Arm lift surgery usually takes two to three hours, depending on which type of brachioplasty procedure is performed and how much correction of the arm contour is desired and practical. After you have changed into a gown and had your intravenous line started, Dr. Agha will mark certain landmarks on your elbow, arm, and armpit in the pre-operative area. The type of brachioplasty being performed will dictate the location, length, and direction of these incision lines. This ensures proper planning for the site of the brachioplasty incision. Dr. Agha will also review the entire operative plan with you, including potential complications. You will then be given a dose of intravenous antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
What happens during brachioplasty surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Brachioplasty can be performed either under local anesthesia with sedation “twilight sleep” or general anesthesia. After initiation of anesthesia in the operating room, Dr. Agha will inject a solution of local anesthetics known as “tumescent solution” at the intended incision site. The injection solution consists of a low concentration of lidocaine and epinephrine. The lidocaine will numb the surgical site, and the epinephrine causes constriction of the blood vessels at the surgical site, reducing potential for bleeding and bruising.
Step 2 – The incision
Dr. Agha will next make the necessary incisions for removal of excess skin and fat. The incision may be completely concealed within the armpit or down the inside of the arm in an inconspicuous location for a variable length, depending on how much skin and where the excess is. After the incision has been made, Dr. Agha removes the excess skin and fat and brings the incisions together. This provides a firmer and smoother arm contour.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
The incisions are carefully closed to minimize your scarring. Dr. Agha places all his sutures beneath the skin where they are gradually absorbed by your body. Not having to undergo suture removal has improved patient comfort and satisfaction. Typically, Dr. Agha does not use drains for brachioplasty procedures.
Step 4 – Dressings
A sterile dressing is applied to the incisions, and a compression garment or ACE wrap is placed over your arms. This compression helps support your arms during healing, decreases post-operative swelling, and helps decrease any bruising that may occur.