What Is Brachioplasty and Is It Worth It

Age impacts every part of the body, and it is seldom a welcome change. But plastic surgeries have become increasingly popular to combat the effects of old age. Brachioplasty is one such surgery that aims to tone the arms. But there is still a lot of ignorance around what Brachioplasty is, and what it can and can’t do. Let’s take a deeper look at it and decide if it is worth or not.

What is Brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty, also known as arm lift, is a cosmetic surgery aimed at changing the appearance of the arms. Generally, it involves removing excess fat and skin from the portions of the arms that have become saggy due to age. In this procedure, the surgeon replaces the upper skin on the area, thus giving a toned look to the arm.

Need for Brachioplasty

While Brachioplasty is a purely cosmetic surgical procedure, it does not mean that it is unnecessary. With old age, the skin in certain portions of the body starts loosening. In the case of deposited fat, the weight pulls down the skin and starts giving a saggy appearance. Many people try to do strength exercises to tone the muscles, but it still can’t tighten loose skin. Even though this condition usually arises in the old age, people in their 30s and 40s are not immune to it either.

In such scenarios, Brachioplasty seems like an obvious solution. While it does not give your arms much functional advantage, it can do a lot to improve your body image and confidence.

Types of Brachioplasty Procedures

There are many ways to perform an arm lift procedure:

1. Traditional Brachioplasty

The most common form of Brachioplasty involves making a large incision in the arm and removing the excess skin and fat from the portion. While common and relatively cheap, it can also lead to significant scarring.

2. Liposuction

The easiest and most non-invasive procedure for Brachioplasty, liposuction simply extracts the fat from the portions having maximum fat concentration. However, there are some obvious issues with the procedure. It does nothing about the loose skin, thus cannot ensure complete toning of arms. In fact, it can sometimes even lead to further loosening of skin.

3. Hidden Brachioplasty

The procedure is called hidden Brachioplasty because the scars are completely hidden. This procedure is a combination of multiple procedures. While it is one of the most efficient types of Brachioplasty and leads to minimal scarring, it is also very complex and expensive.

4. Extended Brachioplasty

Extended Brachioplasty is the same as the traditional one and only differs in the scope. Sometimes the excess fat is located not just in the upper arms but also in the portion joining the arms and the chest. In such cases, the incision must extend till the chest; everything else remains the same.

Brachioplasty Complications

Being an intensive surgery, there are risks associated with it. There is a probability that you might encounter one or more of the following complications after the procedure:

  • While the procedure tries its best to keep the arms symmetric, certain factors are out of its control. As the arms heal, the healing process might significantly differ and result in asymmetric arms.
  • Brachioplasty always results in permanent scars. While surgeons try to make the incisions in an area on the arm that is generally not visible to others, the scar would always remain.
  • Stitches are used at the end of the procedure to bind the new skin and aid in healing. However, sometimes these stitches move deeper into the skin. This makes it hard to remove the stitches manually and might require additional surgery.
  • Since the skin is composed of a large number of nerve receptors, it is primarily responsible for sensation. After an arm lift procedure, the new skin layer might get its receptors tangled and lead to false positive (feeling a sensation when none is present) and false positive (feeling no sensation even when a stimulus is present).
  • Apart from the above risks, most of the complications common in surgical procedures are present in Brachioplasty too. Use of general anesthesia can lead to many side-effects. You might suffer from excessive bleeding or excessive blood clotting. Blood clotting might form beneath your skin, causing complications. The underlying muscles might get damaged and lose functionality. There might also be frequent itching and inflammation during the healing process.

Brachioplasty Risk Factors

The probability of getting a complication from the surgery depends on many external factors. You should know about these factors as they would play a role in determining how safe the procedure will be for you. In general, Brachioplasty can be risky for patients if:

  • They are suffering from morbid obesity.
  • They undergo frequent, rapid changes in their weight due to lifestyle or medical reasons.
  • The patients have a slow healing process or a medical condition that interferes with natural healing.
  • They are habitual smokers

Precautions Before and After Brachioplasty

  • Create a detailed medical history of your health and mention any condition or allergies you have.
  • Stop smoking cigarettes if you do, as smoking restricts blood flow and hinders healing.
  • After the surgery, give your arms rest. Do not lift heavy weight or perform activities that might stretch the skin on your arms.
  • Keep an eye on your recovery. In case you encounter sudden new symptoms like short breaths, skin rash or chest pain, immediately consult the doctor.

Recovery from Brachioplasty

Recovery from the arm lift procedure is relatively easy and without complications. In a couple of weeks, the wounds are healed completely. In case stitches do not dissolve on their own, you would have to visit the doctor. Once the stitches are gone, you can regain the complete use of your arms without any loss of functionality.

Bottom Line:

Brachioplasty is a simple yet effective surgery that has been changing a lot of lives and making them feel more positive about themselves. While there are many possible complications, they are either temporary or do not impact your body functions in any visible way. So in case you want to feel better about your body image, Brachioplasty is indeed a great option.

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Catherine

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