WHAT IS BRACHIOPLASTY?
It is the medical term for an arm lift. It means arm (brachio) reshaping (plasty).
WHAT IS DONE IN ARM LIFT SURGERY?
The excess upper arm tissue, sometimes referred to as a "bat wing," is removed during brachioplasty. This is done using direct excision (removal by cutting) or a combination of liposuction followed by direct excision.
IS LIPOSUCTION ALWAYS DONE AS WELL?
Depending on the level of correction needed, liposuction may be required to achieve the final desired contour.
IS ARM LIFT SURGERY PAINFUL?
There is discomfort associated with all body contouring procedures. Most patients report that the pain is very tolerable. The great majority of patients are off of prescription pain medicine by a few days after surgery.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED FOR ARM LIFT SURGERY?
Arm lifts are usually performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Additionally, many surgeons inject additional local numbing medicine in the surgical area while you are asleep to provide additional postoperative pain control.
HOW ARE INCISIONS MADE?
Incision length and pattern during arm lift surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of your plastic surgeon.
Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, depending on the surgeon’s preference, and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow. Excess fat may be directly excised or treated with liposuction.
Depending on your specific condition, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
IS THERE ANY SCARRING WITH ARM LIFT SURGERY?
Yes, there is scarring associated with all body contouring procedures. Many physicians and patients believe this is the biggest downside to an arm lift.
WHERE IS THE SCAR?
In a standard arm lift, the scar is a straight line from the armpit to the elbow. It is placed along the inside of the arm. However, it can still be visible in short sleeve shirts and tank tops. In the short-scar arm lift, the scar is a curved line that can be hidden in the armpit.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE SCAR TO HEAL?
Initial scar healing takes approximately two weeks. After that time, your surgeon will work with you on scar management including massage and topical therapies to minimize its appearance.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR AN ARM LIFT?
A patient in overall good health, who has been weight stable for at least one year and desires to improve the contour of their upper arms.
HOW LONG DOES THE SURGERY TAKE?
To contour both upper arms, the total length of surgery is approximately three hours.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ARM LIFT SURGERY?
The risks are similar to most major operations. They include:
Wound healing issues
And seroma (fluid collection) formation.
In order to prevent fluid accumulation, your surgeon may leave a small drain in place for a few days.
In addition, he or she may place your arms in compression garments (similar to ACE wrap sleeves) right in the operating room, which you will wear during your initial recovery.
CAN OTHER PROCEDURES BE DONE AT THE SAME TIME?
Yes, short procedures can be combined with an arm lift. In order to maintain the highest level of patient safety, we limit the number of body contouring procedures that can done at once, in order to limit time under anesthesia.