An arm lift, or brachioplasty, trims excess skin from the arms, typically after massive weight loss due to bariatric surgery. Dr. Peter Fisher can perform what is known as an extended arm lift, which addresses the area all the way down to the forearms and wrists. The procedure can provide a powerful complement to your healthy new weight.
Arm lift really is cutting excess skin from under the arm and is typically the upper arm that we're talking about. In medical jargon, it's called the brachioplasty. It's an operation that has become much more popular following the advent of bariatric surgery with a lot of these weight-loss patients. There are multiple different forms of arm lifts. I typically do extended arm lifts, which I think are right down to the wrists, because a lot of patients have excess skin in their forearms as well. And more frequently, I will actually go to the side of the breast because patients complain of excess skin that comes out of their bras and hangs over the tops of their bras. And I extend that arm lift all the way down to the side of their chest adjacent to their breast to get rid of that excess overhanging skin.
Two ways in general of doing an arm lift, one is called an anterior and one is called a posterior. One leaves a scar and what is called a bicipital groove, which is up here, and one leaves a scar underneath. I use the underneath or the posterior scar because I believe it gives a better result. It gives a longer lasting result. It's away from some major nerves. It's technically a little easier. And critically, you can't see that scar when you're talking to someone in front of you. You can see the scar from behind the patient. But unfortunately, the anterior scar you can see just about all the time when someone animates and opens up their arms.
And the other reason is that there's a scar and the anterior scar has a much higher risk of widening and getting permanently red. If we do this procedure by itself, the recovery is fairly rapid. They can drive, typically, within one week. At two weeks, I let them do just about whatever they would please.