Brachioplasty in New York

Frequently Asked Question

What is a brachioplasty?

A brachioplasty refers to an arm lift surgical procedure. This type of surgery is for people that have loose hanging skin of the upper arm also referred to as “bat wings.”  For some patients this is mainly loose skin, but for others this also can include a fair amount of fat. Sometimes liposuction alone can treat fatty arms if the skin is of adequate quality. Others may need excisional procedures to remove fat and skin.  Many of these patients have had massive weight loss.

Where will the incision be made for the arm lift?

The location of the incision for brachioplasty (arm lift) is most commonly placed along the inner aspect of the arm, extending from the axilla (arm pit) to the elbow, so that when short sleeves are worn and the arms are by your side the incisions won’t be visible. Some surgeons place the incision along the posterior aspect of the arm, however the incision will be noticeable from behind.

Is an arm lift the same as a brachioplasty?

Yes, an arm lift is a brachioplasty.  But, there are many forms of arm lift procedures performed. This can include liposuction alone or in combination with excisional procedures.  The excisional procedures may be a small excision of tissue in the armpit called a mini-brachioplasty.  It can also be a longer excision within the medial aspect of the arm that is hidden when the person places their arm at their side, or it can be placed in the medial posterior aspect of the arm.  The incision can continue into the axilla (armpit) and onto the lateral chest as well.

What is a mini-brachioplasty?

A mini-brachioplasty is a procedure that often includes liposuction of the arm and a small skin and soft tissue excision mainly confined to the armpit. This is for patients with a small amount of laxity in their arm after a liposuction procedure.

Can a brachioplasty be combined with liposuction?

Sometimes liposuction can be combined with a brachioplasty. It really depends upon the location and extent of fatty deposits in the arm, the amount of arm skin laxity, and the overall health of the patient.

What is the recovery like from a brachioplasty?

A traditional brachioplasty consists of an incision along the medial aspect of the upper arm from just above or at the elbow to the axilla or at the elbow to the axilla, and may or may not extend along the chest wall. For this type of patient, the arms are  initially wrapped in a conforming dressing at the end of the procedure. Many times, I place drains to remove any potential liquid accumulation. The drains commonly are removed within the first week. The patients are often placed in a compression garment at this point and are instructed to limit full extension of their arms above their heads. Patients can usually go back to work within a week, and then they can start light aerobic activity within about three to four weeks. Heavy lifting and exertion within six to eight weeks is permitted if they have healed well.


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