Aurora Clinics: Photo of Arm Lift Surgery

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Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty)

Many people can develop excess skin in the inner aspect of their arms, particularly if they lose significant amounts of weight. This creates difficulties wearing clothing which displays this area.  Many people with this condition tend to conceal this area. If you do suffer from this condition, losing weight can actually make the excess skin appear slightly more prominent as it may hang slightly lower.

Considering Arm Lift surgery?

Arm lift surgery, also known as a brachioplasty is an operation which remodels the skin in the arm area. It’s normally performed on people with either excess skin or excess fatty tissue in their inner arm areas.  Brachio is a Latin name that doctors use for the arm area.

There are two main types of procedure you can have to improve this area:

Liposuction  

Suitable if the area is mainly fatty tissue with hardly any skin excess. Normally considered if you haven’t had any dramatic weight loss.

Tightening up of the skin by skin removal

If it’s skin excess, or you’ve lost the fatty element through diet or gastric banding the skin will need to be tightened up.

How will it impact your life?

You may find that you have developed excess skin that has become more noticeable in the inner part of your arm. This maybe due to natural ageing or if you have lost a considerable amount of weight over time. When you hold your arm up, some people may get excess skin hanging down, and this can be more noticeable when wearing certain items of clothing. A lot of people are really very conscious about excess skin in this area and wear clothes that conceal it. By having this surgery, it can boost your confidence and allow you to wear clothes that reveal this area, rather than trying to cover it up.

Is Arm Lift surgery right for you?

There are a number of different techniques used to treat the excess skin area, depending on the distribution of the fatty tissue and skin in your case. The options are:

Liposuction

  • Ideally suited if you have excess fatty tissue without too much excess skin in the region
  • Liposuction has the advantage of being relatively straightforward to perform and recover from, with limited scarring
  • It is extremely good at removing the fatty issue to the arms but does have the disadvantage that it will only tighten up moderate amounts of skin in the area

Excision of tissue within your armpit skin

  • This technique lifts up the skin of your arm and is suitable for people with moderate skin excess in the arm
  • It can also be combined with Liposuction to remove the fatty tissue element from the arm region
  • The advantage of leaving the scar purely hidden within the armpit is that it is well concealed
  • However, if you do have excess skin tissue extending down the arm towards your elbow, this form of excision may not fully treat this lower tissue

Full Arm Lift

  • In this procedure the excess skin of your arm is removed by an excision extending downwards towards your elbow
  • The advantage of this procedure is that it is very effective at reducing the amount of skin all the way down to your elbow
  • The disadvantage is that you will be left with scarring extending down the inner aspect of your arm
  • Your surgeon will aim to conceal this scar in the inner aspect of your arm as it lies against your body so that it is not overtly visible from either the front or back, however, it will be visible if you raise your arm
  • Generally, the scar in your inner arm area tends to settle well with time but may remain red and slightly painful for up to a year following surgery (this does vary between individuals)

After your surgery and beyond…

Following an arm lift procedure, it is important to gently compress the arm to reduce swelling and bruising. Often a small drainage tube will be inserted  following the operation to remove any excess fluid from the region. This drainage tube will usually be removed after 1 day. It is important to wear your compression garment to support the area for 6 weeks and to keep your hands and elbows moving. Your wounds will be checked 1 week post surgery. At this appointment, the ends of your absorbable sutures will be trimmed and brown micropore tape reapplied to the incision to support it. You will then be seen regularly and post-operative photographs taken 6 weeks after surgery. It is advised to avoid any strenuous activities which can cause stretching to the incisions for the first 2 weeks after your surgery.

After your arm lift surgery, the excess skin in the area is unlikely to return unless you do gain then lose a significant amount of weight. Once the excess skin has been removed, the situation should be stable and any scarring should continue to heal with time. Ideally, the scar will heal well and will be well-concealed, allowing you to wear closer-fitting clothes and making you less self-conscious about the appearance of this region.

The next step

We always encourage people to do as much research as they can when considering cosmetic surgery, so for more information on arm lift surgery: