As a result of weight loss and the normal age-related effects on skin laxity, men and women often develop an excess of upper arm skin and fat which tends to hang down as a loose fold extending from the armpit to the elbow region. This is especially noticeable when the arm is outstretched.
A brachioplasty (“arm reduction”) is an operation to remove excess fat and skin from the upper arm in order to improve the shape and contour of this region of the body. The operation is performed under a general anesthetic and takes two hours to perform and requires one night stay in the hospital. During the procedure the excess skin and fat are excised leaving a short horizontal scar in the armpit connected to a long scar on the inside part of the arm extending from the armpit to the inside of the elbow region. The wounds are stitched with dissolving sutures leaving the resulting scars as hidden from view as possible. This cosmetic procedure has high patient satisfaction and low complication rates. It can be performed in conjunction with liposuction if additional excess fat needs removing.
AM I SUITABLE FOR A BRACHIOPLASTY?
Not everyone is suitable for a brachioplasty. Suitability is a matter for you and Dr. Del Corral to discuss in clinic, following a thorough analysis of your medical history and a thorough clinical consultation.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BRACHIOPLASTY?
The surgery improves the contour and shape of the upper arm increasing patient confidence and improving self-esteem. Patients who have had a brachioplasty enjoy being able to wear clothes and swimwear that they would have previously been too embarrassed to wear.
WHERE ARE THE SCARS?
There is one long scar extending from the armpit to the inside aspect of the elbow region connected to a short scar placed horizontally in the armpit.
IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
During the operation strong painkillers are administered so that when patients wake up from the surgery they will be comfortable. Local anesthetic injections along the wound given at the time of surgery also help numb the area. It is normal for patients to experience some discomfort from the scar line. On discharge from hospital, any discomfort from the wounds can usually be managed with simple tablet type painkillers such as Tylenol etc.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM SURGERY?
Following surgery, you will be given a tubigrip support bandage to wear for one week. For the first two weeks postoperatively, you should not lift anything heavier than a kettle. Depending on your job you can usually return to work for light duties after one week. After your first wound check you will be given a series of gentle exercises to prevent stiffness in your elbow and shoulder following discharge from hospital, but no sport, strenuous exercises or weight lifting should be undertaken until six weeks following surgery or until you are seen by Dr. Del Corral for review.
WHEN WILL I NOTICE THE RESULTS AND HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
The visual improvement in upper arm contour will be immediately apparent following brachioplasty surgery. However, there may some bruising, swelling and numbness around the wound which may last several weeks. The scars will undergo a natural maturation process involving a series of color and texture changes over a period usually varying from six months to two years. The final result can usually be judged at around one year following surgery. The results of brachioplasty are long lasting but large fluctuations in weight, and the normal age related effects on skin laxity can lead to a recurrence of loose skin over time.
WILL I BE TOLD THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
Complications are uncommon following brachioplasty. During your initial consultation Dr. Del Corral will have a full discussion with you about the risks and complications of surgery. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, these risks will again be discussed as part of the consenting process. Fortunately, with correct patient selection and appropriate procedure selection, the risks are kept to an absolute minimum. It is important that you be reassured that Dr. Del Corral will not agree to perform any cosmetic procedure on you unless he feels the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.
I AM INTERESTED! WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If you are considering an arm lift we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation and/or treatment at Dr. Del Corral’s office. During this visit we will listen to your concerns and discuss your options. After careful analysis of your arms, we will tell you whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure and inform you of the alternatives and potential risks of the procedure.