In younger patients with tight and elastic skin the size of the upper arms can be reduced with liposuction. However, many patients with reduced elasticity of the skin or following significant weight loss have excess skin hanging from the upper arms shaped like bat wings. Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure for reshaping the upper arms with removal of excess skin and fat. Often we combine it with liposuction for the best result. Depending on the extent of the procedure it can be performed either under local anesthetic or under a full general anesthetic.
Due to reduced elasticity of the ageing skin, altered hormone levels or genetic predisposition both men and women are troubled by sagging skin and surplus tissue in the upper arms. In younger patients brachioplasty is usually performed after massive weight loss.
An incision is made along inside of the arm extending from the armpit towards the elbow. Depending on the amount of tissue that has to be removed the scar is 15-30 cm long. With careful preoperative planning and meticulous surgical technique we are able to minimize unsightly scaring and other complications. Smaller corrections of the upper arms can be made with the incision in the armpit avoiding the extensive scar in the upper arm.
You can leave the clinic several hours after the procedure. The pain is controlled with oral pain medications. In the first three weeks after the procedure strenuous physical activity should be avoided. You can return to sedentary work after about a week. Stitches are not visible and dissolve by themselves, so there is no need to remove them. The results of brachioplasty are long-lasting unless you gain weight significantly.
The main trade-off of the upper arm surgery is the scar that can be more noticeable in certain cases. Before aesthetic correction of upper arms, the patient should be clearly informed about where the scars will be and what they will probably look like. Common surgical complications such as inflammation, bleeding and wound dehiscence are very rare. Prolonged swelling is uncommon, if incision in the underlying muscle fascia is avoided.