What is an arm lift (BRACHIOPLASTY)?

An arm lift involves tightening loose skin, usually by surgery, to remove the surplus. If there is surplus fat, liposuction will not only remove fat but also shrink the skin to some degree.

Currently, non-surgical treatments will improve minor wrinkles, but not make a significant difference to sagging skin. Therefore surgical treatment is the most effective way to lift the arm.

The choice of procedure depends on the exact problem but will involve either liposuction, skin excision or both. Both liposuction and surgical arm lift (Brachioplasty) are carried out as day cases usually under General Anaesthesia. The version we use is called TIVA (Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia) and allows you to get home quickly without sickness. Occasionally patients opt for local anaesthesia.

Where the problem is the size of the arm, then liposuction is perfect. There is bruising for up to 3 weeks after which you can happily wear short sleeves, and an end results at about 3 months. Scars are insignificant.

Loose sagging skin, the well-known Bat Wings, is more common in older people with inelastic skin. Brachioplasty(Arm Lift) is the answer. Skin is excised from along the upper arm and up into the armpit (axilla). Occasionally this excision is extended further into the upper breast. Scars are carefully placed to be less obvious along the back edge of the inner side of the arm. Scars will be red at first and you might consider Cadogan scar management to speed the process of maturation. Eventually, the scars become pale and not easily seen. Beware of surgeons who offer to keep scars confined to the armpit, claiming to pull up the skin like a sock. It does not work as most of the surplus is circumferential.

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