ARM LIFT & ARM REDUCTION
Cosmetic Clinic Dubai | 11 November 2020
A Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits on the upper arm. This can be caused by age, as the upper arm skin becomes loose and flabby, or may simply be a feature of natural fat distribution and surplus arm skin (often caused by weight loss). Brachioplasty procedures tackle these conditions to leave a tight and smooth skin appearance by using one, or both, of two key surgical techniques; liposuction and skin excision.
There are two aspects to the problem of the upper arm, the relative amount of excess fat and the excess skin. These problems have two surgical solutions, which are often combined. At the two extremes, there are patients with large arms with surplus fat, who are treated very satisfactorily by liposuction. Unobtrusive stab incisions are made in the armpit and on the back of the elbow. We then need a skilled and obsessional surgeon to very carefully remove the fat smoothly from around the arm. There are other adjacent areas that we often treat at the same time, and in particular fat around the shoulder, armpit, adjacent back and so-called tail of the breast. This is fat that bunches up particularly when wearing a bra, below the front of the armpit. Also, we carry out liposuction of forearms and make particular note of the fat on the back of the elbow. All of these areas can be treated in the same session.
This liposuction carried out on its own is particularly useful when the skin is still relatively elastic and will, therefore, be more commonly carried out in younger patients. At the other extreme, we have skinny patients who simply have a lot of loose skin hanging down embarrassingly as ‘Bingo Wings’. Retraction of the skin after liposuction would not be adequate, and in any case, there is little or no fat to remove. In this case, the solution is skin reduction, and can only be carried out by removing a long ellipse of skin from the back of the elbow, along the line between the inside and back of the arm, curving into the armpit. It is important to consider the position of the scar to ensure it is as subtle as possible.
The scars themselves take some months to settle in. Some surgeons offer to tighten the skin with an excision of skin confined to the armpit. The skin then is pulled up towards the armpit like pulling up a sock. Unfortunately, this does not work for the vast majority of patients. The excess skin is around the circumference of the arm and not along the length. In patients who have had extreme weight loss, perhaps after bariatric surgery, there is surplus skin everywhere and an arm reduction can be incorporated into reductions of the skin of the back, flank and breast
Many patients do not fit into these two groups. They have both excess fat and excess skin. Liposuction alone will not tighten the skin sufficiently. In these cases, a combination of liposuction and excision of skin and fat is carried out. Experience and careful planning are required to produce a symmetrical result. We have all seen patients who have had unequal amounts of skin and fat removed with unnaturally shaped arms, of unequal size. There are even occasions where patients have required to have skin put back, using skin grafts.