Craig Mezrow MS, MD, FACS

What is Brachioplasty?

Hanging, loose, flabby upper arm skin can be improved with brachioplasty, which involves removal of loose, hanging skin and reduction of fat deposits from the upper arm. The excess fat may be removed with liposuction and the excess skin is excised.


Who is a candidate?

A candidate for brachioplasty will typically have excess loose, hanging upper arm skin in the possible presence of excess fat deposits. Brachioplasty should be performed after weight loss.

Consulting with Dr Mezrow:

During the consultation, Dr. Mezrow will ask you about your particular concerns regarding your upper arms. This will help determine your expectations and determine whether they can be realistically achieved.

After obtaining a comprehensive medical and surgical history, Dr. Mezrow will examine your upper arms. The skin tone, degree of loose skin, presence of excess fat will be assessed.


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How is the procedure done/Where will is have a scar?

Typically, the incision is within the armpit (axilla) extending to the elbow on the inner aspect of the upper arm as a T or L design. The length and design of the incision will be determined by the amount of skin to be removed. Prior to removal of excess skin, liposuction may be performed if there is excess fat involving the upper arm.

Brachioplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis. It is necessary to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for at least the next day or two.


What are the potential complications?

Fortunately, significant complications from brachioplasty are infrequent, however, all surgery has risks. Dr. Mezrow will discuss with you, the risks, benefits and alternatives and answer all your questions.

Some potential complications include infection, bleeding, delayed healing (loss of tissue) and bad scarring. A complication, which delays the healing and prolongs recovery, is much more common in diabetic patients and those who smoke. Preoperative and postoperative instructions will be given to you by Dr. Mezrow in attempt to reduce the likelihood of complications and make you as comfortable as possible with the whole process. Smokers will be instructed to stop smoking 4-6 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking to reduce the risk of delayed healing, wounds, infections and compromised outcome. Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications as well as agents that cause bleeding should be discontinued two weeks prior to surgery (or as otherwise instructed by Dr. Mezrow and your primary physician) to reduce the likelihood of bleeding.

What kind of medications will be given to me?

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Typically, general anesthetic or intravenous sedation is administered, so that you will be asleep throughout the procedure. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Gauze and compressive dressings will be applied to your arms.

What happens after the procedure?

You may be permitted to go home after recovery, unless you and Dr. Mezrow have determined that you will require a short stay in the hospital or post surgical facility. You will be instructed to limit arm activity, including but not limited to heavy lifting for approximately 4-6 weeks.

During your follow-up appointments with Dr. Mezrow, dressings will be changed or removed. Generally, sutures will not be removed, as they are resorbable. You will be instructed on taping of incisions to optimize healing of the scars.

You will have swelling and bruising, which will resolve with time. It is common to have some numbness involving the inner arm skin that typically resolves with time. The incisions will be initially be reddish and then slowly fade over months resulting in permanent scars. It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanent.


How long will it last?

Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, your upper arms should remain rejuvenated for many years. However, the effects of aging and gravity continue. If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your upper arms, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to rejuvenate your upper arms again. 

Healing from your surgery is a process that takes up to a year for final result. You will be instructed to return to Dr. Mezrow’s office for follow-up care at prescribed intervals to monitor your progress and optimize your outcome.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to surgery or during your recovery, you should contact Dr. Mezrow.