A procedure to tighten arm skin is called arm lift or brachioplasty .
The procedure is offered to people with loose skin that hangs down their arms like ‘bat wings”.
Ageing or extreme weight loss are the commonest conditions that need brachioplasty .No amount of exercise and gym can address the flabby skin and surgery the only option here.Liposuction is often combined to address hard to reach areas to give a uniform contour.
Some patients will benefit with a mini arm lift procedure or just liposuction alone.
|Surgical time||1.5-3 hrs both arms|
|Hospital||Day Surgey and General anaesthetic. Mini Scar procedures can be done in rooms under local anaesthesia|
|Length of stay||3 hrs post operation.|
|Return to work||1 wk|
|Final outcome||variable in different people , but upto 6 mnts|
|Cost||it’s a purely cosmetic procedure and costs depend on whether you need a full or mini arm lift.|
Photos should cover both arms from the neck to below the elbows.
We recommend a consultation before the procedure to understand the procedure in detail and for a final quote
The incision or scar needs to be as long as the length of the excess skin. This can be halfway down the arm for some individuals or the full length of the arm for others. Many people say that the scar is a good trade off and better than loose hanging skin. Women would try to hide that ugly skin folds under loose and long sleeves. When you are sick of hiding you can go for thin arms with a hidden scar on the inside arm. A happy brachioplasty patient is one that says “I hate this extra skin so much, I am willing to accept scars to have better contour.”
Minimal scar arm lift – is available in select patients where the scar length is limited to a few inches. The scar is hidden in the arm pit which is almost unnoticeable. Those select patients must have loose skin limited , just to the upper third of the arm.
Scars in thin women with loose skins do better than thick heavy arms.
The skin excision should be carefully measured before the procedure.. Make sure you are not on blood tinners for at least 10 days before the procedures . Smoking and herbal tea should be stopped 4 wks before the procedure.
Choice of procedure depends of various factors like
Overzealous excision ( cut out ) makes the arm thinner than the forearm which disturbs the harmony of proportions and looks even more ugly.
1)Long scar arm lift – Patients with significant weight loss with an ‘ established ‘ bat wing deformity need an extensive skin removal along with liposuction .The scar runs from the armpit ( axilla ) to the elbow.
2) Short scar arm lift – Early stage skin laxity where the excess fat and skin is limited to the upper part of the arm can benefit with this. Scar can be smaller and hidden in the armpit.
3) Only liposuction – Gym-goers who want that extra definition of the muscles or young people with a moderate fat arm, but a good quality elastic skin are suitable candidates for this. There are no scars except 5 mm incision site marks.
|Discomfort||Numb arms, tight sensation, bruisings and some pain are all very manageable . with pain tablets.|
|Swelling/bruising||this may linger for 2-3 weeks with each week showing less swelling/bruising than the previous week|
|Stitches||are dissolvable which don’t need to come out.|
|Work||Desk job can be started in 5-7 days . Lifting upto 2-3 kilos and light activity from 2 wks Heavy lifting and normal strenuous exercise after 6 weeks.|
|Compression garments||to be used full time ( except at shower) for 4- 6 weeks.|
|Scars||They soften after 3 months and matures into a thin fine scar in 6-9 months|
General complications of any surgery include infection and hematoma , chest infection , clots in the legs etc.Specific Complications –
Asymmetry – the corrected arms may not be a mirror image
Numbness – certain nerves are cut with the excess skin, but your body gets used to it after a whle
Scars – Hypertrophic or keloid scars
Seroma – this is protein rich fluid that builds up under the scar.
Scar lightening cream containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, hydroquinone, or onion bulb extract, all of which have been linked to improving scarring and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
Early skin sag in a young patient with good elastic skin can be helped with liposuction alone. Established large skin sag needs a cut out
Yes the marks in the area of excess skin can be removed along with the skin
That’s normal after the arm lift procedure for about 4 weeks The feeling should slowly come back once the bruised nerves start to recover.
First – the lump could be just normal scar tissue.
Second – the lump could be scar tissue around the dissolving suture. Some absorbable sutures take several months to dissolve.
Third– the lump could be a seroma. A seroma is a fluid filled pocket that is not uncommon after an arm lift. Post-operative arm lift seromas develop typically around the elbow.
See your surgeon if the lump feels fluidy and soft.
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