An arm lift, called a brachioplasty, is the surgical removal of fat and excess skin under the upper arm that occurs as a result of weight loss or normal aging.
I will mark the spots where incisions will be placed with a special marking pen prior to your procedure. After general anesthesia has been given, I will place an incision either on the back of your upper arm, or inside your arm between the biceps and triceps muscles. If you have a large amount of excess skin, an additional incision in the armpit may also be recommended. This will have been discussed with you in advance, at your consultation.
Depending upon the amount of fat to be removed, after the initial incision, I will perform liposuction to reduce the volume of the arm tissue. After this is accomplished, the excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures. A dressing will be applied along with a compressive garment to minimize swelling, assist in healing, and to achieve the desired shape.
You will wear the compressive arm garment at all times for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery. You may shower the day after surgery, at which time you can resume light activities. The average patient requires medication for discomfort for 2-3 days following an arm lift procedure; we will give you prescriptions for these prior to your surgery. Once you no longer need medication for discomfort, you can return to driving and to work. Heavier activities, including exercise, may be resumed after 4-6 weeks. If heavy lifting is involved in your job, I’ll discuss your options with you.
Among all the various body contouring procedures, the scars from arm lifts are, by necessity, more visible. However, in appropriate patients, the improvement in the shape of the arms is life altering, particularly for men and women who feel uncomfortable or embarrassed wearing short sleeve or sleeveless shirts because of their sagging and fleshy upper arms.