Brachioplasty

An arm lift, AKA brachioplasty, is designed to remove excessive skin along with the underlying fat from your upper arm, leading to improved contour and tighter skin.

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Who is a brachioplasty for?

You should only consider an arm lift if loose flabby excess upper arm skin is bothersome or aesthetically troubling YOU. You should not go through with a brachioplasty just because someone else encourages you to. A suitable candidate for brachioplasty is usually a healthy individual who, despite a healthy diet and exercise, is troubled by the way their arms look. The excess skin and fat may have developed due to aging, weight fluctuations or marked weight loss. It could also be a hereditory problem.

It is important that you have realistic expectations and do not view your arm lift as a means to weight loss. If you are planning on loosing weight in the near future then it is best to postpone your surgery.

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Evaluation for a brachioplasty!

During the evaluation expect to be asked why you would like to undergo an arm lift. You should be clear regarding your expectations and goals. Aside from your general health, medical and surgical history will be discussed as well as use of regular medications and social habits such as smoking. Your surgeon will carry out an examination of your upper arm and assess the amount of redundant skin that can be safely removed. Your surgeon would want you to have a complete blood test done prior to surgery. Make sure that before you decide on going through with your arm lift that you ask your surgeon any questions regarding your operation, such as the position of your scar, recovery time, return to work etc.

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How is a brachioplasty done?

Arm lifts are usually done under general anaesthesia. In some it may be advantages to start the procedure with liposuction of the demarcated area. That is then followed by a fish-tail like incision of the inner aspect of your upper arm, fashioned such that most of the excess skin from your arm pit to elbow is removed. The extent of the incision depends on the amount of excess skin that has to be removed.

Finally skin edges are then sutured together and a compression garment applied over wound dressings.

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Risks associated with brachioplasty!

An arm lift, similar to other major surgeries can be associated with major complications. Aside from probable risks associated with general anaesthesia, as with most surgeries, there is always a risk of bleeding, poor wound healing, irregular scars as well as infection. Other complications include nerve injury, seroma formation, arm swelling (lymphoedema), scar relapse and wound breakdown. There is always a risk of DVT or pulmonary embolism and fat or skin necrosis –loss-. Any of the above may lead to future revisional surgery or hospitalisation.

Recovery from a brachioplasty!

You will spend one or two nights at the hospital following your arm lift. There might be a drain -small plastic tube- coming out of either arm to draw out excess fluid and blood. The drains are removed usually removed the next day. You are discharged with new wound dressings and a compression garment to help support your arms during recovery. You have to wear the compression garment for 6-8 weeks. DVT prophylaxis injections will be given for home use. Further follow-ups will be arranged at 1,2 and 4 week intervals. Your sutures are removed after two weeks. During the first two weeks you should not be doing anything strenuous. Your surgeon will advise you regarding incremental increase in the level of your daily activity depending on your progress, but in general exercise is frowned upon during the first 6 weeks, and you can only go back to work 2-3 weeks following surgery.

How much does it cost?

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