A brachioplasty, commonly called an arm lift, is a surgical procedure to reshape and provide improved contour to the upper arms and connecting area of chest wall. While “brachioplasty” is commonly used to describe a specific procedure for the upper arms, the term can also be used to describe any surgical arm contouring. Brachioplasty is often used to address issues such as excessive loose skin or excessive fat in the arms when it does not respond well to diet and exercise. Brachioplasty is a common procedure for patients who have experienced massive weight loss and has gained popularity since 2000.
An arm lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the under portion of your upper arms. During an arm lift — also known as brachioplasty — excess skin and fat are removed from between the armpit and elbow. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours to create a more toned look.
As you get older, the skin on your upper arms changes — sagging and becoming loose. Significant weight loss also can cause the undersides of your upper arms to droop. While exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the upper arm, it can't address excess skin that has lost elasticity. You might choose to have an arm lift if the undersides of your upper arms are sagging. An arm lift might also boost your body image.
TAn arm lift is a surgical procedure done to create smoother, more toned and better contours of the arms. For people who have lost a significant amount of weight or suffer from excess skin around the lower part of the arms, this procedure can prove incredibly beneficial. An arm lift (a.k.a. brachioplasty) must be done by a board-certified surgeon and you will need to book some time off work to recover. However, once you’ve healed, you’ll notice how gorgeous your arms are. Why? Because an arm lift has eight major benefits. These benefits are:
In place of a scalpel, the scar less arm lift uses radiofrequency-assisted liposuction to liquefy and remove unwanted fat cells, and provide lasting skin tightening. The BodyTite arm lift is FDA approved and very effective for tightening the upper arms without surgery and its requisite scarring.
Doctor inserts the BodyTite radiofrequency probe through a small incision made in the skin which will provide very minimal scarring. The radiofrequency (RF) energy converts to heat under the skin and it liquefies the unwanted fat cells, which are then removed with a thin cannula. The RF energy also causes a skin tightening reaction in the treatment area. The body perceives the heat from the RF energy as a “wound” and it responds by remodeling collagen in the area and tightening the skin. This tightening process continues for months afterward.
In a typical brachioplasty, Dr. makes an incision on the inside of the upper arm. This incision usually runs all the way from the elbow to the armpit. She then removes excess fat pockets with liposuction, repositions and tightens the underlying muscle tissue, and trims away excess skin. Surgical arm lifts require a one- to two-week recovery before returning to work. Also, the patient needs to avoid lifting any heavy objects for at least one month.
Scar less arm lifts only need a very small incision to insert the radiofrequency probe and the cannula to suction out the liquefied fat. The tiny incision is unnoticeable in a few months. Patients return to work in just one to three days, and there is very little discomfort. These are other benefits: Surgery without the scarring, immediate skin tightening, little swelling and bruising, Minimal downtime, little discomfort and pain
Yes it can be done with some intravenous sedation. There may be a disadvantage in terms of the amount of skin that can be removed as the local anesthesia causes the skin to swell. This swelling in the arm, makes it difficult to close the incision so you may be able to remove more skin under general anesthesia with no local (that causes skin swelling).
1 to 3 Days Following Surgery: Patients will experience light to moderate pain following their procedure. The pain is usually well controlled with prescribed medication and/or anti-inflammatories such as Advil or Aleve. Post procedure the arms will be bandaged and wrapped. This will result in some decrease in range of motion of the arms. Swelling of the hands can be expected even while drains are in place. The patient will be instructed not to wear rings or any other jewelry until swelling has resolved, along with elevation of the arms (hands over heart) while sleeping. Due to limited mobility in the early stage of recovery the patient should wear a loose button up shirt until cleared by his or her surgeon.
1 Week Following Surgery: Pain typically subsides to the point where most patients no longer require pain medication. Swelling and bruising of the arms will be decreasing but will still be apparent and may continue.
2-3 weeks following the procedure. 10 Days Following Surgery: Stitches, bandages, and drainage tubes are removed. Arm mobility increases, however patients are still advised to avoid stretching or lifting anything heavy. Most patients are able to return to work and normal daily activities including showering. Your surgeon may advise you to wear a compression garment which will help the healing process.
2 Weeks Following Surgery: Patients typically begin a scar therapy plan that consists of either a silicone based tape product or a scar cream.
4 to 6 Weeks Following Surgery: Bruising and swelling should be completely subsided revealing the final results of the procedure. Most patients will no longer need to wear compression garments. Patients may gradually resume their exercise regimen. At 6 weeks most patients are cleared by their surgeon to resume heavy lifting and other type of intense arm activity like tennis and golf. Most patient continue their scar management plan for the next 4-6 months.
6 Months Following Surgery: Scarring at incision sites become better blended with surrounding skin leaving it less noticeable. The scars will continue to improve for up to 2 years after the arm lift.
One of our board certified surgeons will make an incisions on the undersides of your arms. The length and pattern of the incisions depends on how much skin will be removed. After making the incisions, the plastic surgeon will tighten your underlying tissues and secure them with stitches. He or she might also use a suction technique to remove fat (liposuction). Your skin will then be draped over the new contours and excess skin will be removed. Stitches or surgical tape will be used to close the incisions.
Revolutionary to body contouring, liposuction was initially popularized in New York in the late 1970s. Prior to liposuction, Correa-Iturraspe and Fernandez first described arm reduction surgery, mainly brachioplasty, in 1954 in the South American literature. Since that time, modifications of brachioplasty (ie, T-closure, Z-plasties, fascial system suspensions) have been the emphasis of upper arm contouring. With the introduction of liposuction to the United States in 1981 and the tumescent technique in the late 1980s, liposuction of the upper arms has gained popularity. Liposuction of the upper arms has also been used as an adjunct to body contouring after massive weight loss.
Arm reduction surgery dates back to the 1950’s. Information on this procedure was found in South African Literature written by Correa-Iturraspe and Fernandez. There are new advanced ways of doing the procedure in comparison to decades ago, but this surgery is not as “new age” as some may believe. The advancements that have been made are related to the technique used to excise the fat, the area excised, the location of the incisions, and length of the incisions.
In the 1950s, the techniques used mainly addressed patients’ concerns with skin laxity (looseness) due to aging and normal weight-loss. The techniques used then, made incisions on the upper arm and later over the armpit. These techniques are rarely still be used by some doctors. Nowadays, there are various forms of incisions available, but each one depends on which “zone” of the arm a patient would like plastic surgery to be performed on.
he decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits, risks and potential complications of arm lift surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure.
Arm lift surgery risks include:
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Some of the possible complications associated with brachioplasty include:
An arm lift poses various risks, including:
Like any other type of major surgery, an arm lift poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
An arm lift isn't for everyone. Your doctor might caution against an arm lift if you:
In the first few days after an arm lift:
After an arm lift, your incisions will be covered in bandages. Your arms will be loosely wrapped in elastic bandages to minimize swelling. Small tubes might be placed in your arms to drain any excess blood or fluid.
You'll likely see someone from your plastic surgery team within a day or two after your arm lift. He or she may remove your bandages and drainage tube if used. Some plastic surgeons may have you wear a compression sleeve for a few weeks to keep swelling down.
During your recovery from arm lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing, specific concerns to look for and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.