A brachioplasty, also known as an upper arm lift, reshapes your upper arm and armpit areas by tightening loose skin and removing excess fat.
Excess skin at the upper arms tends to occur following natural aging or substantial weight loss. This can result in an unsightly “bat-wing” appearance under the arm. There may be skin problems related to excessive rubbing with movement, skin infections, and you may find it difficult to exercise and wear form-fitting clothes. While exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the upper arm, it cannot reduce excess skin that has lost elasticity.
A brachioplasty removes excess skin and fat between the armpit and the elbow to give a more toned and shapely look. However, the trade-off is a lengthy visible scar along the insides of your arms.
The length of the surgical incision that is necessary will depend on the degree of skin excess that you have. Some patients may be able to get away with a limited-incision brachioplasty whereby the scar can be concealed in the armpit area. However, patients with a lot of skin excess along the full length of the upper arm and armpit may require an extended brachioplasty whereby the scar extends from the elbow, up to the armpit and down along the side of the chest wall. This is more common in patients who have had massive weight loss.
Arm after surgery
If there is excess fat as well, Liposuction will be performed at the same setting to achieve the best results.
Your incisions will be dressed and your arms will be wrapped in elastic bandages to minimize swelling and bruising. Small tubes (drains) may be placed to remove the excess blood and fluid for several days. A tight compression garment will usually be fitted afterwards to keep the swelling down. This will need to be worn continuously for several weeks until your surgeon advises otherwise. It will usually take at least 4 to 6 weeks before you can perform exercises with your arms.
As long as your weight does not fluctuate, the results of your upper arm lift should last for many years. Even though your skin continues to age over time, the subsequent arm flabbiness is usually far less significant than what it was before your surgery.
Every year, thousands of people undergo successful upper-arm lift surgery and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of the possible risks, which include:• Anaesthesia risks• Excess blood accumulation (haematoma)• Excess fluid accumulation (seroma)• Infection• Prolonged swelling or bruising• Poor wound healing• Poor scarring• Contour irregularities• Asymmetry• Numbness, which may be temporary or permanent
You may need to undergo revision surgery to correct some of these problems. The subject of risks, as well as potential complications of surgery are best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon.