A significant number of patients are interested in improving the contour and shape of the upper arms and underarm areas. Loss of arm contour and shape may occur after significant weight loss or with aging, as the skin and underlying structures loosen and lose their firmness. Unfortunately this typically does not improve with exercise. We are proud to offer several different options for our patients, depending on the degree of skin laxity or excess fat present.
Brachioplasty is the name of the surgical procedure done for contouring the arms. Most often it is done with VASER Liposelection, which removes fat through a gentle ultrasonic technique and minimizes bleeding and excessive bruising. Most patients are more comfortable with a light general anesthetic and are able to go home right after the operation from the Outpatient Surgery Center at Regency Park. The typical brachioplasty with liposuction will take, depending on the patient and amount of correction, between 2.5 to 4 hours total time.
Many patients ask about the location and extent of the surgical scar from a brachioplasty. The following are variations of brachioplasty used in our practice. We have seen encouraging results in minimizing scars with SkinMedica’s Scar Recovery Gel.
- Minor degrees of skin laxity (minimal-incision approach) – scar in the upper crease of the underarm area
- Mild skin laxity (limited-incision) – upper half of the upper arm
- Moderate skin laxity (traditional brachioplasty) – from the axilla towards the
- Severe skin laxity w/ fullness in the underarm area (extended brachioplasty) – scar will be extended through the axilla to side of the breast.
If the problem is primarily excess fat and the skin is not loose or excessive, liposuction with the VASER or SmartLipo can give excellent improvement without any significant scarring. SmartLipo Triplex is particularly effective in tightening skin while removing fatty excess.
Each individual’s recovery time will depend upon the extent of the procedure, and whether or not additional procedures are done simultaneously. The recovery time after brachioplasty is typically one to two weeks but is variable.
For those with minimal skin laxity or fat excess, the non-surgical Exilis Elite procedure may be an option. This is a short procedure that can be done in the office and does not require any anesthesia or medication with no downtime. This device can be used with great effectiveness anywhere on the face or body where minor skin laxity or fatty fullness is an issue. The Exilis Elite treatments can also be used after brachioplasty or other surgical procedures to maintain and even improve results far longer we have experienced in the past.