Why Would I Have A Swollen Arm After Tummy Tuck and Lipo?

I had a tummy tuck and lipo of outer thighs two days ago. Coming out of surgery my arms(inside elbow) hurt like crazy. The nurses though it could be how I was strapped to the table. Now my right arm is really swollen. Ever had this happen? What is the cause? How can I reduce the swelling? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 3

Arm swelling after abdominoplasty

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You haven't indicated whether the arm that is swollen had the intravenous in place for many hours. Being on an operating table isn't the most comfortable position, even though you were asleep for the procedure! It's possible that this could be aching and pain combined with surgical positioning but it could indicate a potential embolism as well. I agree with Dr Pousti that you need to be seen by your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Swollen Arms After Tummy Tuck and Lipo

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A Tummy Tuck and Liposuction is not a short procedure. During the procedure you receive a lot of IV fluids AND your arms are held elevated to your sides to allow the surgeon access to your body. Several factors can cause swelling; from the amount of fluid given, to the padding of or the constriction around the arms and even the angle the arms were held. In the vast majority of cases this resolves in a few days. I would see your Plastic surgeon to make sure there is nothing to worry about.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Swollen Arm after Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

Given that you have an  asymmetrically “really swollen' upper  extremity,  you should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon immediately.  There are a variety of causes of the situation,  some "benign" but some potentially dangerous. Treatment will depend on diagnosis.

Best wishes.

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.