The soft tissues of the upper arm can become redundant as a result of gravity and aging. This redundancy can be particularly pronounced following significant weight loss. Once the tissue of the upper arm develops this laxity, the only method to improve it is by removing the redundant skin and fat. This procedure is called a brachioplasty, or arm lift. A brachioplasty is performed by removing skin and soft tissue from the inner aspect of the arm. This allows Dr. Shuster to both the redrape the skin in this area and improve the support of the underlying soft tissue. The result is a much improved contour to the upper arm, especially when the arm is raised.
A brachioplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The surgery takes approximately 2 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Patients can usually return to their normal level of activity by 3 weeks, though it is not uncommon for there to be some swelling of the hands that resolves over the course of a few weeks. There is a inconspicuously placed scar along the inner aspect of the arm, from just above the elbow to the armpit that fades over time.