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Arm lift (brachioplasty)Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a cosmetic procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the upper arm. The procedure focuses on reshaping and firming the upper arm region from the axilla (under arm) to the elbow. As we age, our skin gradually begins to lose its elasticity, resulting in droopy or sagging skin. While weight lifting can help to tone arm muscles, it cannot correct the appearance of lax skin.
Ideal candidates for brachioplasty are healthy individuals close to their ideal body weight with realistic expectations. Those with minor excess skin amounts can opt for a mini brachioplasty or skin tightening devices such as Exilis Ultra. Those with moderate to severe skin laxity should have a formal brachioplasty where the surgical incision runs the full length of the arm from axilla to elbow. The incision is placed within the shadow of the biceps muscle and may extend on to the side of the chest wall to remove the braline back fat. The incision length and technique will vary according to each individual’s needs. Liposuction is commonly used when reducing underarm fat.
Brachioplasty is generally performed in an accredited outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The length of surgery is between three to five hours.
Following surgery, compressive sleeves or a combination vest and sleeves will minimize swelling. A temporary drainage tube may be placed at the surgery site to prevent fluid collections beneath the skin.
Mild to moderate discomfort should only last a few days and is treated with prescription pain medication. Permanent sutures are used which are removed on the fifth and tenth days post procedure. Surgical swelling resolves within two weeks but contour improvement continues until three months. Most patients can return to work within one week and begin lower extremity exercising at two weeks.
+^02 How is a Brachioplasty performed?
Dr. Kessler will begin the Brachioplasty procedure by making a thin incision from the axilla (arm pit) down to the elbow. From here, he will excise excess skin and muscle. This is the time when Liposuction, if added to the procedure, will be performed. The upper arm will be sculpted to a healthy, proportionate contour; the tissues are then sutured in place for proper healing.
+^03 Who is a good candidate for the Brachioplasty procedure?
Ideal candidates for the Brachioplasty include both men and women. Patients should be in overall good health, be nonsmokers, frustrated with sagging/loose tissues of the upper arm, and have realistic surgical expectations.
+^05 What type of anesthesia is used during a Brachioplasty?
General anesthesia is used during the Brachioplasty procedure.
+^07 What can I expect during the recovery from an Arm Lift?
Patients should expect the recover period after an Arm Lift to take from five to seven days. Initially, mild to moderate pain may be experienced; Dr. Kessler will provide the appropriate pain medications to keep patients comfortable at home. Swelling and bruising are normal. A compression garment will need to be worn over the first few weeks after surgery. Strenuous lifting and exercise should wait for four to six weeks after the Brachioplasty procedure.
+^08 When can I return to work after a Brachioplasty?
Patients need to take between three and seven days off work, after their Brachioplasty. After this time, they will normally feel well enough to return to work or school.
+^09 Will there be scarring after my Arm Lift?
Yes, an Arm Lift will result in a visible scar, running from underneath the armpit down to the elbow. While this scar will fade over time, it will remain noticeable. Patients are generally pleased with their surgical results, however, and are rarely frustrated by the scar.
+^10 How long will the results from a Brachioplasty last?
The results from a Brachioplasty will be long lasting. In order to keep the contour of the arm, patients will need to maintain a proper weight through a healthy lifestyle.
+^11 What are the risks involved with Brachioplasty?
The Arm Lift procedure is considered extremely safe. There is always a rare chance that a complication may arise, however. These can include scarring, bleeding, skin discoloration, asymmetry, lymphedema and a loss of sensation in the arm.