several days after surgery?

Answers (9)

Swelling after arm lift

Thank you for your question.  Swelling of the entire arm is common after a brachioplasty particularly if the arms are not elevated after surgery or the compression garments are so tight that they restrict the flow of fluid from the hand and forearm.  

Russell G. Hendrick, Jr., MD

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
26 reviews

Swelling after surgery

Thank you for your question.

The compression garment pushes the swelling out the surgical area and to the areas that do not have compression. It is completely normal to have swelling that goes in to the forearms and hands. The only time to start to worry is if the swelling is not the same from side to side, if you notice one side is significantly larger than the other. If you are relatively the same size from side to side then I would not worry. Good luck with recovery.

Francis Johns, MD
Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
93 reviews

Arm Swelling

Congratulations on your surgery. Finding a comfortable compression garment for the arms can be tricky after brachioplasty surgery, but it is an important factor in controlling swelling.  Check with your surgeon to ensure you are wearing the proper size and length.  It is also important to keep your arms elevated following surgery.  Other factors such as salt intake and activity level can affect how much you are swelling.  Make sure to consult with your doctor for a check. 

Larry Pollack, MD
Larry Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
14 reviews

Swelling after armlift

Because of the combination of the following factors, swelling after surgery is common: tightening of the upper arm, dependent position of the lower arm and hand, possible tumescent injection for liposuction, and possible dissection near the underarm lymph nodes. Try to reduce the tightness of the upper arm dressing after checking with your surgeon.

Neil T. Chen, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Brachioplasty Swelling

Swelling of the entire arm is common after a brachioplasty. There are a couple of things you can do to alleviate this. 1. Make sure you keep your arms elevated (i.e. not dangling at your sides for any prolonged period of time. 2. Make sure your compression sleeve does not abruptly stop well above the wrist wherever there is no compression there will be swelling. Make sure you check with your surgeon to ensure there are no fluid collections or fluid build up. Good luck with the healing. 

I am 8 days postop from a brachioplasty. Today I noticed swelling from my elbow to my wrists in both arms.

Certainly you should see your plastic surgeon who performed the procedure.  It is quite possible that the compression is too tight and it is impeding fluid return from your arms.

Good luck to you..

Stanley P. Gulin, MD
Stanley P. Gulin, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
27 reviews

Swelling after brachioplasty

Thanks  you for your question. Postop swelling after brachioplasty is quite common. Make sure your compression garment goes to your wrist and elevate your arms above your heart on pillows when you're able to. Always voice your concerns to your Surgeon. Good luck 

Swelling with compression.

I suspect your compression garments have something to do with your new swelling. Perhaps wearing a better fitting garment will reduce the hand swelling or speak with your plastic surgeon about it. Best, Dr.  ALDO

Swelling 3 days after arm lift

Thank you for your question about your arm lift.

It sounds as though your compression garment is too tight. Or that you have not been elevating your arms enough - or both. I suggest you contact your surgeon or go in to have the garment fit checked.

Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.

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