Brachioplasty is a cosmetic surgery to help you lose your arm fat. Scarring may occur but can be taken care of. Find out the recovery time and cost range in different countries. The loose flap of flesh hanging off your upper arms often called “bat wings” may not be a feature that you are comfortable with. This may be as a result of ageing or weight loss causing extra skin and tissue to relax and fall.
If you have this problem and do not feel okay with it, you can consider cosmetic surgery to correct it called “Brachioplasty”.
What is Brachioplasty?
Commonly referred to as “arm lift” or “underarm surgery”, Brachioplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the upper arm by reshaping the under portion of the arm. The procedure involves removing excess fat and sagging skin from the under of the upper arm (from the armpit to the elbow), tightening the remaining skin over the contours, and giving it a toned and defined look.
Reasons For Brachioplasty
People get an underarm lift for obvious reasons, which include getting rid of sagging skin in the underarm caused by aging or weight loss and cannot be lost through exercise. This is done to improve their body image.
Who Can Get A Brachioplasty?
You can undertake this surgery if you do not have any existing serious sickness or disease that can contribute to a high risk of complications during the surgery such as high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or any disease that can interfere in the healing progress. If you are a smoker, it is not advisable to have the surgery as interferes with blood clotting and can be of high risk during the procedure.
To consider this procedure, you also need to have a steady weight, with no intentions of losing more weight because it can lead to extra skin flaps showing again.
Also, you have to be mentally and psychologically prepared for the outcomes of this surgery. Your surgeon will relay the expectations and possible outcome to you and if you are okay with them, you can then undergo the surgery.
Possible Risks and Complications
Every surgery has a risk factor that may arise during it after the surgery, but with the advancement of medicine and surgical procedures, the occurrence of these complications has become reduced and are sometimes rare to come by.
An arm lift is a safe procedure and the risks are minimal. They may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Build-up of fluid
- Death of fatty tissues
- Damage to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.
- The asymmetrical look of your arms
- Reactions to anesthesia may lead to a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, etc.
Your surgeon will perform a cross-examination and go through your medical history to find out if you are physically, psychologically, and mentally fit for the surgery.
He will discuss the possible outcomes with you and if you deem them satisfactory, he will schedule a date for your surgery.
You will be advised to abstain from taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), herbal supplements, and smoking 3 to 4 weeks before your surgery for surgical reasons. Also, arrange for assistance from a family, friend, or paid caregiver after the surgery, to help till you recover.
The procedure follows the following steps:
- You will be given anesthesia to keep you sedated through the procedure.
- An incision will be made under your upper arm depending on the amount and location of the skin to be removed. Incisions include:
- Minimal incision; where an incision is made under the upper arm running just across the armpit.
- Inner arm incision, where an incision is made at the side of the upper arm, from the armpit to the elbow.
- Back of arm incision; incision under the upper arm, running from the armpit to the elbow.
- The contour of the arm is measured and excess skin is cut out. In the case of accumulated fat, liposuction is performed to excise the fat.
- The remaining skin is smoothened and tightened over the contours of the arm.
- The incision is stitched or sutured back in place, not too tight or too loose, to enable free movement of arms without constraint.
- The surgical area is wiped clean and bandaged to prevent infection.
This procedure takes 2 to 4 hours.
You will be moved to your recovery room to recuperate. Painkillers are likely to be administered to you again to numb the pains.
There will be occurrences of pains and swelling. Take pain relief medications as prescribed by your surgeon and wear a compressor garment with tight sleeves to reduce and control the swelling. Make sure to keep the incision disinfected, clean, and dried to prevent infection and reduce scarring.
Change the bandages every day. Avoid any physical activity the can cause the incision to rupture till the wound heals. Quit smoking and reduce your intake of alcohol to make the wound heal faster. Follow all your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
Visit the hospital for checkups and the removal of stitches from the wound after 1 to 2 weeks. According to your healing rate, your surgeon may not need to see you again or may request you continual visitation for monitoring till he is satisfied with the outcome. Recovery time may take 2 to 4 weeks
Cost of Brachioplasty
Brachioplasty cost depends on how severe the surgery is, the medications that may be given before or after the surgery, the hospital, the surgeon, the country, etc.
The cost of the surgery in the U.S is between $4000 to $8000. However, countries like India, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, etc, charge lesser.