Brachioplasty - Arm Lift
A brachioplasty is performed on patients with droopy skin on the backs of their arms to remove the excessive skin and taper the contour of the arms. Often, liposuction is employed concurrently to remove the extra fat which is commonly beneath this skin.
Almost always, a general anaesthetic is administered to the patient. Then, using a small puncture hole just above the elbow on the back surface of the arm, the arm fat over the triceps muscle is reduced with liposuction. Following the liposuction, a cut is made on the inner surface of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. The excessive skin is rotated around the arm and removed. A dog ear of skin in the armpit often results which is removed by extending the incision into the armpit in a zig zag fashion. A drain is usually inserted beneath the skin and the skin is sutured shut.
The biggest problem with this operation is the scar on the inner aspect of the arm. With the arms at rest or when wearing longer sleeves, this scar is not visible. Unfortunately, once the patient raises his or her bare arms, the scar is seen. With time, as with all scars, the prominence and colour of the scar fade to resemble normal skin. Patients have to balance the trade off of the hanging, droopy arm skin for the resultant scar.
The most common complications of this operation are numbness around the site of the incision and breakdown of the skin incision in small places within the armpit. The numbness is often mild and most patients hardly notice it. The areas of skin breakdown always heal but can be a nuisance for a few days. After the surgery, most patients will wear compressive, elastic sleeves to try to reduce their swelling. The drain is usually removed within the first week after the operation. The majority of patients return to work within one to two weeks but often, they will remain a bit fatigued for a longer period of time.
Please contact Dr. Campbell's office should you have any questions or if you wish to book a consultation appointment.