Brachioplasty (“arm lift”)
A brachioplasty or “arm lift” is reserved for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight with deflation of their arm volume and excess skin. Some patients simply have excess skin, while others have a combination of excess skin and fat. I perform a simple pinch test in the office to determine the cause when a patient does not like his or her arm contour.
Depending on the cause, either direct excision, or liposculpture followed by direct excision, is used to improve the contour of the arms. I prefer to hide my incision in the posterior part of the arm as it tends to heal better in this area. For patients with significant laxity of tissue the area of removal sometimes extends across the armpit and down the lateral chest wall. During my training, I had the privilege of working with one of the world’s experts in massive weight loss body contouring, and many of my principles and techniques are derived from my years of experience with him.
A brachioplasty or “arm lift” is performed in an outpatient setting and patients go home the same day. In patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, I sometimes combine this procedure with breast or abdominal procedures as well. In addition, for massive weight loss patients I combine this with a breast and back procedure known as an Upper Body Lift, which is discussed in the Massive Weight Loss section.