As a person ages, skin loses elasticity and firmness. In the upper arms, this often leads to loose skin that sags unattractively. Brachioplasty, or arm lift, is a surgical procedure that tightens loose upper arm skin to produce a more youthful appearance. During the procedure excess fat is often removed as well, making the arms look more toned.
Brachioplasty is most often performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Chin typically makes the necessary incisions on the inside part of the upper arm, beginning near the armpit. He then removes the excess sagging skin and tissue. Liposuction may be used to remove fat from the arms at the same time. The remaining skin is then pulled tightly and stitched back in place. In some cases, a tube may be used to facilitate the drainage of fluids from the treatment area.
Some pain and swelling is to be expected after surgery. Medication can help to minimize pain. Although patients can usually go home the day of their surgery, rest is needed for several days. Lifting and bending should be avoided for at least the first week. Most people can return to their jobs and to moderate exercise with two weeks, but vigorous workouts should be postponed for at least a month.
Brachioplasty is considered to be relatively safe, but as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks. Patients may experience a reaction to the anesthesia, may bleed excessively, or may suffer from an infection. Nerve damage and extensive scarring are also possible. To limit the risk of complications, patients should carefully follow Dr. Chin’s instructions.