It is not uncommon to combine an arm lift (brachioplasty) with another procedure at the same time. Most patients who are considering having an arm lift have lost a considerable amount of weight, either through bariatric surgery or from a strict diet and exercise program.
It is normal for these patients to have a variety of cosmetic surgeries to correct the problem of excess sagging skin on their abdomen, breasts, back and extremities. Combining procedures into one surgery has multiple advantages including cost savings, fewer surgeries, less overall recovery time and going through one anesthetic.
The most common procedures to combine with an arm lift surgery would be a tummy tuck, thigh lift or breast implant surgery. As an arm lift frequently extends beyond the arm onto the sides of the chest (an “L” brachioplasty), performing a breast lift at the same time can sometimes be difficult as the incisions may either come too close together or actually cross one another. For this reason, we often perform a breast lift at the same time as a tummy tuck and then combine the arm lift with a breast augmentation or thigh lift. If the arm lift incisions will be restricted to the arms, a simultaneous mastopexy is not a problem.
Facial Aesthetic Surgery
It is also possible to perform facial cosmetic surgery at the same time as a brachioplasty. Examples include eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, chin augmentation, ear pinning surgery, a neck lift or even a mini-facelift. Fillers such as Juvederm® or Restylane® can also be placed in lines of the face to reduce wrinkles at the same time as almost any surgical procedure, which has the obvious advantage of not feeling the needle stick with the injections.
Most patients are surprised at how quickly they recover from and arm lift procedure and find that the dressing, wraps and drains (if present) do not limit them from performing their day-to-day activities very much. More strenuous undertakings such as exercise with the arms can generally be done in just a few weeks and you can get back to lower extremity workouts even sooner. Sometimes the incision in or running across the armpits will limit upward arm motion for a while. If this area is tight after surgery, it is important to not put too much tension on the incisions for the first three to four weeks as the can break open and delay healing.
Too Much Surgery
Some patients seeking arm lift surgery who have lost a lot of weight are considering combining multiple procedures into one operation. There is, of course, a limitation as to how much can be safely done at one time. This depends a lot on your age, health, size and what is being done as well as how long the procedures take. If you are trying to do a lot at one time and several surgeons have told you to break them up into more than one surgery, it is advisable to heed their warning and not ‘doctor-shop’ by trying to find a physician who is willing to take a chance on you.