The lost of skin elasticity occurs as a result of aging, and/or significant weigh lost. This results in flabbly upper arm or thigh skin. A brachioplasty or arm lift is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat to improve the contour of your arm. Similarly a thigh lift is needed to correct flabby hanging skin/fat of the thighs. Liposuction alone will not work since the sagging skin does not have adequate contractility to tighten into the new shape. In fact liposuction alone will make skin sags even more. If you interested in arm/thigh lift, please contact Dr Vu for a complimentary consultation.
Choosing to have an Arm Lift or a Thigh Lift
The ideal patients are those who have significant sagging skin due to aging or weight lost who desire firmer and smoother contours. Dr Vu will listen to your concerns, examine and discuss all options available to you. Patients must have realistic expectations and understand the risks and potential complications of the procedure. Dr Vu will discuss the procedure and risks involved so that you can make an informed decision.
The Arm Lift Procedure
Depending on the severity of skin sagginess, Dr Vu will discuss with you the type of incisions necessary to correct the deformity. For minor skin laxity the incision can be placed in the armpit. If the deformity is severe the length of incision can extend from armpit to the elbow. The incisions are placed discreetly so they are not easily visible. If excess fat is present, liposuction is necessary prior to skin removal to improve the shape and contour of arm. Layers of suturing is needed to close incision and minimize scarring.
If there is fat present along with the excess skin during your arm lift, liposuction will be performed to reduce the fat present in the upper arm. After removing the excess skin and fat, support stitches will then be placed in your arm to form and support the new contours. The incision will then be closed up with sutures.
The Thigh Lift Procedure
Similarly to arm lift the length and location of incisions are dependent upon the severity of skin excess. These incision sites range from a small incision isolated to the groin area (left image) to a larger incision extending from the groin around the hip (right image). Dr. Vu will discuss the various incisions with you and help you decide which option is best. Typically, even large incisions are placed discreetly, and are not easily visible. The thighs will be reshaped for better contour and smoother skin. Liposuction also might be needed to remove excess fat prior to skin removal for better contouring.
The above procedures are doing either under IV sedation or general anesthesia in our AAAASF surgical suite depending on extent of surgery. They are done on an outpatient basis. Patients generally will be wearing a compressive garment to reduce swelling and provide supportive contour. Occasionally suction drains are placed to remove excess blood and fluid postoperatively which will be removed after number of days. Patients can resume normal non-strenous activities after one week and full exercise after 4-6 weeks. Dr Vu will explain what to be expected during the recovery period and important postoperative intructions. The healing process differs by individual, and by the extent of correction needed during their arm lift or thigh lift. The scars might be prominent initially and will slowly improved over period of months.