Arm Reduction / Lift(Brachioplasty)
Background: Arm reduction surgery reduces fat and removes excess skin from the arms. It is used to remoe the “bat wings” that often occur after weight loss or with aging. It is often performed on patients with massive weight loss.
The Procedure: Arm Reduction is done under general anesthetic and takes about 2 hours. After you are asleep Dr. Goldberg injects long acting local anesthetic to help prevent discomfort after surgery. The incisions are made along the inner aspect of the arm up to the armpit (axilla). Another cross incision is made in the axilla. Extra skin and fat are removed, and the skin is tightened and stitched closed using dissolving stitches. A compression dressing is applied. Often a small tube is left in the incision which is attached to a mini-pump that delivers local anesthetic for about 5 days to help control discomfort.
Recovery: You can go home on the same day, usually within 2 hours of surgery. You will return 5-7 days after surgery for a follow-up. You will be ready to return to light activity right away, but will need to wear your compression garment and avoid strenuous activity for 4 weeks after surgery.
Risks: There are general risks with Arm Reduction such as bruising, bleeding, infection, and risks associated with general anesthetic. There are also some specific risks. There are some nerves in the arm that supply sensation to the upper part of the arm and the forearm which can be injured. This may result in numbness over these areas. Usually this is temporary, but may last up to 6 months, and very rarely is permanent. The scar usually heals well, but there is a chance of thickened or keloid scar formation, which would be more noticeable. It is important to discuss these and other risks with Dr. Goldberg before surgery.
Alternatives: Fat reduction can be obtained with diet and lifetstyle or with Liposuction. Arm Reduction is the only choice if there is excess skin.
Benefits: The results of Arm Reduction are immediate and long lasting. It gets rid of the “bat wings” that otherwise would persist forever. Although the scar on the inner part of the arm is visible, it is a worthwhile trade-off for most, since excess skin in this area can be so disfiguring and noticeable.
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