Arm Lift Near Chicago
There are two groups of patients who come to the office for brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery. One group is unable or uninterested in losing weight, but wants to be able to find clothes to fit them, and the other group has lost significant amount of weight, but are left with large flapping arms.
The drawback of brachioplasty has long been the location and the quality of the scar.
Advantages of Surgery with Dr. Makhlouf
Dr. Makhlouf has resolved those issues for a large number of patients by designing a new and safer location for the scar. Although the scar is visible it is not very noticeable and is very well accepted. Dr. Makhlouf presented this work as an invited speaker at the national meeting in Denver in 2011.
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes about around two hours to complete both arms. No drains are used and the patient can take a shower the next day. A garment is provided for use during the first three weeks after surgery.
Unless one has a close experience with the problem, the public do not realize how uncomfortable patients can be with their arms. Either they are too large or they are floppy secondary to significant weight loss.
Patients expectations include the elimination of the constant rubbing and elimination of the “floppiness” of the arms, being able to find clothes that fit the body as well as the arms, and not having to hide one’s arms from view with a resulting increase in self-confidence.
There are two ways to address patients’ arms: liposuction or surgical excision. Usually if the arm is large and the quality of the skin is good removing the fat with liposuction can be a sufficient answer to the problem without the need for a long scar.
It is the scar that has always been the major drawback of the surgery. The traditional scar started in the armpit and extended to the elbow. However it did not provide an acceptable scar quality, and was always visible when the patient lifted their arm.
With the increasing number of patients losing a significant amount of weight either by diet and exercise or with bariatric surgery, Dr. Makhlouf felt that an attempt at resolving the problem of scar visibility would be a worthwhile endeavor.
In Dr. Makhlouf opinion, the location of the scar, in a traditional arm lift, was in an area where the skin is very thin, the amount of dermis there is very small. This lack of strength allowed the scar to spread and widen. Moving the scar facing the floor when the arm is horizontal would first hide the scar from direct view and second would end up in the area where the quality of the dermis is superior, and therefore, more resistant to stretching.
Further analysis revealed that more skin than fat needs to be preserved in order to bring the edges together, and obtain a closure without tension.
Accordingly, marking of the incision before surgery is started became of paramount importance. First desired final position of the scar is marked and then the two sides of the excision that will meet at the desired location are marked as well taking into account the need for closure without tension.
The procedure is done in an outpatient setting and the patient goes home the same day with a special garment provided by our office. Very small amount of pain medication is needed in the recovery. There are no drains, and patient can take a shower the next day and get the incision wet. Return to some type of work that is not strenuous is possible in 48 hours after the surgery.
When Dr Makhlouf presented his surgical planning and his results to his colleagues in the Illinois Society of plastic surgeon. They were quite impressed and the American Society of plastic surgeon sent a cameraman to tape the procedure. The video was presented at the national plastic surgery meeting in Denver in 2011. Some segments of the video are available in the media section of the website.
Other physicians have published on this same technique with equally satisfying results, and since then it has been adopted as the standard of care.
The goals of this procedure are:
Eliminate the constant rubbing and floppiness in the arms.
Being able to find clothes that fit the body as well as the arms,
Not having to hide one’s arms from view.
Being more confident and less self-conscious.
This patient reached all her goals.
The goals of the surgery are:
A reliable and reproducible procedure
An efficient and fast procedure (By being fast it is very cost effective)
A scar that is acceptable in its location and quality
A safe procedure that stays away from nerve damage (medial brachial cutaneous nerve and antebrachial cutaneous nerve)
An esthetically pleasing outcome.
Minimal time of work.
The procedure in this patient met all the goals
These are the before and after photos of the patient in the video. I invite you to watch it.
This video was done at the request and with the funding of the American Society of Plastic Surgery.
In this procedure the scar is visible in only one position: from behind and with the arms down because there is an element of rotation at the shoulder joint.
If well executed the scar is barely noticeable.