Should I Be Disappointed with my Brachioplasty?

6 weeks ago, I had bilat. brachioplasty w/lipo. I "pinched" my upper arms during my consult, so that my PS could see the aesthetic I desired. But during prep on the morning of the surgery, he insisted that it would look "freakish" to create too thin an upper arm, and I needed "that flare", to look natural. I am 6 weeks post-op, and am 3 inches smaller, around my upper arms. But I detest that "flare" I am told is natural. Can I achieve that thinner look by strength training, and/or losing my last 10 lbs?

Doctor Answers 13

Arm lift

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It is difficult to figure out what you are talking about without evaluating you in person.  The arms are not just straight tubes, they do have a gentle curve to them and normal aesthetics should be the goal.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Arm aesthetics explained

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The upper arms tapers from the elbow to the shoulder- it should be slightly larger in average circumference than the forearm. The front and back of the arm pit should be 'tight' without any laxity. The skin of the armpit should be appear to be a deep 'dome' shape without any laxity.

Brachioplasty (arm lift) recovery. Wait a year for the scars to mature

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Brachioplasty or arm lift is a great operation for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. It appears like you have an excellent result and a thoughtful plastic surgeon because if the brachioplasty is over done it can leave you with "Popeye" arms: big forearms and small upper arm. Be patient with the recovery because it will take almost a year for your scars to mature. 

I hope this helps and be patient.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Your Brachioplasty Surgery

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                  It’s very difficult to evaluate a surgical result without pictures or a physical examination. Based on your history, I suspect you have a reasonable result. It’s important that you give yourself some time to adjust to your new upper arms. With the passage of time and continued wound healing, you might ultimately be happy with your result.

                  It’s always important to have realistic expectations when undergoing cosmetic surgery. Efforts that over correct an anatomic deformity often create a distinctly abnormal and aesthetically unattractive feature. Although you’re unhappy with your current result, you might have been even more dissatisfied if you had gotten the results that you had hoped for.

                  Exercise and diet both have the potential to improve your arm contour and there’s no reason not to use them. It’s important that you maintain good communication with your surgeon and be patient. 

Arm Lifting Surgery

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Thank you for the question.

You are still early in the recovery process so please allow yourself time to heal and for the swelling to go down before you decide that you would like to have revisionary surgery.  I agree that it is better to be conservative during surgery because you can always go back and remove more tissue but if too much was removed the first time around, it's difficult to correct that.

Let your body heal and keep in close communication with your surgeon.  Re-assess things around the 6 month post op mark and see if a revision is in order.

Good Luck.

Brachioplasty results

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It is been only three months since your procedure. I would suggest that you wait until your 6 month post operative appointment before you begin to evaluate your results.

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Arm lift results

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As noted by others, it is important to give your wounds time to heal.  It is important to keep in close contact with your plastic surgeon.  We work hard to give our patients the results that they want.  It's not always possible to have it all, but if a realistic result is possible and things have not quite healed the way you imagined, talk to your surgeon. This is a much better route to take than shopping around for other doctors.

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Give your brachioplasty time to heal

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It takes several months to see the final results of the type of brachioplasty you describe.  Without photos I cannot make specific recommendations.  I can say, however, that it is always easy to take a little more skin and fat, but extremely difficult to correct the situation if too much tissue was removed.  For now you should be patient.  Discuss with your plastic surgeon that you are willing to wait, but you will want to discuss your results in a few months.

Bruce E. Genter, MD, FACS
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Unhappy with Brachioplasty - too soon to tell

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It is very common to be unhappy with soome plastic surgery procedures during the healing phase.  We have all these expectations that are not realized immediately.  It is far too early to tell if you will be happy.  The scars are still red and raised. the skin looks wierd and rippled in some areas and these things are very common.  Sometimes it is necessary to do a minor touch up which will correct all these problems.  I advise my patients to wait 6 months before deciding if they are satisfied and then we can discuss doing a revision.  Time is a great healer!

Arm Lift

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Arm lift, Brachioplasty should maintain the arm aesthetics, as well as the patients desires. If the patients expectation are not in concert with that of the patient's more discussions are needed before the surgery.

You are stii very early after surgery, wait 3-6 months the reassess the situation with your plastic surgeon, Loosing 3 inches is a great surgical achievement in Brachioplasty

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.