Brachioplasty or “Arm Lift” – Some patients have excessive fat of the upper arms, and in the more severe cases, there may be laxity and stretching of the arm skin. In the most advanced cases, patients can actually have a “bat-wing” deformity where there is a large amount of redundant skin that hangs downward when the arms are raised to the sides. This is very troublesome to many patients; it not only is physically uncomfortable, but also can affect their self-esteem and self-confidence because of the presence of this excessive redundant tissue. The operations that can be performed to treat this problem depend on how severe the deformity is. In the mildest cases, where there is not very much lax skin, but just an excessive accumulation of subcutaneous fat, the problem can be treated with liposuction.
Through a tiny incision near the elbow (less than one quarter of an inch in length), liposuction is performed to carefully remove fat from the underarm area and recontour the arm, giving a more aesthetic appearance. In more advanced cases, simple removal of fat alone will not achieve a satisfactory cosmetic result. In these cases, something needs to be done to tighten the skin as well. Typically, skin is tightened by making incisions from the armpit area to the elbow. Through these surgical incisions, a large ellipse of skin and redundant subcutaneous fat are removed and when the defect is sutured closed, it results in dramatic improvement in the contour of the upper arm. Of course, this operation leaves a scar on the patient’s arm but over time, the scar typically fades and is not very noticeable. The surgical incisions are designed so that the scar will be hidden on the “inside” of the arm — that way, are not visible unless the patient has her arms elevated and extended. Dr. Handel will help assess your particular situation and recommend the procedure that he feels will best correct the problem with the lowest risk of complications and minimal risk of undesirable scarring.
Contact Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Neal Handel.