Thick arms can be treated with an operation called a brachioplasty. The procedure, which involves the excision of excess skin and fat, is performed as a day case procedure (in and out the same day) in my own, private facility. An alternative to brachioplasty, in young women who have good skin tone and only a problem of upper arm fat excess, is to have the upper arms treated with liposuction. This is frequently combined with lipo of other areas ... see more on lipo.
For the surgery, I use women anaesthetists who will put you under a light sedation. This will be supplemented with local anaesthesia. You will be asleep, pain-free and unaware at the time of surgery and you will have a quick recovery.
The incision for brachioplasty is from armpit to elbow and is designed to lie in the bicipital groove - the groove on the inner aspect of the upper arm. Despite the length of the incision most women are really satisfied with the procedure and find the resulting scar an acceptible price to pay for the improvement in arm shape.
After the excess is excised, the wounds are closed with dissolving sutures, tape is placed over the cuts and a dressing is applied. The procedure takes about an hour and a half. Painkillers will be prescribed for post-operative pain. Bruising and swelling will last about 2-3 weeks and once this has subsided, you can resume your normal activities. Out of town patients can go home after 2-3 weeks. It takes about a year for the scar to settle into a thin, fine, white line.
Potential complications of surgery include bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, scarring, benign lumps, sensory changes and cosmetic issues.
Page updated 4 December 2010.