Brachioplasty is the medical term for arm lift.
The arm lift procedure will start on marking of the area of excess skin. Then after the anaesthetic is administered, incisions are made on the inner and under arm, usually in a zigzag pattern. Skin will be cut in an elliptical or triangular shape while fatty tissue is being suctioned at the same time.
The remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place after the loose skin and fat have been removed. Occasionally, to permit the skin in adhering the tissue under, a drain is used to direct excess fluids from the site of incision. The incisions are then dressed and bandaged.
Arm lift requires an overnight hospital admission. The operation will take two to four to five hours and will be done in general anesthesia.
Pre Operative Care
In order to make sure that you can undergo Brachioplasty as safely as possible, the following preparatory activities are performed:
• Extensive workup to rule out any potentially preventable problems.
• A detailed history and physical checkup which includes vital signs, food and drug allergies, supplement intake, and current medication (prescription and over the counter)
• Checkup for any major medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease.
• Avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin or brufen for two weeks before surgery.
• Avoid smoking for two weeks as smoking can affect body’s reaction to the anaesthetic and slow down the healing process.
More importantly, communication with the surgeon is very vital. Through communication, the patient and the surgeon can clearly discuss the desired look so that he or she can determine with you what can realistically be achieved.
Post Operative Care
After Arm Lift surgery, the patient may experience some pain associated with the surgery. When the procedure is completed, a patient is advised of the following:
• Bandage and support garment. A compression garment designed to hold arms in shape whilst the newly sculpted skin heals to the tissue beneath your arm(s) must be provided.
• Drainage. You will have sutures, possibly with a drain inserted to help the skin and tissue heal. Some of the sutures will absorb, and some may have to be removed by your during a follow-up visit.
• Medications. Prescriptions for pain medication that the patient will take as needed, and antibiotics that will be taken for several days to decrease chances of infection.
• Post op dressings. The surgeon will give directions on bathing and changing of dressing.
• Swelling and bruising. Swelling, bruising and stiffness may be felt by patient following the procedure. But recovery is guaranteed. For young women with out of proportioned arms, recovery should not take more than a day or two. For middle-aged patients wishing to hold back aging, the recovery time is about three or four days. Candidates who have lost a lot of weight and therefore require surgery may need a week or before returning to work.
• Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. The patient will only be able to resume to regular activities after two weeks, although you should abstain from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several months.
Risks and Complications
Risks are inherent to any surgical procedure. But no worries, all precautions are taken by Plastic Surgery Phuket’s surgeons to avoid these risks.
Here are the most common risks of this surgery:
• Excess Fluid
Moreover, one also of the most common risk particular to this surgery is pulmonary embolism due to the freeing of fat or blood clots into the bloodstream, however this is very rare.
An arm lift is not recommended for patients who have had a mastectomy. The drainage of fluid from the arm may already be damaged, and further surgery may lead to persistent swelling. Patients who have repeated infections in the armpit, or suffer from excessive sweating, may also not be good candidates for this surgery. For some people, liposuction may be a better way to reduce the thickness of the whole arm.
You will see a noticeable difference in the balance and contour of your arm(s) quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become evident gradually as the swelling has subsided. You will also feel more confident and comfortable in different types of clothing.