Body Contouring Information on Arm Lift Surgery
Brachioplasty, also known as arm lift or arm tuck, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to remove redundant, flabby, and sagging skin folds of the upper arms. Hanging arm skin folds are not only unsightly, but also interfere with one’s ability to fit in sleeved tops, as well as causing underarm skin rash and irritation.
Brachioplasty can now offer patients the freedom of a lifestyle that they couldn’t enjoy previously. In fact, the popularity of arm lift surgery has soared to a point that according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of Brachioplasty surgeries has tripled since 1997, with nearly 15,000 procedures being performed in 2005. Arm lift surgery is not exclusive to women. Actually, many men also undergo brachioplasty.
Arm Lift Surgery Candidates
The majority of candidates for brachioplasty are those have lost massive weight following Bariatric Surgery, also known as “stomach stapling” or “lap banding.” While these patients reap many health and psychological benefits from this weight loss, one of its after effects is sagging skin that hangs from the arms and other parts of the body. Because the skin has lost its elasticity following years of obesity, no amount of diet or exercise can restore firmness and tone to the arms.
Another group of arm tuck candidates are those who have developed upper arm flabbiness, simply due to the loss of elasticity that accompanies aging or chronic tanning.
Fortunately, brachioplasty or arm lift can help restore a person’s ability to wear blouses and shirts comfortably, to show their arms without feeling self-conscious, and to conduct their lives with greater freedom and confidence.
Men and women who are not good candidates for brachioplasty include those who predominantly have excess fat, which are better served with first undergoing liposuction. Also, people with Hidradenitis Suppurativa — a persistent ongoing infection of the sweat glands in their armpits, should not undergo Brachioplasty until treated appropriately. Finally, women who have had Radical Mastectomy or extensive breast cancer surgery are at risk of developing chronic arm swelling after undergoing brachioplasty.
The type of brachioplasty performed by your plastic surgeon depends upon the amount and location of your excess skin. If excess hanging skin is located within two inches from the armpit, your cosmetic surgeon can potentially pull up and tuck this excess skin into the armpit with an axillary brachioplasty or mini arm tuck. For those whose excess skin extends like a “Bat Wing” from the armpit to the elbow, the only option is the complete removal of the arm flab in a standard brachioplasty or standard arm lift.
An important consideration for brachioplasty patients is the resulting scars. With a mini arm tuck, the scar is limited to a semi-circular line hidden in the armpit. Standard brachioplasty, however, results in a permanent scar extending the length of the upper arm, from the armpit to the elbow. This scar is either placed on the inner side of the arm, which is hidden in a normal pose; or at the bottom of the arm just, like the seam of a shirt. The severity of the scar’s appearance varies from patient to patient and cannot be predicted. Therefore, it is extremely important to decide whether having a permanent scar is a good “trade off” for having smaller and firmer upper arms.