An arm lift is called brachioplasty. Weight fluctuations and substantial weight loss can leave patients with extensive skin laxity and folds that are uncomfortable and not at all pleasing to the eye. I have had many teary-eyed patients come through my office who, although happy with their weight loss, are very unhappy with their subsequent appearance. Arm skin laxity is difficult to hide without staying fully sleeved all year long. For those patients, an arm lift can be the answer.
The extent of the arm skin laxity can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, the laxity or residual fullness can be addressed with non-surgical modalities such as CoolSculpting® or radio frequency Pellefirm® skin tightening. These are non-surgical, safe and effective modalities with no downtime from work or life … and no scars.
For more extensive laxity, a brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is required. The extent of skin laxity determines the extent and location of the scars. In general, most brachioplasty incisions extend from the elbow to the underarm area in order to gently taper the arm shape. A general rule of thumb is that the extent of skin looseness determines the subsequent length of corrective arm incisions. In the most severe cases, the arm lift incisions can extend beyond the armpit onto the chest wall to include the breasts. Lifting breasts and correcting chest wall skin laxity at the time of an arm lift is often referred to as an upper body lift. I see all of these procedures as being on a continuum; that being from least invasive to most invasive. Together, we decide which procedure is going to be best for you during your initial consultation.
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- Patient A
Procedure: CoolSculpting (MILD Laxity)Before and 10 Week after CoolSculpting Session.
- Patient B
Procedure: Breast Lift / ArmThis 23-year old student underwent gastric bypass
surgery 3 years ago and lost approximately 200
lbs. She was proud of her weight loss but wanted
to improve the laxity and contour of her breasts
and arms. This was done through a combined
breast lift and arm lift procedure. Here, she is just
a few months following her surgery with a
significantly improved contour. Her scars will
continue to soften and fade over the next year.
- Patient C
Procedure: UpperThis patient had an upper body lift; her scars
extend from her elbow to her underarm and then
on to her lateral chest to join up to her breast lift
- Patient D
Procedure: UpperThe incisions for this upper body lift patient
include the brachioplasty incisions from the elbow
that taper to the underarm. Included is significant
correction and tightening of the chest wall by
extending the scars from the underarm onto
the chest to include her breast lift scars.