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Brachioplasty: know the pros and cons of surgery that removes sagging arms

Brachioplasty: know the pros and cons of surgery that removes sagging arms

It is a plastic surgery that is indicated to treat excess localized fat, sagging or skin in the arm region, especially in the triceps region, also known as the "bye muscle."

Other names

Arm Lifting, Brachial Dermolipectomy

Indications of Brachioplasty

Brachioplasty is usually indicated for those with severe sagging and excess skin and fat in his arms. In general, this occurs in people who have lost a lot of weight (such as after bariatric surgery or dietary reeducation) or who have a genetic predisposition to sagging, especially after aging.

In general, sagging should be very uncomfortable, since Surgery leaves a large scar.

Who is the professional able to perform brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty should be done with a plastic surgeon member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery

Prerequisites for performing surgery

In order to perform brachioplasty, it is important to be in good health and to present the necessary indications for the intervention.

Contraindications for brachioplasty

Being very overweight or not in good clinical condition, as with current infection , coagulation problem, disease in any important organ or have high surgical risk, according to the presence and conditions of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, among others ...

Preoperative brachioplasty

In order to verify if the patient is able to perform the surgery, preoperative tests are performed, among which we find complete blood count, surgical risk, coagulogram and examination of

How brachioplasty is performed

Brachioplasty itself involves the repositioning of the skin on the arm and the removal of its excess, to eliminate the flaccidity of the site. When there is also presence of localized fat, liposuction can be done together. The incision is made in the axillary region and extended to the inner face of the arms. If the sagging is very small, the scar can be located only in the armpit, but when it is excessive, the mark extends also by the arm, reaching until just before the elbow. In the course of the surgery, the excess skin is resected and the remaining flaps are resected, returning to the arms a more adequate contour without that unwanted "bubble".

The procedure can be done with local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, especially when it is associated with other plastic surgery such as abdominoplasty or mammoplasty.

Length of surgery

When the skin lift is done, surgery can take two hours. If it is associated with liposuction, it will take up to three hours.


Hospitalization usually lasts for one day, but one week of rest is indicated. Many care is needed postoperatively: the patient should be left without raising his arms for 21 days. Lymphatic drainage is also indicated for the reduction of edema. It is necessary to wear elastic compression knit in the region for 1 month, not to make sudden movements with the arms, to avoid to take weight and to raise the arms in the first weeks.

Physical exercises in general should be avoided by 21 days, and specific exercises for the arm can only be done after two months in general. It is also necessary to protect the scar well from the rays of the sun to prevent it from getting dark.

Possible complications of brachioplasty

The complications of brachioplasty are the risks inherent in any surgical intervention. It can be hematomas, infection, depressions and irregularities in the skin, changes in the scars.Before and after brachioplasty

The result of this surgery is a more beautiful body contour in this region of the body, with less flaccidity and firmer skin appearance.

A common problem with this surgery is its scars, which occur due to the thickness of the skin of the arms, which are very thin, and because they are part of the body that are very busy. Its extent will depend on the degree of sagging or excess skin of the patient. Usually the scars are located in the armpit or even extend to the inside of the arm.

One of the factors that can make this scar less esthetic is its darkening, which can be avoided by not exposing the region to solar radiation while not have finished the regeneration process, this can be done by covering the arms or using sunscreens. Preventing many of the arms in the postoperative period or forcing the scar will also help.

After complete healing of the site, there are aesthetic treatments, such as laser and peelings, which ease the appearance of the scar. Hypertrophic scars and keloids can occur, but their appearance can not be predicted.


Revised by plastic surgeon and cosmiatrist Márcio Castan (CRM-RS 27261), member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery (SBCP)

Plastic surgeon André Eyler (CRM-RJ: 667,862), member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery and American Society of Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgeon André Colaneri (CRM-SP 87.886), member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery and responsible for Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Service of the Colaneri Clinic

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