Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Arm lift surgery (“brachioplasty”) is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the arms. It may be combined with liposuction of the arms to reduce arm fullness even further. This procedure is popular with people who have lost a lot of weight. However, even men and women who have not lost a lot of weight but have “bat wings” or loose, sagging skin of the upper arms are candidates for brachioplasty surgery.
Dr. Kunkel performs brachioplasty in a hospital or surgery center with the patient under general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 3 hours to complete. Patients may go home that day, although some prefer to stay in the surgical facility overnight. In the most common type of brachioplasty an incision is made near the elbow and the extra skin and fat are then removed all the way to the armpit and even a short distance down the side of the upper part of the chest; this last part is very helpful in women in particular because it removes some of the skin that hangs over the top of the bra in that area. The scar that results is relatively inconspicuous on the upper inner arm and upper lateral chest. The arms are swollen and a bit tight for a few days, but typically there is not much actual pain. Most people take one or two weeks off from work and, as with any major operation, strenuous physical activities like upper body CrossFit training should be avoided for about six weeks. Most brachioplasty patients wear compression sleeves for about two months after surgery. For that reason many brachioplasty patients prefer to undergo the surgery in the fall or winter. Wearing long sleeves in Texas in the summer may be uncomfortable and is a good way to draw attention to one’s self!
A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates typically have loose, droopy skin after significant weight loss due to diet and exercise or bariatric surgery. Thigh lift surgery is often combined with other body contouring procedures like breast lift surgery or abdominoplasty, helping the person re-gain a sense of proportion and balance of the overall physique.
Dr. Kunkel performs inner thigh lift surgery in a hospital or outpatient surgery center with the patient under general anesthesia. The operation typically takes about 3 hours to complete. In the type of inner thigh lift performed most frequently by Dr. Kunkel, skin and fatty tissue are removed from the inner aspects of the thighs. Incisions are made along the inner thigh extending from the groin crease to the knee, allowing excision of the excess tissue. The resulting scar is very pink for several months but fades. Ultimately the scar will be visible in shorts, but people who go through this operation are typically very willing to trade the scar for the significant enhancement in thigh shape and contour. The legs are swollen, bruised, and tight for several days after thigh lift surgery, but pain is not usually a major concern of this group of patients. Most people will want to take about two weeks off from work. Compression garments are recommended for several weeks to a few months after thigh lift surgery to help minimize swelling and accelerate the return to the skin’s natural tone. It’s best to wait about six weeks before resuming running and working out.
A back lift focuses on recontouring and tightening up the back by removing excess skin and fat. Due to aging, sun exposure or major weight loss, the skin of the back may begin to sag and bulge, creating unsightly lumps and rolls. This makes many people self-conscious even when dressed, as clothing often shows off every roll.
A back lift procedure concentrates on the mid to upper back area and sides of the upper abdomen beneath the arms. This is a particularly difficult spot for women as these rolls of skin tend to surface above and below the bra line. An incision is made through which excess tissue is removed, smoothing the skin of the back for a much more toned appearance. The incision does form a thin scar, but this is easily concealed under a bra or bathing suit strap.
Performed under general anesthesia, most back lifts are outpatient procedures completed in one to two hours. Back lift surgery is an effective form of treatment for both men and women, and may be combined with other body contouring procedures to help patients achieve their aesthetic goals all at once.