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Armlift surgery (brachioplasty)


Surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arms. Armlift surgery can help those who have been left with excess skin following weight loss through diet and exercise or following successful weight loss surgery.

This type of surgery is not a weight loss treatment. If you plan to lose more weight, then it is advisable to do so before having a Brachioplasty. The results of Brachioplasty can be long-lasting, providing you maintain a healthy weight.

What does surgery involve?

Brachioplasty is carried out under a general anaesthetic and usually requires a one-night stay in hospital.

During the procedure, the surgeon will make incisions from the axilla (armpit) to the elbow along the inner arm. The excess skin and tissue is removed and once the surgery is complete, all the incisions are closed with sutures.

Following the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre into the Recovery Suite where you will be looked after until you are fully awake. After this, you will return to your room, where the nursing staff will check your dressings and monitor your pulse and blood pressure at regular intervals.

The anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers and you should take these regularly for the first week or so. Pain can slow down your recovery, so it is important to discuss any discomfort with the nursing staff.

There may be a drip in one of your arms – this is to keep you well hydrated. This will be removed when you are able to drink a satisfactory amount.

You will have wound dressings in place.

When will I recover?

After Brachioplasty you are likely to have some pain/discomfort, swelling and bruising in your arms.

Your surgeon will advise you as to how long you are required to wear your supportive compression garment and whether it is to be worn day and night.

You will receive a post-operative telephone call from the Specialist Nurse one to two days after your discharge home to ascertain your progress and well-being. You will also receive a follow-up appointment at which your surgeon will assess your progress and give advice on when you can resume your normal activities.

You must avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks after surgery. You should only resume driving when you are confident that you can safely perform an emergency stop without experiencing discomfort.

The length of time you will need to take off work will depend on your type of employment but is usually a minimum of one week.

What risks should I know about?

Brachioplasty is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. However, all surgery carries an element of risk.

The possible complications of any surgery can include an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, infection and developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis).

You will be left with visible scars following your surgery. Initially, they will be red and slightly raised, but they should gradually soften and fade over the following months.

Excellence in healthcare

Our teams of world-class experts are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. Our highly-skilled consultant surgeons will take their time to listen and talk to you about what to expect from surgery. They use the most up-to-date technology and minimally invasive surgical techniques to keep scarring to a minimum and achieve natural results.

Treatment Overview

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