Brachioplasty in a Nutshell
2 – 3 Hours
- Invasiveness 80% 80%
- Pain Factor 80% 80%
4 – 6 weeks before resuming physical exercise
Brachioplasty is an elective cosmetic surgery that reduces the circumference of your arms, and reduces their weight by removing excess skin, and possibly removing excess fat through simultaneous liposuction. The end result is more youthful arms better proportioned to the rest of your body.
Two main factors cause the excess skin on the upper arm that brachioplasty corrects: age and weight loss.
Over time, the amount of elastic fibers that help the skin maintain its suppleness are not only produced at a slower rate, but also become weak. It becomes more and more difficult for them to defy gravity and support the surrounding tissues. As a result, our skin begins to sag.
Factors such as smoking, genetics, and sun exposure can also speed up this aging process, which increases the rate at which our skin sags. While this happens all over our bodies, it’s often more apparent in the upper arms because they’re more exposed than other parts of the body. This can be a source of embarrassment or discomfort for many people.
If you’ve ever gained a large amount of weight, the excess fat likely stretched your skin. When you lose weight, and that fat tissue shrinks, the skin on your arms may have stretched beyond the point where it would be able to bounce back on its own. This can leave you with “flaps” of wrinkled, sagging skin suspended from your upper arms.
Regardless of why you have excess skin on your upper arms, brachioplasty can remove it, and reveal your slimmer, toned arms.
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How is Brachioplasty Performed?
At TCC, brachioplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you don't have to stay overnight, and can go home the same day. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you'll need to have someone drive you home after your surgery.
Your surgeon will make incisions on your arms that may extend from your axilla (armpit), to your elbow. The incision will be made on the inside of your arm to reduce visibility of the scar. Next, the excess skin will be cut and removed, and any inner tissues that have become loose will also be corrected.
When the procedure is complete, your skin will be sutured together, and your arms will be bandaged to minimize swelling and bruising. We'll provide you with post-operative instructions. Follow them carefully to ensure you heal fully and as quickly as possible, and to avoid complications.
Associated ProceduresIf, in addition to excess skin, you also have stubborn fatty tissue in your upper arms that doesn't respond to diet and exercise, your surgeon may recommend that arm liposuction be performed simultaneously to address both issues, and help you achieve optimal results.
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For the first couple of nights following surgery, you will be instructed to sleep with your arms at a raised position, which will also help reduce swelling. By minimizing swelling, you're helping to prevent the incisions from opening (wound dehiscence), which can make you vulnerable to infection and excessive scarring. Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection, and pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
You'll need about a week off from work to rest and begin your recovery. After about a month, you'll be able to resume mild exercise. However, you will not be able to lift heavy objects for quite some time. Consult with your doctor first to make sure you don't cause injury to your arms.
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Question & Answer
How do I maintain my brachioplasty results?
Eat a healthy diet, keep your weight stable, and work your arm muscles with weight-bearing exercises to help keep your arms toned.
How do I minimize brachioplasty scars?
Avoid sunlight, including tanning beds. Tanning will darken scars, possibly permanently. You can also explore our scar removal options.
What are the brachioplasty risks?
General risks include, but are not limited to:
- hematoma (pooling of blood outside a blood vessel)
- nerve damage resulting in permanent numbness
- wound dehiscence (rupture along an incision)
- reaction to anesthesia
What are Risks to Undergoing a Brachioplasty?
General risks include but are not limited to wound dehiscence, infection, reaction to anesthesia, numbness/nerve damage and hematoma.