Brachioplasty is also commonly called an arm lift. It is an operation designed to remove the excess skin and subcutaneous fat from the upper arm which has become loose either with ageing or weight loss (the so-called bat wing deformity).
Who is a good candidate for a brachioplasty (arm lift)?
People who are bothered by loose dangling skin. It is not an operation for firm fatty bulk.
What can a brachioplasty (arm lift) do for me?
Patients with excess upper arm skin often hide it by wearing long sleeves. This is particularly a nuisance in the summer when they would love to wear short sleeves.
The swap is for a scar which the Surgeon will keep on the inside of the arm. Although this is a long scar it often settles down very well becoming pale and relatively hidden being on the inside of the arm.
How is the brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery done?
Before the operation the Surgeon will draw on each arm the amount of skin to be removed. When there is a lot of skin excess the scar will run from the armpit to the elbow. When there is less of a problem the scar may be shorter.
For large excisions drains may be required.
What type of anaesthetic do I need?
Smaller excisions can be carried out under local anaesthesia as an outpatient while larger excisions require general anaesthesia
How long am I in hospital?
Small excisions can be done as an outpatient while large excisions require an overnight stay in Hospital.
How quickly will I recover from brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery?
Most patients will take two to three weeks off work for this surgery, depending on the size of the excision.
The stitches are usually dissolving stitches so that they don’t need to be removed.
Some sort of dressing is usually required for the first week, and it is often helpful to keep tapes on the scars for a week or so after that.
Initially the scars will be red and thick but will settle down to become pale and soft over the ensuing months.
Driving is usually possible after a week.
What are the potential problems of brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery?
Some patients with a lot of skin looseness in the arm region may be prone to stretching and sagging of their tissues. Such patients may be prone to stretching of their scars so that the scar resulting from arm lift becomes broad rather than remaining narrow.
Running in the subcutaneous fatty layer there are cutaneous nerves which give sensation further down the arm and they are also lymphatic vessels. The greater the area of excision required, the more chance there is of removing elements of these. Removal of a cutaneous nerve may give an area of numbness adjacent to or beyond the scar. Interference with the lymphatics can result in collection of lymph fluid in the healing wound. This slows up the settling down of the scar but always settles down spontaneously in due course.
How much will a bracioplasty (arm lift) cost me?
Please contact our experienced team of medical secretaries and they will be able to advise you of costs at your chosen hospital. (Spire Norwich Hospital, Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital or BMI The Sandringham Hospital, King's Lynn).