Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is an elective outpatient surgery designed to remove excess skin and fat along the arms. This treatment has become more and more popular over the years and offers both women and men an effective way to give the upper arms a more youthful and firm appearance. As with any surgery, there will be scarring after an arm lift procedure. The degree of scarring will vary between patients. Some of the factors that can contribute to the extent of visibility of your scars are: 

  • Skin tone 
  • A history of raised scars or keloids 
  • Sun exposure 
  • The precise location of the scars 

The incision for a brachioplasty will be made from the elbow to the axilla (armpit), or it will extend into the armpit if there is excess tissue that needs to be removed. An advantage of extending the incision into the axilla, also called L-brachioplasty, is that it often contours the arm better, and there is a slight lift of the upper back tissue. The L-brachioplasty candidate is most often one who has had massive weight loss, and this treatment can be combined with other body contouring surgeries that are requested. For patients who have milder degrees of excess skin, a “mini-brachioplasty” may be all that’s required to meet expectations. This technique involves an incision made only in the armpit, which leads to less noticeable scarring.  

Most brachioplasty patients will also require liposuction of the arms to optimize their results. Due to the location of the scar, it can’t be completely hidden, and appropriate scar care will be very important. We offer Arnica to reduce the bruising/swelling post-operatively, as well as bioCorneum®+ (silicone scar gel with SPF 30), both of which can optimize your scar’s appearance. Sun protection with an SPF greater than 30 along the scar is imperative for at least the first six months following surgery. 

For individuals who elect to have a brachioplasty, the scar is often a welcomed trade-off for a leaner, more contoured arm that allows for a more comfortable fit into clothes. During your consultation here at Florida Plastic Surgery Group, you will receive an individualized surgical plan and we will be happy to address any questions you may have. 

To learn more about arm lift surgery, or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons, please contact us today. 

Editor’s note: The original version of this blog was published on August 20th, 2015.

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