Upper Arm Reduction

Also known as brachioplasty upper arm reduction is an operation to reduce the amount of loose skin on the upper arm. This is often undertaken by those who have experienced substantial weight loss or those who as a result of ageing have experienced arm deflation. The surgical procedure involves removing loose skin and excess fat deposits.

During the procedure the surgeon makes cuts on the inner and under surfaces of your arm, anywhere from the armpit to as low as the elbow. Excess skin and fat are removed and the remaining skin is stretched and stitched back together. The operation generally results in tighter, firmer upper arms. Despite this there will be visible scarring that may extend from the armpit to the elbow.

The procedure is usually done following an incision which is placed in the inner arm towards the back. After the skin is separated from the underlying tissue, the muscle is reshaped and reformed to provide a tighter and firmer exterior. In some cases the surgeon may also choose to perform liposuction. The result should be a firmer and more attractively sculpted arm however scarring will remain.

Preparation

Before undergoing upper arm reduction consideration and preparation are vital elements. Those who are considering the procedure should clearly outline their targets, and openly discuss this with their consultant. Those who are considering the procedure should be aware of the risks and complications that can arise, as well as the practical changes that are needed prior to surgery. Patients are required to stop taking medication which alters blood viscosity; including aspirin, birth control and hormone correction. In preparation of surgery it is also highly recommended that patients avoid smoking, to enhance recovery.

After the operation

For the first few days after surgery the patient will experience discomfort in the form of tight and sore underarms. This discomfort and tightness can be controlled with medication.

The surgeon shall also suggest to patients that they should avoid hanging their arms by their sides, and will also suggest means in which to avoid this. This will include keeping arms elevated on pillows for the first day or two in order to keep the swelling from transcending into hands and fingers.

Patients will need to limit arm motion for the first few weeks after surgery, until the incisions are well healed and should keep their elbows below shoulder level for approximately two weeks after undergoing the procedure.

Drainage tubes will be removed within four days of surgery. Patients are also instructed to apply antibiotic ointment around the drain and on the incisions several times daily. Other guidance will include ensuring treated areas do not get wet, and that applications such as deodorant are avoided.

Patients will be expected to wear supportive clothing to conceal the areas that were treated for three to four weeks. This helps support the skin during healing whilst repressing swelling. The surface stitches will dissolve quickly, whilst the deeper stitches will take longer.

Recovering from upper arm reduction

  • The patient will experience tight and sore arms
  • Patients should keep their arms elevated for a period of two days whilst avoiding lifting arms above shoulder level and avoid excessive movement for two to three weeks
  • Patients should not shower for two days following surgery
  • Supportive clothing garment are needed to restrict swelling for up to a month
  • Certain applications need to be applied, whilst others such as deodorant should be avoided.

For the large majority of adults who under go an upper arm reduction the results will be a success with no unforeseen consequences. Despite this, the potential risks and complications remain, as is the case for almost all surgical procedures.

Risks and complications

  • Patients may contract infection as a result of surgery.
  • Patients shall experience incision wounds however may experience major or intrusive permanent scarring.
  • Seromas or fluid collections are potential risk
  • The need for revisions and skin grafting remain possibilities.
  • Nerve compression causing difficulty with movement of the arm and hand

By nature, all medical procedures carry an element of risk. While the majority of patients do not experience any complication during our Upper Arm Reduction procedures, before embarking on any medical procedure, it is advisable to consultfully with the McLean Academy so that our qualified staff can suitably discuss any risk or concerns that your procedure may pose.

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Contact Information

The McLean Academy

Neil R. McLean ( MD FRCS )

Telephone: 0191 284 3719

Email: reception@mcleanacademy.com

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