Brachioplasty is a procedure designed to remove excess skin and fullness in the upper arms. This is not as commonly performed as other body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck as there are fewer people who are truly good candidates for this procedure. It is best suited for those who have a fairly significant amount of skin excess, such as after massive weight loss. Less extensive procedures such as liposuction or a more limited scar Brachioplasty may be more appropriate for patients with less skin excess.
The best patients for Brachioplasty are those with significant skin excess in the upper arms. A full Brachioplasty leaves a scar that goes from the elbow to the armpit that may be hard to hide. However, for patients with excess skin, such as after massive weight loss, the scar is an acceptable trade for the benefit of a smaller arm and the amount of improvement can be very impressive.
Approximately 17,000 brachioplasty procedures were performed in the US last year, more than 50 times more than in 2000.
We perform this procedure in the operating room at the Lawrence Surgery Center or Lawrence Memorial Hospital under general anesthesia. The procedure can take 1½-2½ hours and is sometimes done in conjunction with other procedures, such as breast surgery. During the operation, we remove the excess skin and fat from the underside of your arm, placing this long incision so that the scar is as well hidden as possible. The incisions are sewn up with sutures under the skin that dissolve with time. Drains are usually not needed. A compressive wrap is applied and the patient is kept in the recovery area for 1-2 hours before going home.