Upper arm contouring has evolved with the marked progress in the surgical treatment of obesity and liposuction techniques. Excisional arm lift techniques, also known as Brachioplasty, emphasize the additional correction of the middle and lower third of the arm. Ideal candidates have poor elastic skin and significant upper arm sagging as measured with the shoulder extended to 90 degrees. This is frequently the case for individuals that have undergone large weight loss of 50 pounds or greater. But even minor sagging can make you self conscious and keep you from wearing short sleeves. Small degrees of sagging can be improved with a small incision hidden in the arm pit. As more advanced sagging occurs, the incision lengthens and can even extend into the arm pit and down the side of the chest for additional upper body contouring.
Dr. Doolabh will plan your incisions before the surgery to make them the shortest and most inconspicuous, usually on the inner aspect of the arm that is not visible when you hold your arms by your side. For patients with excess subcutaneous fat in the inner and posterior quadrants of the arm, liposuction can thin the skin flap, allowing it to be advanced further. Removal of only the excess skin that can be pinched comfortably with your arm held up and backwards will ensure that you do not develop a restriction in motion following your surgery. The tissue removed lies above all muscles, and major nerves and vessels. The procedure can range from two to three hours, depending on the amount to be suctioned and tissue to be excised. If you have satisfactory skin tone and excess subcutaneous fat, you may be a candidate for liposuction alone.
Your arms will be dressed and wrapped for a snug, gentle, comfortable compression either with ace wraps or surgical sleeves to help control swelling and help your skin shrink to fit your new contour for the first 4-6 weeks.
Arm movements against resistance or over 10 pounds are limited, such as lifting, pushing, pulling or climbing for 4-6 weeks. You should be able to return to work by 10-14 days, depending on the demands of your job.