Beverly Hills Arm Lift, (Brachioplasty)
A brachioplasty, or “arm lift” is a surgical procedure that removes the excess hanging tissues of the upper arm, effectively reshaping the arm from the elbow to the underarm region. In addition, excess fat from the upper arm area can be liposculpted to reduce and further shape the arms. Many individuals who seek an arm lift are relatively fit and are not able to improve the look of their arms with diet and exercise.
In an arm lift, the excess tissues of the upper arm are removed to provide a smoother, more proportional look. If necessary, liposculpting the upper arm is performed prior to the brachioplasty. An incision from the axilla to just above the elbow is made and the excess skin and fat are lifted up and removed. The incision is then closed along the inside of the arm to keep it from direct view. In removing the excess tissues, Dr. Chiu recommends a gentle taper of the arm to maintain a natural look. Drains may be placed for a short period of time to help with the healing process.
The ideal candidate may be a man or woman who has lost elasticity of the skin and underlying tissues of the upper arm. This is commonly due to significant weight loss and skin that has lost its ability to retract after being overstretched. This can result in significant stretch marks in the area. Loose sagging skin of the upper arms can also result naturally from heredity and aging. In general, candidates are healthy individuals who do not have any medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery. They are non-smokers and have a relatively stable weight without being significantly overweight. They should also have a positive outlook and realistic goals for what brachioplasty can accomplish.
Smoother, tighter contours can be seen immediately, although swelling and bruising may be hide some of the results. Compression garments or wraps may be in place immediately after surgery to help minimize the swelling and give support. You will be shown how to care for your drains, which may be removed in 5-7 days. It will be very important to elevate your arms above heart level to minimize the swelling when lying or sitting down. Of course, your will be prescribed antibiotics and medications to help with the discomfort.
Many patients will stay home for 5-7 days to recover. Your activity and range of motion with your arms will be limited for 1-2 weeks to allow for proper healing to take place. Most patients will start to perform some light physical activities in 2-3 weeks. Healing will continue for weeks as the swelling and bruising resolve.
As with any surgery, the risk of infection, hematoma, bleeding, and changes of skin sensation may occur. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will resolve over time. Other side effects and complications from surgery are very rare and will be discussed in detail at your consultation. As with any other surgery, you must take the proper care to reduce the risk of poor healing and scar tissue formation. Minimizing sun exposure and using sunscreen when appropriate will help prevent discoloration and thickening of the incisions. Scars will continue to mature for at least the first year and you should continue to see improvement. There are products available to help the healing process and they may be recommended to you.
The improvement in the shape and contour of your arms following brachioplasty is dramatic and can greatly improve your self-image. While the arm lift will significantly improve the proportions of your arms to match your body, it does come with a visible scar. Dr. Chiu will do his best to minimize its appearance and patients usually feel this more than a is a fair trade-off to obtain a look that matches their body proportions. The results are long-lasting and relatively permanent as long as you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle.
*Some information extracted from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons