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Brachioplasty: Indications, Techniques, Possible Complications

Brachioplasty is a procedure performed to tone up the arms and is popularly termed as arm lift surgery.[1] This articles discusses about brachioplasty in detail, along with its indications, techniques and possible complications.

What is Brachioplasty ?

What is Brachioplasty ?

Understanding about the procedure of brachioplasty in detail helps to take informed decisions. The possibility of certain complications can help you evaluate other options and discuss the best way out with your physician.

Brachioplasty is the technical medical term coined for an arm lift surgery, usually opted by people who have loose bicep muscles and arm skin to give them a better shape. Brachioplasty is also often simply called arm lift and it makes the arms more shapely and satisfying for people who do not want to carry around a flabby arm.

Indications of Brachioplasty

Sagging arms are the commonest indications of brachioplasty. Generally, people opt for brachioplasty due to some specific circumstances that lead to sagging arms.

Some of the common reasons of sagging skin that can be the indications of brachioplasty include

  • Losing a Lot of Weight – People who lose a lot of weight in a short while often end up with saggy arms. While they may try out different ways to manage this, they are given the option to have brachioplasty. Hence, this is one of the common indications of brachioplasty.
  • Leaving Exercises with Advancing Age – With advancing age, people often tend to let go of regular gym practices which had so far helped them build muscular body. In such cases, the muscles begin to sag and lose their previous shape.
  • Hormonal Changes in the Body – Several hormonal changes take place in the body after the age of 30, making the body’s metabolism rate lower, which reduces calorie burning capacity. However, such hormonal changes can be triggered at any age by the environment and result in loose arms.[2]

Techniques of Brachioplasty

Some of the popular techniques of brachioplasty include

  • Liposuction – The most popular technique of brachioplasty is liposuction of the arms. It helps remove unwanted fat from the parts of the arms you want to contour. As this may leave the skin looking saggy, other alternative types of liposuction are considered.[2]
  • Minimal Incision Brachioplasty – In this technique of brachioplasty, the incision for the surgery is significantly less and the scar is under the arm, to avoid being visible. In this technique, lipoplasty of the upper arm is performed, then it is followed by wide-axillary excision and also upper arm skin excision. Finally, the dermal suspension up to the axillary fascia of the upper arm skin is performed to complete the entire procedure.[3]
  • Traditional Brachioplasty – This techniques of brachioplasty involves the use of surgical removal of the loosened muscle areas, however, they leave a huge scar that is visibly unpleasant. Some people opt for extended brachioplasty where the muscles along the chest wall are also loose and require surgical repair. In this case, the scar is even more extended. However, there are several other methods on the rise as well that provide better after effects and the suitability of the patients, but these methods remain the most popular ones since a very long time.[4]

Possible Complications of Brachioplasty

When carried out under proper supervision, brachioplasty is fairly safe and poses no threat. Some of the possible complications of brachioplasty that must be kept in mind include the following.

  • Anesthesia given during the surgery may result in several allergic reactions.
  • Surgical complications that may lead to bleeding, blood clots and ultimately may lead to even heart attack or stroke.
  • There may be a scar present and may bother with its unsightliness, itching and swelling along it which may lead to other problems.
  • The tissues underlying the wounded area may be affected and severe damage may result in the requirement of further surgeries.[5]

Keeping all the features in mind, with proper precautions and a good surgeon, brachioplasty can surely be undergone to give your arms a better shape. It is advisable to discuss about the indications of brachioplasty, the best techniques to be used and the possible complications and other risks involved when planning for brachioplasty.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 8, 2022

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