Upper Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Loss of skin elasticity in the upper arm is a problem that can be seen with increasing age or after significant weight loss. The primary method to tighten the skin of the upper arm and remove excess fat is called a brachioplasty. The most common way this is done is by an incision that extends from the armpit to the elbow located on the inner arm or on the back of the arm. This technique allows for maximum skin and fat removal. Variants of this technique may use a less extensive incision where less skin and fat removal is necessary.
Men and women in good health who have moderate to severe skin laxity of the upper arms are good candidates for this procedure as well as patients who have lost a significant amount of weight from dieting and/or surgery.
The objective is to decrease the size and get an improved contour of the upper arm by removal of excess skin and fat, or to decrease skin laxity of the upper arm by tightening the skin envelop. It is usually performed in an outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital.
The surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Liposuction is performed on the arm if significant fat removal is required.
An incision is usually made in the armpit extending to the elbow on the inner arm and excess skin and fat are removed
The arms are usually wrapped with an elastic dressing. A compression garment may be worn on the arms for approximately two weeks.
Bruising and swelling are normal and may take several weeks to resolve.
Stiffness of the arms, especially when bending is common and usually resolves within a few months.
Areas of numbness of the upper and lower arm are normal and usually resolve within a few months.
Sutures or staples are usually removed within two weeks.
Drains, if used are usually removed in less than 7 days after the procedure.
The incisions can be treated with scar creams and ointments.
The scar will take 8 -12 months to look its best.