Tired of those loose flabby upper arms? Want to be able to go sleeveless? Then an arm lift may be just the help you need. An arm lift or Brachioplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to reduce, reshape and contour the upper arm from the elbow to the underarm area. This procedure has become more popular since the advent of weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass.
Frequently, this procedure is accompanied with liposuction. Liposuction is used to reduce the volume of excess fat then the resulting excess loose hanging skin is removed and reshaped. There are 2 general approaches. The standard technique or Brachioplasty uses an incision from the armpit to the elbow. The more limited approach referred to as a Medial Brachioplasty uses an incision in the underarm area only. This approach is reserved for individuals who have only a minimal amount of excess hanging skin. The results with this approach are less dramatic and are not for everyone.
This is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with general or local anesthesia with sedation. Generally, an arm lift takes 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours to perform depending on what needs to be done. Most patients are off work for 1-2 weeks. You are unable to resume strenuous physical activity for 2-4 weeks.
The biggest concern with a standard Brachioplasty is the scarring from the incision. This incision notoriously heals poorly meaning the scar stretches in width, can become raised and remain permanently discolored. Standard scar treatments are NOT very effective in improving the overall appearance. The same is true for a Medial Brachioplasty but the incision is more hidden in the underarm area.