Arm lift, or brachioplasty, is indicated for patients who have extra upper arm skin and fat.
An incision is made starting at the elbow and is extended to the armpit along the lowest hanging part of the arm. Incisions may be extended below the elbow or onto the side of the chest for those patients who have problems extending to these areas. Excess tissue is removed and the wound is closed with a combination of absorbable. The arms are then wrapped with light dressing.
Brachioplasty may be performed alone, or in conjunction with other procedures. Surgery usually lasts 3 to 4 hours. Since arm skin is significantly tightened, the hands must be observed to make sure there is no post-operative nerve or blood vessel compression. Other problems may include delayed wound healing, prolonged drainage, or poor scarring. The procedure is indicated only for patients with significant excess skin as the operation unavoidably leaves difficult to hide scars. Return to work is variable, but is usually 1-2 weeks. As with all body contouring surgery, minimal procedures such as liposuction only or short scar techniques give minimal results in poorly selected patients.