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What Are Common Side Effects of Brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty or “arm lift’ is a widely used cosmetic surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the under portion of your upper arms.

The procedure is commonly done by removing the excess skin and fat from between the armpit and elbow of your arm. The remaining skin is repositioned and adjusted back to create new giving you a more toned, youthful appearance.

Generally, as you age, the skin on your upper arms changes and may begin sagging and becoming loose. Also, any significant weight loss can cause the undersides of your upper arms to droop and appear “loose” or “saggy.”

No matter how standard or straightforward a procedure may appear, any competent cosmetic surgeon will always explain that any surgery may involve risks, no matter how infrequent these risks may be.

Every patient is unique, but if you diligently follow your prescribed post-operative recovery procedures, you will reduce your chances of any complications.

For example, some of the possible risks of a Brachioplasty may include:

  • Possible scarring – Incision scars from an arm lift are commonly permanent but usually placed in hidden areas and aren’t easily visible. There are times when incisions can result in raised, red scars, but this can be mitigated.
  • Asymmetry in the shape of your arms – This occurs primarily during the healing process due to the changes made to your arms. Your Brachioplasty surgeon will always attempt to make your arms look as symmetrical as possible, but your body is typically not balanced and perfect symmetry isn’t usually possible.
  • Changes in skin sensation – During the Brachioplasty, repositioning your arm tissues may produce some numbness. This is, almost always, a fleeting and temporary condition.
  • Issues with your stitches – Stitches used to secure the arm’s new shape might work their way to the surface of the skin and accordingly will be removed. This might cause inflammation of this area, and you could need additional surgery to correct it.

Other, less common side effects might include:

  • Anesthesia risks.
  • Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and muscles.
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Infection, which can be treated.
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation.
  • Pain, which may persist for a bit.

It’s vital to note that Brachioplasties are done every day, and most procedures are successful and give your arms a more youthful and toned look.

Every patient differs, as well as your medical history. Discussing your medical situation and expectations with your experienced and knowledgeable Wellesley cosmetic surgeon will provide you with the facts you need and allow you to move forward confidently.

What Might I Expect During My Recovery From Brachioplasty Surgery?

After your procedure, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions. Also, your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling.

In rare cases, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
Your surgical team will give you specific post-op instructions on properly caring for your surgical site, drains, etc.

Medications may be prescribed or taken orally to aid healing, and all specific concerns you should be on the lookout for will be discussed. Also, a follow-up visit with your plastic surgeon will be scheduled.

It’s important to note that all questions you may have regarding your recovery should be discussed thoroughly with your cosmetic surgeon immediately after your surgery.

Examples of these questions could be:

  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery, and how should I use them?
  • Regarding my dressings/bandages after surgery, when will they be removed?
  • When can I resume regular activity and exercise?
  • When do I return to work, and more?

Remember your Boston Brachioplasty surgeon and their team are there to assist and always help you obtain the results you expect. Endeavor to take any post-op instructions exceptionally seriously, and you’ll help yourself recover quickly and without incident.

Will a Brachioplasty Get Me the Results I’m Looking For?

You could be highly fit and healthy, but as you age, your skin is not as elastic as it once was. Also, you may have had positive results from dieting or bariatric surgery. Now, however, you’re seeing one development that’s not so good; Flaps of loose skin hanging from your upper arms.

If this is your current situation, an “arm lift” can create a much better contour and appearance to your upper arm. This procedure will rid your arm of the excess, sagging skin, and fat that spans from elbow to armpit.

The procedure, in most cases, lasts two to three hours, and you typically can expect to resume light activity within a few days. All procedures differ in the outcome; in the vast majority of Brachioplasties, you end up with no more “loose and sagging” underarm skin and the toned, more youthful appearance you wanted. When done by a competent, experienced cosmetic surgeon, Brachioplasty is an extraordinarily successful procedure.

How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for a Brachioplasty?

The best way to know is to consult with your local Wellesley cosmetic surgeon and discuss your medical history, expectations, etc.

But commonly, the following facts may help you in your decision:

  • You are a healthy individual who does not have any medical conditions that could inhibit fast healing or don’t have a weak immune system.
  • You are an adult who has significantly loose skin folds over the arm.
  • You show relative stability in your weight and are not overly obese.
  • If you are ready to maintain the skin tone and amount of fat under the skin after surgery, follow a continuous exercise regimen. If you don’t do this, it might lead to unwanted fat deposits in other places.

This is only a partial list, but a complete discussion with your cosmetic surgeon will answer all your questions and concerns and put your mind at ease.

I Do Want a Brachioplasty; How Should I Proceed?

If you are a suitable candidate for a Brachioplasty, is a question only you and your Boston Brachioplasty surgeon can determine. The cosmetic surgeons and their professional team at Wellesley Cosmetic Surgery have over 20 years of experience performing these procedures on patients in the Boston area. Consult with them now, and be sure that you are medically, realistically, and emotionally confident about moving forward with your surgery.

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