Arm Lift or Brachioplasty After Massive Weight Loss
The aesthetically beautiful arm is considered to be lean and firm, displaying the underlying muscles. On the outer surface, the convexity of the shoulder deltoid muscle merges with that of the bicep muscle on the front surface, producing topography that represents a well-built physique. The back surface should be slightly convex from the arm pit (axilla) to the elbow. Typically, with significant weight gain and loss, the soft tissue of the arm will lose its connective tissue attachments to the underlying structures and will thus sag on the under-surface, leading to ptosis (sagging) or the bat-wing appearance. According to statistics provided by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there were 2,516 upper arm lift cases in 1997. In 2007, that number had increased to 21,870 cases.
In weight loss patients, Dr. Agha tailors the soft tissue of the arm to fit the underlying musculature by surgically removing excess skin and fat. Depending on the degree of excess arm tissue and laxity (looseness), Dr. Agha will create a customized plan for your surgery.
For those with stretched or excess skin, the incisions are determined by the severity of the condition. Minimal excess skin may be treated with limited brachioplasty and an incision in the armpit alone. Moderate to severe skin laxity is treated with an extended brachioplasty and an incision on the inner arm, from armpit to elbow. For those patients with severe arm tissue and upper chest laxity, the L-brachioplasty procedure effectively treats the arm, the armpit, and the upper chest laxity (below).
Brachioplasty Markings of a Post-bariatric Patient.
Most patients with significant weight loss fall into this category. The incision typically extends from the elbow on the inner surface of the arm, through the arm pit, and over the outer chest.
Before and After pictures of L-brachioplasty performed by
Dr. Siamak Agha on a gastric bypass patient.