Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Arm Lift

An arm lift (Brachioplasty), is a surgical procedure that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow.

Enhancing your appearance with an arm lift

Fluctuations in weight, growing older and even heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localised fat deposits.

If the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an arm lift may provide you with the desired change sin your appearance.

An arm lift:

  • Reduces excess sagging skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow that droops downward
  • Reshapes the supportive tissue in your arm resulting in smoother skin and defining the contours of the upper arm
  • Results in a more toned and proportionate appearance
  • Reduce localised pockets of fat in the upper arm region

Arm reduction consultation

The consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to communicate your feelings about what you want to achieve. It is crucial to highlight to your surgeon exactly what you find most objectionable about the appearance and to try to define what you would like to see as a result. The purpose is to bring focus and clarity to the concerns that you have regarding your appearance, but also to establish realistic expectations and a clear sense of direction for your change. During the consultation, you will be asked many questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcomes
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status; ask about any previous surgery, and any pre-existing health conditions or risks factors
  • Take photographs for your medical records
  • Discuss your goals and explain what results you can reasonably expect.
  • Discuss any risks or potential complications and what to expect during your recovery.
  • Discuss the use of anaesthesia during your surgery

Because scars on the body do not fade as much as those on the face, increasing efforts have focused on limiting the scars for arm lift surgery. When the degree of loose skin and fatty tissue is limited, it is possible to perform a combination of liposuction and shorter scar technique.

At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss with you whether you would be a suitable candidate for this approach. It requires that only a moderate volume needs to be reduced and that your skin has sufficient elasticity. People who have significant sun damage, extensive stretch marks or very loose skin are not candidates for short scar surgery.

Your Operation: What to Expect

Should you choose arm lift surgery, your procedure will be performed under general anaesthetic and you can either return home the same day or stay in the hospital overnight. The procedure typically takes between one and two hours. Depending on your changes, the techniques and incision patterns are different and will be discussed during your consultation.

Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of your plastic surgeon. Incisions are placed in the armpit, on the inside of the arm or the back of the arm, depending on the surgeon’s preference, and may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. Depending on your specific conditions, incisions may be more limited.

Next, the underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm. If fat is to be reduced during your arm lift, it will be excised or treated with liposuction.

Further Reading:

Liposuction (Lipoplasty)

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

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