Brachioplasty (also known as an arm lift) is a term used to describe rejuvenation of the upper arm and forearm. Advanced age, weight gain/loss, and genetics all play a role in developing large, fatty arms with sagging skin and wrinkles. While training and being in good shape is good for your overall health, no amount of exercise, diet, or targeted workouts will affect the arms. The bottom line is if you want great looking arms, you will require surgical removal of fat deposits and excess skin as well as tightening of the skin and fascia.
The procedure is begun by making very detailed markings of the planned excision and the areas to be liposuctioned. The line of excision (new scar in the arm) is generally located in the interbrachial groove (inner midpoint of the upper arm) where it is least conspicuous. The goal is to have the scar hidden when the arm is viewed from the front or from the back. Next tumescent solution is injected into the arm to achieve anesthesia and to minimize bleeding. Liposuction is then performed with small micro-canulas to remove fatty deposits and to reshape the arm into a more pleasing appearance.
Following liposuction excess skin is excised and the remaining skin is pulled tight to complete the lift. Sometimes the excision will continue onto the forearm if excess skin is present. The skin is sutured back together with suspension of the skin to the fascia to prevent the scar from spreading. Usually the excess skin in the axilla (armpit) is removed and tightened as well. This is known as an axillary lift. Advantages of an axillary lift are removal of hair bearing skin (no more shaving) and removal of the sweat glands (minimal sweating).
All sutures are placed under the skin so no removal is necessary. A post-operative garment or ace wrap is worn for 1-2 weeks. Pain is low to moderate and normal activity may resume in 48 hours. Some swelling does occur and may take up to 6 months to fully resolve. Complications can include seromas (fluid collections), bleeding, infection, and unacceptable scarring. Secondary procedures are rarely needed.
If you are considering brachioplasty, choose a board certified plastic surgeon with the credentials and experience to achieve the results you desire. Dr. Martin has over a decade of experience performing arm lifts in Sharonville and Dayton with minimal complications and pleasing results. Call our office for more information or to talk to previous patients who have undergone brachioplasty.