As with the lower body, bariatric surgery patients or others who have lost significant amounts of weight may be faced with excess, draping skin on their upper arms. This skin is not only unattractive, but can also interfere with dressing and exercise. An upper arm lift, also called brachioplasty, can successfully remove this excess skin and tissue, giving a slimmer, more natural looking appearance to the arms. A significant issue with brachioplasty, however, is the scars. For most patients, Dr. Mackenzie believes that a posterior scar up the back of the upper arm yields a better, more narrow scar, and that this approach also yields an improved arm shape that tends to do better over time than a more traditional anterior approach scar.
For many women with mildly loose upper arms that previously would have needed this surgery, there is now an amazing alternative. SmartLipo is a laser procedure than can provide a great result for people with upper arm fullness and laxity of their skin, as it helps to shrink the skin. Extreme laxity of skin, such as after massive weight loss, will still likely need surgery. If you believe you might be a candidate for upper arm lift or for the minimally invasive laser procedures of SmartLipo, Dr. Mackenzie would be happy to discuss these procedures in more depth with you.
Brachioplasty can often be combined with other surgeries which are commonly indicated after significant weight loss, such as breast lift (mastopexy). When multiple procedures are necessary, we may stage the procedures in two or more sessions spaced a couple months or more apart. See our pages on other common procedures such as abdominoplasty, and lower body lift. Scar care and skin care are integral components to getting the best aesthetic result after surgery; see our page on products that we include in your surgery package HERE.
Please contact our Santa Barbara plastic surgery practice today for more information about brachioplasty and other plastic surgical procedures after weight loss.