What is brachioplasty?
brachioplasty is a surgery that reshapes the back part of your upper arm, from your
shoulder to your elbow. It’s also called an arm lift. It gets rid of extra skin and
tissue. It makes your upper arm look smoother and smaller.
you gain a lot of weight, your skin slowly stretches over time. If you lose a lot of
weight, your skin may not have enough elasticity to spring back into place. This can
lead to extra skin folds and sagging of tissue. These are likely to be under your arm
and chin, and on your upper thighs and lower stomach. These changes may happen after you
have lost a lot of weight from weight-loss surgery.
Brachioplasty is a type of body-contouring surgery. This type of surgery is often done after weight-loss surgery. Most people who have had weight-loss surgery are interested in reshaping surgeries. Surgeons often do brachioplasty at the same time as another surgery. These may include body contouring around the midsection, under the chin, or along the inner thighs.
During this surgery, a cosmetic or aesthetic surgeon takes out areas of extra tissue from under your upper arm. Your surgeon will make a cut on the inside or back of your arm. He or she will remove extra folds of skin and fat. Your surgeon will then sew the tissue that is left back together. This creates a smoother contour. This may also improve muscle tone in your upper arm. Sometimes the surgeon also removes extra tissue on the side of the chest.
You will likely be asleep under general anesthesia during this surgery.
Why might I need a brachioplasty?
surgery may be for you if you recently lost a lot of weight. It’s often done after
weight-loss surgery. You may not be happy with how you look after weight-loss surgery if
you have extra folds of tissue under your arm.
extra skin folds may cause the following problems:
- General discomfort
- Inflammation and rash. This can lead to an infection.
- Problems with hygiene in this area
- Poor self-esteem
What are the risks of brachioplasty?
In general, brachioplasty is a safe procedure. But all surgeries come with risks.
Your risks depend on your age, the amount of weight you lost, and other health issues you have. They also depend on your surgeon’s approach to surgery. Talk to your doctor about the risks that apply to you.
Possible risks can include:
with wound healing.
- Damage to lymphatic tissue. This may cause swelling in your arm.
- Damage to nearby nerves
- Complications from anesthesia
- Pain that doesn’t go away
clots such as in the lung (pulmonary embolism.)
may also not get the results that you want from the surgery. You may need to have
another surgery to further contour the area of your upper arm.
You will also have a large, visible scar on your arm from the surgery.
How do I get ready for a brachioplasty?
First, you should ask your healthcare provider if this surgery is right for you. If you
have certain health issues, the risks of the surgery might not be worth it. Your surgeon
will also want to make sure that you have a realistic idea of the results of surgery.
You will also need to commit to a healthy lifestyle and maintain a stable weight and
stay generally fit.
health insurance plans won’t cover body-contouring surgery. They may cover it if you
have a complication, such as an infection around a skinfold. These surgeries can be very
expensive. Take a look at your finances. Talk with your plastic surgeon to find out how
much it will cost you.
Don't have this surgery until you have reached a stable weight. If you lose weight
after your surgery, you may get new areas where the skin can sag. . If you gain a lot of
weight after your brachioplasty, it can harm your weakened skin. This can cause stretch
marks and wide scars.
you smoke, you should quit smoking at least several weeks before your surgery. Smoking
greatly increases the risk for complications. Also ask your surgeon if you should stop
taking any medicines before surgery. Ask about over-the-counter medicines, such as
aspirin and blood thinners. Follow your surgeon's instructions about what to do before
the surgery. For example, you may not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight
before the day of your surgery. Also let your surgeon know about any recent health
issues you’ve had, such as a fever.
Your surgeon may do testing before your surgery. These may include:
- Electrocardiogram, to look at your heart rhythm
- Pulmonary function tests, to check your lung function
- Basic blood tests, to check for infection, anemia, and kidney function
Your surgeon may give you more instructions on how to prepare for your surgery.
What happens during a brachioplasty?
Your surgeon can explain the details of your surgery. A cosmetic surgeon and a team of nurses will do your surgery. In general, you can expect the following:
- In most
cases, you will get general anesthesia. This is to help you sleep through the
operation. You won’t feel anything. Or you may get local anesthesia and a medicine
that will keep you relaxed but awake.
anesthesiologist will watch your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs
during the surgery.
will get antibiotics during and after the procedure. This is to help prevent
surgeon makes a cut (incision) along the back of your arm or on the inside of your
arm. It may go from your underarm to your elbow. Or the incision may go partly down
surgeon takes out extra skin and fat in this area and tightens and reshapes the
underlying tissue. He or she may place a drain in the area. The incision is then
surgeon then reconnects the skin. This creates a smooth contour.
planned, the surgeon will do another type of body-contouring surgery.
- Dressings will be placed on your incisions.
What happens after a brachioplasty?
you wake up, you may have a small, thin tube underneath your skin to drain fluid from
the wound and the incision will be covered with dressings or bandages. Elastic bandages
or a compression garment on your arm may be used to help keep the swelling down. You
may also have some pain afterward. You can ask for pain medicine. You should be able to
eat a normal diet as soon as you are ready for it.
may need to stay overnight in the hospital. Some people can go home the same day as
surgery. In that case, make sure someone can drive you home. You should also plan to
have help after the surgery. It won’t be safe for you to drive for several days.
Your surgeon will tell you how to care for your incisions. It’s normal to have a little fluid drain from the incision site. Tell your surgeon if you have severe draining, redness, or a fever. Also tell your surgeon right away if you have severe symptoms. These include sudden shortness of breath or chest pain.
Your surgeon will tell you how much you can move after surgery. You should not put too much pressure on your incisions as they heal. Following your surgeon’s orders carefully will improve your chances of a smooth recovery.
You will see the results of your brachioplasty right away. They will last as long as you keep a stable weight. If you are not happy with the results of your surgery, talk with your surgeon. Some people need another surgery for best results.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:
name of the test or procedure
reason you are having the test or procedure
results to expect and what they mean
risks and benefits of the test or procedure
the possible side effects or complications are
- When and
where you are to have the test or procedure
will do the test or procedure and what that person’s qualifications are
would happen if you did not have the test or procedure
alternative tests or procedures to think about
- When and
how will you get the results
- Who to call after the test or procedure if you have questions or
much will you have to pay for the test or procedure