Can I Get An Armlift If I had A Prior Axillary Lymph Node Dissection?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have lost around 100 pounds, since 2013. Last year had a Full Torso Lift and that area looks great. However, the Surgeon I used will not do the following for me. 

– Outside thigh lipo / tuck 

– Inside around knees – lipo / tuck 

– Arm lift – only because my right arm had 9 lymph nodes taken out when I had breast cancer – which were all negative and I have had zero issues with it. 

Can you do these 3 items. I realize this cannot be done all at same time.

A:Thank you for our inquiry and sending your pictures to which I can say the following:

1) When referring to the thighs I think you mean an extended inner thigh lift (see diagram) which is the appropriate approach to your thigh tissue redundancy.

2) As for the armlift I can certainly understand the concern as the risk of chronic lymphedema could result on the side with the prior lymph node excision. But I think it is reasonable to do if the following criteria are met:

    a) No history of radiation to the armpit

    b) No current chronic arm swelling

    c) A not overly aggressive armlift that does not extended into or past the axillary region.

3) You are correct in that both the arms and thighs should not be done during the same surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana