Upper Arm Reduction Procedure
The surgery aims to correct the flap of redundant skin and tissue seen under the upper arm when held out to the side. This frequently develops in patients following large weight reduction but may also occur in a slim person with increasing age and consequent increasing skin laxity. The main drawback of this surgery is the scarring which is usually along the inside of the upper arm and extends from the armpit to the elbow. Liposuction is frequently used as an adjunct to the surgery, though by itself will rarely be sufficient to correct the problem (and in many cases may actually make matters worse!).
The aims and expectations of surgery should have been discussed at the initial consultation. Smokers have a higher risk of developing complications, in particular infections, wound breakdown and poor scarring, and it is therefore advised they should refrain from smoking for at least 6 weeks prior to and for 2 weeks following surgery. Aspirin and related anti-inflammatories should be avoided for a similar time period as they may promote bleeding.
The surgery takes 2 to 2½ hours to perform and is undertaken under general anaesthesia with patients usually being in hospital for 2 nights postoperatively.