Brachioplasty will help to tighten and firm up the arms. The arm may be too large, or simply have too much loose skin, especially after weight loss.
Many have found out that losing weight and working out will tone your muscles and improve your overall size, but won’t do much for your skin.
If there is loose skin on the arm, removal of the skin via an excision is generally the only option. Further, if there is excess fat and skin, both liposuction and a surgical resection can be combined for the best result.
Standard Arm Lift
The most common problem is loose skin between the axilla and elbow, with looseness and an extra “wave” when you say goodbye.
The loose skin is removed from the axilla to the elbow with a scar on the inner arm. It is a powerful surgery to remove the loose skin that is present.
The surgery lasts 1 to 1 1/2 hours, under anesthesia and is often combined with liposuction of the arm as well.
Axillary extension is common, to help tighten the lateral chest/axillary area generally removing all of the hair bearing skin in the axilla.
Recovery includes a compression wrap and garment for 3 to 4 weeks, and being out of work for 1-2 weeks. Drains are used for the first 5-7 days.
This is used for about 80% of patients seeking significant arm tightening.
Axillary Arm Lift
Sometimes the only loose skin is just at the upper third of the arm, nearest the axilla.
A short scar, in the axilla alone, will allow resection of a small bit of skin and elevation of the arm skin towards the axilla.
While the scar is much better hidden, the power of the surgery is much less. This is ideal for about 10% of people.
This can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Drains are not used.
Extended Arm Lift
Some people, especially those with larger weight losses will have skin laxity extending beyond the elbow and into the forearm area.
The same scar along the inner arm can be extended well down onto the forearm to remove the loose skin and tighten both upper and lower arm.
This is a LONG scar, but powerful. The procedure and Recovery are both similar to the standard arm lift. This is ideal for about 10% of people.
This is often combined with the arm lift procedure, but can be done on its own.
If the major problem is fullness of the arm, without any loose skin, liposuction can be performed.
The fat removal is tailored to the quality of the skin, to try to prevent making the skin loose by thinning it too much.
Small bits of liposuction can be performed in office, full liposuction requires anesthesia.
Compression wraps or sleeves are worn for 3-4 weeks.
Risks of Brachioplasty/Arm Surgery
- Scars, which may be significant
- Recurrent laxity
- Contour irregularity
- Injury to the nerves
- Numbness in the arm