Brachioplasty, commonly known as an arm lift, attempts to procure a more natural and youthful look by removing the fat and excess skin hanging down from the underarms. This is most commonly requested by aging women, but some men opt to have this procedure as well. An arm lift is often performed on post-bariatric surgery patients who have lost huge amounts of weight in a short amount of time. The procedure helps to relieve patients’ self consciousness in wearing short sleeves or otherwise showing their arms.
The Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Procedure
During the arm lift procedure, the incision is made beneath the arm and can extend from the elbow to the armpit, varying upon how much skin must be removed. The skin is then cut away from the rest of the arm and pulled taut around the extremity.
This procedure is very likely to leave a scar that could be noticeable. Most doctors can adjust where they make their incision so that the cut runs either underneath the arm or on the inside surface. These are less visible in normal poses and can improve over time as the scar fades. However, most patients need to be firmly aware that they are essentially trading “skin for scars” with this procedure.
Recovery From an Arm Lift
The initial recovery time for this procedure is short, as the patient may return to light work within a week or less. However, exercise must remain off limits for two weeks. The results will be immediately obvious, but will show apparent improvement over the next two weeks as swelling subsides. The scars will heal and mature over the next six months, possibly fading from sight entirely.