As a result of weight loss and the normal age related effects on skin laxity, an excess of upper arm skin and fat develops which tends to hang down as a loose fold extending from the armpit and the elbow region. This is especially noticeable when the arm is outstretched.
A brachioplasty (“arm reduction”) is an operation to remove excess fat and skin from the upper arm in order to improve the shape and contour of this region of the body. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes 2 hours to perform and usually requires one night stay in hospital. During the procedure the excess skin and fat are removed leaving a short horizontal scar in the armpit connected to a long scar on the inside part of the arm extending from the armpit to the inside of the elbow region. The procedure is usually done in conjunction with liposuction. The wounds are stitched with dissolving sutures leaving the scars as hidden from view as possible.
Am I suitable for a brachioplasty?
Not everyone is suitable for an brachioplasty. Suitability is a matter for you and Dr. Rahdon to discuss , following a thorough analysis of your medical history and a thorough clinical consultation. In general you will need to be in good health and not overweight.
What are the benefits of brachioplasty?
The surgery improves the contour and shape of the upper arm. Patients who have had a brachioplasty enjoy being able to wear clothes and swimwear that they would have previously been to embarrassed to wear.
Where are the scars?
There is one long scar extending from the armpit to the inside aspect of the elbow region connected to a short scar placed horizontally in the armpit.
Is the procedure painful?
The procedure is not particularly painful. Local anaesthetic given at the time of surgery also helps numb the area. It is normal for patients to experience some discomfort from the scar line. On discharge from hospital, any discomfort from the wounds can usually be managed with simple tablet type painkillers such as paracetamol etc.
How long does it take to recover from surgery?
Following surgery, you will be given a tubigrip support bandage to wear for a few weeks. For the first two weeks postoperatively, you should not lift anything heavy. Depending on your job you can usually return to work for light duties after 1 week. Full recovery takes around six weeks, but the scars will continue to mtue and improve for a year.
When will I notice the results and how long will they last?
The visual improvement in upper arm contour will be immediately apparent following brachioplasty surgery. However, there may some bruising, swelling and numbness around the wound which may last several weeks. The results of brachioplasty are long lasting but large fluctuations in weight, and the normal age related effects on skin laxity can lead to a recurrence of loose skin over time.
Will I be told the risks and complications?
Complications are uncommon following brachioplasty. During your initial consultation Dr. Rahdon will have a full discussion with you about the risks and complications of surgery. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, these risks will again be discussed as part of the consenting process. It is important that you be reassured that Dr. Rahdon will not agree to perform any cosmetic procedure on you unless he feels the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.