Also known as brachioplasty or brachioplasty, the arm lift is a less frequent surgery. It is reserved for obvious patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their arms, but the key characteristics to be candidates for this procedure are flaccidity and excess skin.
The procedure consists of cutting and removing skin along the inner side of the arm to hide the scar and may or may not require liposuction to achieve a more natural result.
Due to the thinness of the skin on the arm where the incision is made, the scar may be unsatisfactory, and therefore, I always let my patients know that this surgery may require 2 times: the first to improve the contour result and despite the best wound closure technique, it may require an in-office touch-up with local anesthesia to correct the scar in 1 out of 5 patients. This is important to me, because I like to convey to patients that the result is not definitive, until in addition to the improvement in the contour of the arm, the scar is pleasing.
In patients with slight or moderate overweight the arm can be susceptible to improve with liposuction without requiring skin cuts and in fact, many patients come to the office with the idea of having liposuction only before thinking about brachioplasty, however, in case of older patients or with significant overweight, or in case of having lost weight significantly, the flaccidity limits the conservative option and it is necessary to correct it by cutting and removing the skin of the arm.
The length and location of the scar depends on the amount of excess skin and flaccidity, thus there is a mini-brachioplasty option (which sometimes offers «mini results») where the cut is minimal and partially hidden in the armpit; or in more advanced cases of sagging, it requires a scar from the underarm to just above the elbow.
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, in a hospital or clinic; the duration is approximately 2.5 hours. Absorbable suture is used for wound closure, so no suture removal is required, and recovery takes approximately 2 weeks.