Who benefits from brachioplasty?
How is brachioplasty surgery performed?
- Patients with hanging, flabby arm skin folds, also known as bat wings.
- Patients who become self-conscious and lose the ability wear tops with fitted sleeves, and contribute to discomfort caused by underarm skin rash and irritation.
This operation requires the surgeons to make long cuts through your skin and, therefore, you will be left with long scars after the surgery. The length of the scar will depend on how much excess skin you have.
Depending on the surgeon, and the extent of the body lift procedure, scars may run from the armpit to the elbow, and may be curved or zig – zagged. This should help healing by enabling the scars to close up as quickly as possible.
Crescent or “smile”-shaped segments of skin and fat from underneath the skin are removed from the upper arm, and the remaining skin and tissue are lifted to achieve a tighter and smoother effect.
After an upper arm lift, dressings will be applied, and temporary tubes may be put in to drain excess fluid from the area of surgery. Firm elastic bandages are then applied to support the area.
Our team will evaluate your medical history to check for conditions that may delay the surgery or the healing process. Some of the common conditions are:
- Bleeding tendencies – problems with blood clotting, or lack of clotting
- Scarring problems you have had in the past – like keloid scars and hypertrophic scars
- Hypertension (High blood pressure) – particularly if it is not under control.
- Smoking – this may affect your reaction to the anaesthetic and prolong the healing process. Please stop smoking 4 weeks prior to surgery.
Please avoid aspirin and brufen-containing medication for two weeks prior to surgery to eliminate the chance of post op bleeding. Generally it is best to continue any blood pressure or blood sugar medications. These may safely be taken with a sip of water on the morning of surgery. Women should ensure negative pregnancy test before surgery.
Protect your health prior to surgery. Even a simple cold could cause complications with the anesthesia. If you do develop an illness right before your surgery, let your surgeon know. On the day of your procedure, do not wear any skin care products, makeup, deodorant, perfume, nail polish or powder.
It is common to experience diminished (or loss) of skin sensation in areas that have had surgery. It is rare to experience permanent changes in sensation in the hands and forearms after brachioplasty. Diminished (or complete loss of skin sensation) may not totally resolve after brachioplasty Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after brachioplasty. Visible and palpable wrinkling of skin can occur. Residual skin irregularities at the ends of the incisions or "dog ears" are always a possibility as is skin pleating, when there is excessive redundant skin. This may improve with time, or it can be surgically corrected. It may require additional surgery 6-12 months after the surgery.
Bruising and swelling normally occurs following brachioplasty. The skin in or near the surgical site can appear either lighter or darker than surrounding skin. Although uncommon, swelling (including the forearms and hands) and skin discoloration may persist for long periods of time and, in rare situations, may be permanent.
After lifting the arm skin, there can be a sensation of the arm skin being tight.
Continue healthy nutrition and sun protection. Your scars will continue to refine. If they become raised, red or thickened, or appear to widen, contact our office. Early intervention is important to achieving well-healed scars. Scars are generally refined to fine incision lines one year after surgery.
Your body will change with age. The appearance of your arms will change too. Although the outcomes of Brachioplasty are generally permanent, any significant weight gain or loss, as well as the normal influences of aging can cause changes to your appearance. You may wish to undergo revision surgery at a later date to help maintain your appearance throughout life. Contact our office with any of your questions or concerns, at any time.
Practice good sun protection. Do not expose your arms to direct sunlight. If you are outdoors, apply at least an SPF 30 to the arms at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and wear long sleeves. The skin of your arms is highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation or irregular, darkened pigmentation.