Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a surgical procedure that reduces the circumference of the upper arms and removes excess lax skin.
The arm lift surgery targets what is often referred to as ‘bingo wings’ and is usually performed in conjunction with liposuction to improve the overall contours of the arms. This surgery is suitable for men and women and is often performed on patients at our London clinic who have experienced sudden weight fluctuations.
FAQs for Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty)
The best candidates are men and women who are within several pounds (i.e. 10%) of their ideal weight. If you are significantly more than this you will be asked to reduce some weight before going ahead with any surgery. Ideal candidates also possess loose enough skin and tissue laxity to allow a good outcome of the operation. This will be assessed at your consultation.
People with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, a persistent ongoing infection disorder of the sweat glands in their armpits, should not undergo brachioplasty until treated appropriately. Women who have had Radical Mastectomy or extensive breast cancer surgery are also at risk of developing chronic arm swelling after undergoing this particular procedure and therefore should avoid this operation.
Scars are the greatest drawback in this operation. This is because in a standard brachioplasty the operation results in a permanent scar extending the length of the upper arm, from the armpit to the elbow which may be visible in short sleeve clothing. Unfortunately, it is not usually possible to reduce the scar length in this procedure.
In fact, this is the main reason why many patients decide against having this procedure. This operation basically exchanges one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). In general, only those with very loose saggy skin are most likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will probably not want the scars.
Although initially, all scars are somewhat red and lumpy, with time (12-18 months) the scars usually settle and improve. Of course, it is not possible to ultimately predict the appearance of anyone’s scars.
The aim of this procedure is to remove any excess skin and fat around the arms in order to achieve a smoother, tauter looking appearance.
In situations when there is only slight sagging of the skin, moderate fat excess and good, relatively taut skin tone then there are a couple of other options. Liposuction is useful in these situations by removing the bulk of the excess fat in the region through tiny incisions however this is with the proviso that the skin has good skin elasticity.
In this situation, providing there is good skin tone, the skin usually knits back into a new slimmer contour with the arm. Another option is a non-surgical treatment using the Accent Radiofrequency device. This device is good at achieving some skin tightening and “melting” small amounts of fat. It certainly has been proven to work.
However at least six sessions are usually required and the degree of skin tightening / fat reduction is usually quite modest. Sometimes both Liposuction followed by the Accent device is utilized to achieve a slimmer tauter contour of the arms, whilst avoiding the long scars associated with the Arm lift. A consultation will determine your suitability for either.
You will have some pain and discomfort after this surgery. However, it is not considered a particularly painful procedure. The pain usually only lasts for a few days and, of course, you will be given appropriate pain killers to control this. One per cent of all operations can lead to major complications.
Weigh up the pros and cons; it is for you to decide. This is a surgical procedure and as such potentially serious complications such as a blood clot or embolus or an unexpected response to drugs or anaesthetics can occur.
Besides the complications that can develop after any surgery, there are problems that are special for your surgery. These include: the scar is long and maybe slow to heal, it is not unusual to have scabbing along the scar for several weeks, and fluid(either blood or serum) can collect under the skin flap.
Tips from the Top
Senior Nurse Suzi says:
A balanced healthy diet, rich in protein will help you heal from surgery – try drinking a fresh green juice every morning.
Write down any questions and take them into your consultation with Mr Karidis – that way you won’t forget anything.
Prepare your body for surgery by keeping it soft and supple by moisturising skin twice daily (avoid vitamin E containing products).
Always wear sun block (SPF 50+) over surgery scars to stop pigmentation.
Stock up on comfy lounge wear for after your surgery – front opening tops are ideal.
Before & After Photos
See before and after photos showing real patient resultsView Photos