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Post Weight Loss Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

The upper arms can present an area of major concern for anyone who has undergone significant weight loss. Excess skin in this region can cause significant mental distress as the hanging skin and tissue limits clothing choices. In summer months when short sleeve shirts and tank tops are commonplace, if you have excess upper arm skin, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed by the lax condition of your upper arms. An arm lift after weight loss resolves this problem, restoring a firm, fit, defined look to the upper arms.

Why Choose Plastic Surgery Institute of Washington for an Arm Lift After Weight Loss?

  • The Plastic Surgery Institute of Washington is a world-class cosmetic practice in North Bethesda, just outside of Washington, DC
  • We have a team of highly-skilled, board-certified plastic surgeons who value exceptional quality and individualized patient care
  • Their sophistication, attention to detail, and patient experience is far more pleasant, performed in an environment similar to a luxury spa or resort.
  • They deliver care and service above and beyond what patients expect from plastic surgery center. They offer hand-selected support staff who are compassionate, focused on providing outstanding patient care.

What is Brachioplasty?

A brachioplasty is the medical term for arm contouring surgery. It may include liposuction alone, skin excision alone, or a combination of both. If liposuction suction is necessary, we will likely use Vaser ultrasonic-assisted liposuction to possibly help tighten the surrounding skin. In cases where there is only a small amount of excess skin, a limited or mini-brachioplasty may be indicated, with or without liposuction. The resulting scar from a mini-brachioplasty is confined to the axilla, or armpit, region. If you need to resolve excess skin and tissue on the upper arms after massive weight loss, liposuction cannot fully resolve their issues as there is too much excess skin remaining that requires trimming it away, surgically. In this situation, a full-brachioplasty will be the procedure of choice. Your surgery is customized to achieve beautiful results.

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Who is a Candidate for Brachioplasty?

Most patients who have lost significant weight benefit from a full brachioplasty which includes removal of skin from the entire upper arm region and the armpit (axilla). To create a more natural appearance, the excision of skin may extend down the side of the chest, removing loose, hanging skin from the sides of the breasts when necessary. Most patients tend to agree than any scar that forms as a result of brachioplasty after weight loss is usually a worthwhile tradeoff for restoring taut, shapely upper arms.

How is Post Weight Loss Arm Lift Surgery Performed?

The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Brachioplasty is an ideal procedure to perform in conjunction with other body contouring procedures depending upon your need for more extensive body contouring after extreme weight loss. Following surgery, the treatment area is wrapped in lightly applied ace bandages. This post-operative dressing will be changed at the first follow-up visit with us. You should plant to wear a compression garment for at least one month following surgery to aid in the healing process.

What is the Recovery Like Following Post Weight Loss Brachioplasty?

The recovery period for brachioplasty after weight loss ranges from one week for a limited brachioplasty to three weeks for a full brachioplasty. You will need to elevate your arms during the initial two weeks and should avoid driving. Although we recognize that each patient is different, most find they are able to resume their normal activities approximately three to four weeks following brachioplasty. Many patients are even able to resume their normal exercise routines four to six weeks following surgery. It is important that you remember to wear a compression garment when exercising for the first two months following your procedure.

Arm Lift After Weight Loss

What Can I do to Minimize Scars?

Scar massage can begin three to four weeks following brachioplasty. Your scars will initially appear red and raised but will flatten and fade as the months pass, finally appearing as a thin white or brown line. Your more defined upper arms are slowly revealed as you heal from surgery.

Are there Risks or Complications Associated with Post Weight Loss Brachioplasty?

Risks and complications are rare, and include but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry
  • Wound separation
  • Skin loss
  • Fluid collection under the skin (seroma) requiring drainage
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels
  • Prolonged or permanent numbness and/or swelling
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Scar migration
  • Need for revision in the future
Arm Lift After Weight Loss


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Arm Lift After Weight Loss
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