Arms are often the forgotten parts affected by significant weight loss. They are however a common area for skin removal or lipectomy surgery. Dr Eddie Cheng, Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Brisbane, QLD, shared some of his before and after photos with us and chatted about what’s involved in a brachioplasty, or arm lift.
Due to weight loss and ageing, upper arm skin can become loose, creating the appearance of floppy shapeless arms. This excess skin can also cause discomfort including skin rashes and chafing, often during exercise. Arm lift procedures could be an effective way of reducing the above symptoms and creating a more aesthetically pleasing upper arm shape.
The Brachioplasty Procedure
The brachioplasty procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and can go anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours. Depending on the patient and where the excess skin sits. The incisions (and subsequent scars) will be made on the inner side of the arm from the elbow to the armpit to minimize visibility of the scar. Dr Cheng says, “Overall the key aim of this procedure is to target the symptoms of excess skin and as well as keep an harmonious transition from forearm to armpit.”
Liposuction is also often used to remove any excess fat and create better contour. Dr Cheng says, “It is important to create a smooth contour from elbow to the armpit to achieve a natural appearance after the procedure.”
One of the major considerations for many brachioplasty patients are the scars. Unfortunately, they are unavoidable and are a payoff for getting rid of baggy skin and excess fat, however, choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon with a reputation of getting good results will increase your chances of having less obvious scarring.
Arm surgery is said to be quite a sensitive recovery, especially considering the amount of use our arms usually have. You should plan for at least two weeks off work, more if you have a physical job using your arms. It is suggested you avoid lifting anything heavy, including weights and any sort of gym equipment, for 4-6 weeks after surgery to help with the incision and scar healing process. You will most likely have a drainage tube to prevent too much fluid building up for a day two and/or will also be required to wear arm compression garments for 6 weeks following surgery to help with swelling and bruising and improve arm contour. Scars will look a lot worse in the first few weeks after surgery so you need to be patient. They can take up to 18 months to fade.
We’d like to thank Dr Eddie Cheng for his contribution to this blog. If you’d like more information about arm lifts or brachioplasty you may like to arrange a consultation with Dr Eddie Cheng. You can also read more about him in the blogs below.