Arm reduction surgery may be performed as the only body sculpting procedure or in conjunction with body Liposuction and Liposculpture and/or Abdominoplasty in patients following massive weight loss. The arm may sag with aging with ageing and large volume weight loss, otherwise known as “tuck shop” arms. The skin becomes loose and hangs when the arm is extended. Arm reduction surgery involves removal of the redundant skin and fat. Despite the site of the incision and resultant scar, most patients find this an acceptable trade off if they are able have bare arms or as part of returning their body to a natural balanced form following massive weight loss.
Consultation for Arm Reduction Surgery
Patients, who are otherwise healthy and have no contraindications in their medical history and examination performed during a consultation, will be advised about the procedure of arm reduction. The scars on the body are less likely to disappear compared with scars of the face. Some scars are able to be short and extend within the armpit and upper third of the arm, other scars may extend to the elbow. Some patients are able to have a combination of Liposuction and short arm reduction especially if their skin is likely to retract and sculpture to the new shape. Unfortunately there are individuals for whom this is not possible as they have multiple stretch marks and lax skin and will require a long incision.
Arm Reduction Lift Surgery
The arm reduction is performed under general anaesthesia or sedation anaesthesia. Patients are able to stay overnight in hospital. The incisions will extend from the armpit towards the elbow dependant on how much redundant tissue is removed. The incision is closed with dissolving sutures and no sutures are required to be removed.
The arm is usually swollen as are the hands for the 4-6 weeks after surgery; this will eventually resolve. Immediately postoperatively the arm will be wrapped in a compressive dressing which patients are to wear for at least 6-8 weeks if not longer; this will help with healing, swelling and allowing the skin to conform to the new reduced arm circumference. During post op visits the scars will be monitored; further management may be required to treat the scars if they thicken or spread.
The complications whilst uncommon are bleeding, changed skin sensation, infection and excessive scarring.