I have touched on Brachioplasty in the massive weight loss section of this webpage but it is popular enough and sometimes misunderstood enough to warrant its on section on my site.
Liposuction or Brachioplasty?
The paradox of brachioplasty is that many people want the skin tightening it provides, but not the scar. Once again the key is elasticity of the skin. If the arms are full and not droopy liposuction alone of any kind will give a nice result. If the skin is loose liposuction will remove fat, but the loose skin will remain. Brachioplasty removes both the extra skin and fat.
The Brachioplasty scar:
Brachioplasty is notorious for making thick or wider scars. It is an operation that, centered under the arm is subject to constant motion as the skin heals. I call this a push me/pull me operation. The scar when closed is subject to these forces and because scar tissue is living and dynamic it responds to these stresses. I have had patients make beautiful scars with brachioplasty and like any surgeon I have seen some widen. The key for the patient is to understand these possibilities and be accepting of them good or bad.
Types of Brachioplasty :
Examples or the types of brachioplasty I perform are shown below. How I guide my patients depends on how loose they are. Brachioplasty can be as short as a scar under the armpit or can extend from the forearm to the chest wall. It depends on the degree of laxity.
A fill brachioplasty tightens the skin along the axis of the arm and pulls it up under the armpit as well the scars stop at the armpit.
An extended Brachioplasty extends under the armpit along the side of the chest. Many patients have extra skin her after significant weight loss.
Short scar Brachioplasty :
Short scar Brachioplasty takes a wedge of skin out under the arms. It gives a limited amount of vertical pull and a subtle result. It is really best for patients with a skin bulge under the armpit.