Arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess, droopy skin on the inside and bottom of the upper arms. This saggy skin may result from weight loss, aging, genetics or some combination of all of these. The procedure works well to remove this excess tissue which simply cannot be improved by exercise. Muscle tone never, ever is able to correct skin laxity above the muscle – this is true on the arms or anywhere else on the body for that matter. I do this arm lift surgery under general anesthesia, and the procedure takes 90 minutes. There isn’t much pain associated with it, and the recovery is fairly easy. Most people can return to normal activities in a day or two.
The big tradeoff on arm lift/brachioplasty, as far as I’m concerned, is the scar. In order to remove the excess tissue we almost always need to do the “excision” (removal of the tissue) from armpit to elbow. There are a very few patients who may be able to have a smaller excision up under the armpit. However, this lesser procedure is very limited and simply doesn’t work in most cases. The typical scar is placed on the inside of the arm – not on the back of the arm where it would be visible with your arms at your side.
In my experience, this scar often is a little more noticeable than other scars. For whatever reason, the body doesn’t always make as nice of a scar in this location as may be seen in other areas. As I see it, if you are bothered enough by the appearance of the loose, floppy skin to accept a noticeable scar, then you should consider this procedure. Give us a call to schedule a consultation to see if an arm lift is right for you. I look forward to meeting with you to see if we can help.
Written by: Dr. Bruce W. Van Natta