Can I get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty? (photo)

I have been losing weight after finding the perfect diet for myself. So far I've lost apx 120lbs, with a goal of 20 more. My arms still have some fat - I'm working on losing more weight and toning the muscle. I'm wondering if I could get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty, even though I may have less results than a full arm procedure, or would it be pointless with the shape of the skin?

Doctor Answers 8

Can I get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty?

Thank you for the photo and congratulations on your weight loss. 

I don't think there is any way you are going to get good contour without a full brachioplasty and the long incision.  It is a mistake to sacrifice good contour for a shorter scar.  Scars almost always fade (for some reason brachioplasty scars can take a couple of years) but a bad contour is forever.  I think anyone who offers you a short scar brachioplasty does not have a lot of experience with this procedure.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Arm lift brachioplasty arm liposuction mini arm lift T arm lift incision arm reduction crescent arm lift

Thank you for your question and pictures regarding an arm lift or more accurately, arm reduction. Congratulations on your weight loss. 
I think you will achieve minimal benefits with a crescent or mini-incision T brachioplasty.  The mini-incision T brachioplasty or crescent arm lift excises skin and fat from the upper one third of the arm.This type of brachioplasty would do nothing for the middle one third or the distal one third of your arm (next to your elbow).  I believe you will be not satisfied with a crescent or mini incision brachioplasty.
Based on your history and photographs, I believe your best result would be achieved with a full brachioplasty.  The full brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The arm lift or arm reduction takes approximately 3 hours to complete. This type of rm lift/reduction is an outpatient procedure.   I would suggest you take 10 days off work.  Compression garments are advised for six weeks after surgery.  Silicone gel and  sheeting are important to minimize scarring.  Good luck!

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

A mini arm lift

From your photograph, it seems almost certain you need a formal arm lift which has in incision from high in the armpit to your elbow. Any lesser effort would probably lead to quite disappointing results. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon would go a long way to discuss the options with you.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

A mini will likely not be enough

good morning!

Looking at your photo it is difficult to ascertain a critical factor in deciding the right type of incision for you- that being skin elasticity.  How elastic your skin is dictates how much improvement you would get distally toward your elbow with liposuction, saving the skin excision for the proximal arm where it is much looser.  My guess however is that a mini arm lift would not give you the result you are looking for.

Be sure to see a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who has experience in these procedures.

 I hope this helps

Robert Steely, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Can I get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your weight loss.  It is unlikely that a limited scar arm lift would give you the results that you'd be happy with.  The extent of excess skin and loss of elasticity would likely require a full length incision arm lift.  An in person evaluation and exam would be required to confirm.  Please consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Can I get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty?

Congratulations on your significant weight loss; you should be very proud of this accomplishment.  Although nothing will replace in-person evaluation ( to assess the area of concern and quality/elasticity of the overlying skin), I would be very concerned that you will end up displeased with minimal  incision arm lifting procedures;  as you may have read, the results of these procedures also tend to be quite limited.

When the time is right, seek consultation with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and make your decisions carefully. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Can I get away with a minimal axilla scar brachioplasty?

Once patients lose such large amounts of weight, the remaining problem is excess skin that has lost its elasticity. For that reason, liposuction and limited skin removal  nearly always always results in incomplete correction of the problem, major disappointment and a waste of money. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Limited Incision Brachioplasty

Hi and thank you for your questions.  First of all, congratulations on your weight loss! The decision of whether to proceed with a traditional brachioplasty vs a more limited incision brachioplasty involves many considerations: the amount of fat in the upper arm and its location, the quality of the skin, and a patients expectations for results as well as acceptance of scars.  It is best you meet with a plastic surgeon in person to discuss your options after a thorough examination and consultation.  From the one picture alone, you may indeed be a candidate for a more limited procedure if you are aware of the likely results.  Good luck!

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.