An Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) is an excisional lift, in which the redundant skin and fat of the upper arms are excised. The goal of an arm lift is to correct the “batwing” deformity. This deformity often develops as the triceps muscle becomes notoriously underdeveloped in most women. It is also seen in men as an effect of gravity, age, weight gain, and weight loss magnify the skin laxity.
At the time of consultation, board-certified Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Lavinia Chong will evaluate your medical history, taking into account your unique circumstances and expectations. She will work with you to formulate a treatment plan, and will review all possible contingencies. Please be prepared to discuss any allergies, current medications or herbal treatments, use of alcohol or tobacco, or any drug use. Undergoing cosmetic surgery is a personal choice and a Brachioplasty is a safe procedure with optimal outcomes for patients who are in good health, maintain a stable weight, and are nonsmokers. You are advised to factor adequate time to recover, and have realistic expectations for your desired results. This procedure presents patients a trade-off: acceptance of a scar for improved contouring of the arms.
Both variations of Brachioplasty (major or minor) are conducted under Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC sedation). The difference between the major and minor is the length of the scar, which in turn depends on the quality of the inner arm skin and the extent of its laxity.
Surgical planning of the incision is paramount. The goal for the location and quality of the final scar is for the scar to be relatively imperceptible and fine-lined. Generally, the incision originates from the armpit and extends to the antecubital fossa (just above the elbow). If liposuction for contouring is part of the surgical plan, it is done first, prior to excising the skin redundancy in an elliptical pattern. The wound is repaired in multiple layers of dissolving sutures and dressed. The patient is followed closely, post-op; compression sleeves are worn for approximately 2 weeks. Once the incisions have healed, patients may use scar treatment such as Silagen to improve scar appearance.
The results of a Brachioplasty are immediate and will become more apparent over the next few months as all bruising and swelling subside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have an option of a minor vs. a major brachioplasty?
The type of procedure and the length of the scar depends upon a number of factors. During your in-office consultation, Dr. Chong will review which procedure would best address your goal. If you have opted for a virtual consultation, we will ask that you send in a series of photos for Dr. Chong to review at the time of your consult. Although your virtual consultation is a video meeting, photos provide an additional view and a bit more insight to skin quality.
How soon can I start using scar treatment?
A member of your surgical team will be seeing you at routine intervals to monitor your incisions and healing process. Photos are taken at each appointment for Dr. Chong to review. You will be advised at the time of your follow-up as to when you are cleared to begin any type of scar treatment (generally around four weeks after surgery).
Where is surgery performed?
Are there any particular tests I need to have prior to surgery?
Yes, you will have a list of requirements prior to surgery in order to determine if you are in good health, and are a good surgical candidate. These requirements include some tests which will need to be completed prior to your pre-operative appointment, and some testing which is performed within the week prior to surgery.
Dr. Chong looks forward to consulting with you regarding arm lift procedures and any other plastic surgery procedure. To schedule your surgical consultation, please call our office in Newport Beach at (949) 644-1400.