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arm lift surgery

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A little about the procedure


A brachioplasty, commonly called an arm lift, is a surgical procedure to reshape and provide improved contour to the upper arms and connecting area of chest wall.  


While “brachioplasty” is commonly used to describe a specific procedure for the upper arms, the term can also be used to describe any surgical arm contouring.


Brachioplasty is often used to address issues such as excessive loose skin or excessive fat in the arms when it does not respond well to diet and exercise.


Brachioplasty is a common procedure for patients who have experienced massive weight loss.


Brachioplasty or Arm Lift surgery has generally been an unfamiliar procedure amongst the public but one that is gaining in popularity. If you are self-conscious about your upper arms then this procedure could be for you.


How is the surgery performed?


It is possible that this procedure be performed as an outpatient procedure.


Step 1 - Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during arm lift surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr.Schoenfeld will recommend the best choice for you.


Step 2 - The incision

Incision length and pattern during arm lift surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of Dr. Schoenfeld.


Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, depending on the surgeon’s preference and your individual anatomy, and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow.


Excess fat may be directly excised (or treated with liposuction).  Depending on your specific condition, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.


Step 3 - Closing the incisions

The incisions are typically closed with absorbable sutures, so there is no need to remove stitches after the surgery.


Step 4 - See the results


The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising. As with all surgery there is a recovery period during which the tissue swelling will subside and the scars will mature. This means that the scars usually improve with time and the final result is only apparent after 6-12 months. Dr. Schoenfeld will guide you during your recovery period, as to what to do in order to get the best possible scars after your surgery.

The procedure takes approximately 120 minutes and the results are remarkable.


Possible alternates to this procedure


The least invasive manner to contour the upper arms and remove extra fat would be via liposuction.  Liposuction however may prove inadequate, or be inappropriate if there is a lot of excess skin, and therefore brachioplasty may be a better option.  Be sure to discuss your options with Dr. Schoenfeld during the consultation.


Complications and Risks


Dr.Schoenfeld will discuss both complications and risks with you during the consultation.  


There are few risks associated with Arm Lift surgery on the whole.  Proper technique and careful planning of the procedure is essential.  The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits, risks and potential complications of arm lift surgery are acceptable. 


You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure.


Recovery Period


Because the Arm Lift surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure, you can be home that evening.


During your recovery from arm lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery.


A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid. This is typically removed the day after your surgery.


You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing, specific concerns to look for, and when to follow up with Dr.Schoenfeld.


Be sure to ask Dr.Schoenfeld arm specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:


If you are interested in possibly undergoing your Arm Lift/Brachioplasty, please book a consultation with Dr.Schoenfeld at her Howick rooms on 033 3304727 / 4.


Brachioplasty words to know


  • Arm lift:  A surgical procedure, also known as brachioplasty, to correct sagging of the upper arms.

  • Axilla:  The underarm area.

  • Brachioplasty:  A surgical procedure, also known as arm lift, to correct sagging of upper arms.

  • General anesthesia:  Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.

  • Hematoma:  Blood pooling beneath the skin.

  • Intravenous sedation:  Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.

  • Liposuction:  Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.

  • Local anesthesia:  A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.

  • Skin laxity:  Degree of loose skin.

  • Sutures:  Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.


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