If you’re considering arm lift…
The arm lift begins by marking the area of excess skin. This is usually done with the patient standing or sitting. The excess skin is then removed. The pattern of skin removal is usually an ellipse or a triangle with the base in the axilla. Because the skin is very mobile in the upper arm it is usually not necessary to undermine extensively. Some fat is left over the nerves and arteries for their protection but liposuction in Washington DC is sometimes performed to provide a smooth result.
After the fat and skin are removed the wound is stitched together and occasionally a drain is used. The operation is done under either a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic. It is most commonly done as an outpatient. This means you can be home within a few hours. Some surgeons shave the axilla others feel that this is not important.
After surgery you will have a bandages applied . This can be anything from an extensive absorbent bandage with elastic support to a simple dressing with paper tapes (steristrips).
As we grow older loose skin begins to develop on the upper arm. Sometimes this becomes so severe that it hangs down creating a “bats’s wing deformity.” In some patients this can even interfere with the use of the arm. The treatment for this is to remove the excess skin and fat (brachioplasty) but not everyone is a candidate for surgery. The operation leaves a scar which may go from the elbow to the armpit. This can be noticeable. Patients should not have the operation unless they feel comfortable with the scar or can wear clothes that hide it. Many patients will need to change clothing styles. Still the removal of the excess skin is worth it for many of them. An arm lift or brachioplasty is usually not suitable for patients who have had a mastectomy. The drainage of fluid (lymph) from the arm may already be damaged and surgery can lead to persistent swelling.
Patients who have repeated infections in the armpit or suffer from excess sweat formation (axillary hidradenitis) may also not be candidates for this surgery.
In some obese patients liposuction may be more suitable. Because of the thickness of the whole arm a brachioplasty may not achieve the desired result.