A brachioplasty, or arm lift procedure, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits in the upper arm. It reshapes and provides an improved contour of the upper arms and connecting chest wall. A beautiful arm has always exuded a sense of fitness and anatomic prowess. From the early works of the Renaissance to our new popular culture, a fit arm has been an important part of the quest for beauty and health. In the literature of plastic surgery, the first description of brachioplasty was by Correa-Iturraspe in the Argentinian Medical Press in 1954.
The main indications for a brachioplasty is either massive weight loss or excess skin in the upper arms. The extent of the lipodystrophy or excess skin then determined the types of brachioplasty that these patients need.
The dramatic differences in body habit and weight loss translate to myriad presentations in arm recontouring. The extension of excess arm skin and lipodystrophy also carried toward the lateral chest wall and upper body. Some of these patients had a combination of brachioplasty and thoracoplasty. Some also had upper body lifts as a part of the constellation of strategies aimed at their upper truncal recontouring.
From this diverse group, four types of brachioplasty were determined and classified. Type I patients had very little excess skin, most of it occurring in the upper arms. These individuals were candidates for the less commonly used minimal incision brachioplasty. These patients had minimal lipodystrophy. Type II patients had moderate excess skin in the upper arms and underwent a standard brachioplasty. This was a common group that presented with the arm as their central complaint. Many of the non-weight loss patients fell into this category. Type III patients had both excess skin and lipodystrophy, and majority of this group had a combination of brachioplasty and suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL). Most of these patients also had involvement to some extent of the lateral chest wall. Many of the patients that did not have optimal weight resolution were in this category. Type IV patients had not only excess arm skin and lipodystrophy, but also significant involvement of the lateral chest wall and upper body. This group had a combination of brachioplasty along with thoracoplasty and/or an upper body.
There are a number of ways in which the skin and fat excess can be managed. It usually involves a combination of surgery (conventional and extended brachioplasty) and liposuction
Below is a picture demonstrating the incision that most often will be utilized.
o age gracefully, unfortunately at a considerable cost.
If there is a lot of excess skin and adipose tissue the excision will continue along the latera aspect of the chest.