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Brachyplasty (Arm Lift)

Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that is used to help remove the excess skin and fatty tissue from the axilla and upper arm.  Brachioplasty is not a surgical treatment for being overweight.  Overweight individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body-contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight for at least 6 months.  There are variations of this procedure, and which type of procedure best meets your needs will be determined by Dr. Lovelace at the time of your consultation at our Fort Worth office which is conveniently located near Southlake, Keller, Argyle and Mansfield just off Heritage Trace Parkway.

What are the other names for this procedure?

Arm Lift

What pain will I have?

Moderate

What are the cost?

A price quote which includes facility, anesthesia, compression garment, and surgeon fees will be given to you at the time of your consultation.

What is the hospital/surgery center time?

Surgery will take between 2-5 hours as determined on a case by case basis.  Typically this is done as an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay may be necessary and will be determined by the surgeon.

What is the recovery?

Sutures that are placed are usually dissolvable and will not need to be removed.  You will likely have drains that will stay in place for 1-2 weeks.  These drains help prevent hematomas and seromas.  You will be placed in a compression garment after your surgery, and told to wear this at all times for 8 weeks, and then only at night as long as tolerated.  You will be expected to start walking immediately after surgery to help reduce the risk of blood clots.  On average patients return to light duty work a week after surgery.   Approximately 8 weeks after surgery, strenuous activity will be allowed without restrictions.  Scars will flatten and fade between 3 months and 2 years after surgery.  No bath tubs, swimming pools, or hot tubs until all scabs are gone from your incision and it is healed.

What medications should I take or avoid taking with my surgery?

You should not take any blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications for a week before your procedure, and you should hold all over the counter supplements a week before surgery.  This will help reduce the risk of bleeding intra-operatively, and help reduce the risk of postoperative hematoma (collection of blood).  If blood thinners are prescribed for you by your cardiologist or primary care physician, you should get clearance from them to hold these medications before they are discontinued.  You should hold all hormones 6 weeks before surgery.  Birth control pills should be held 6 weeks before surgery as well.  Of course you should make sure to use alternative forms of birth control during and after this time.  Hormones and birth control pills put you at a higher risk of blood clots.  These clots can go to your lungs and cause serious illness or even death.  We call this a pulmonary embolus.  Steroids should be weaned off at least a month before your surgery, and this weaning process should be set up and cleared by your prescribing physician.  Dr. Lovelace and the staff will go through your list of medication, and let you know what exactly you need to do with those medications preoperatively.  Make sure that you bring all of your medications with you to your consultation.  You will usually be given your prescriptions for your postoperative medication on your preoperative visit so that they can be filled and at your house when you get home from surgery.

Will I need clearances from any other physicians?

Depending on your age and medical condition, Dr. Lovelace and her staff will set you up with your primary care physician, cardiologist, etc. for clearance prior to your surgery.  At that time any necessary labs, EKGs, or chest x-rays will be done.

What are the risks?

The risks of a brachioplasty include bleeding, infection, scarring, hematoma, seroma, need for further intervention, asymmetry, poor cosmesis, widening of the scar over time, scar contracture, poor movement of arms/hands, nerve/vessel/muscle/tendon injury, loosening of skin over time, failure to correct problem completely, fat necrosis, skin necrosis, dehiscence, contour irregularities, numbness/hypersensation, weight gain/loss/pregnancy can change result, cardiac/pulmonary/stroke/DVT/PE events, death, etc.

If you have any additional questions regarding this procedure please contact our Fort Worth office which is conveniently located to Southlake, Keller, Argyle and Mansfield just off Heritage Trace Parkway.