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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, is a procedure to remove excess fat and skin of the upper arm between the elbow and the underarm area. Loose, sagging skin is often the result of aging or dramatic weight fluctuation, such as after gastric bypass surgery. In some cases, this extra skin is merely the result of natural aging or one's genetic makeup.

There are different types of brachioplasty offered based on the individual’s specific physical findings, such as the location and extent of skin laxity and the amount of fatty tissue in the area. In some cases, the incision can be more limited to the area of the underarm, but most often the best results occur when the scar is longer, extending to the elbow. During the procedure excess skin and loose tissue is removed primarily from the back of the arm. Brachioplasties can be combined with liposuction to remove additional fatty tissue. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can be combined with other procedures such as breast lifts, tummy tucks, or liposuction of other areas.

The results from a brachioplasty can be dramatic in terms of improving shape and eliminating the "jiggling" of the arms that can accompany laxity. In addition, exercise and "arm toning" after surgery can often be quite effective to create a more athletic appearance. To help hide the scarring your surgeon will position the scar more toward the inside and back of the arm. The sutures used during brachioplasty are generally absorbable, and in many cases a drain is not necessary, so arm lifts generally heal quickly, with return to most daily activities in a week or two. On occasion, patients may experience swelling of the fingers, hands, or lower arm during the healing period. This is usually improved by elevation of the arms and typically goes away within a few weeks.

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Emory Aesthetic Center of Buckhead-Atlanta