Innovations in brachioplasty

Innovations in Brachioplasty (arm lift) techniques will be discussed by leading experts at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) being held at the San Diego Convention Center May 2-6, 2008.

"Rejuvenation of the Arm: A Treatment Algorithm" will be moderated by Daniel Morello, MD, and will include Peter Fodor, MD, who will discuss traditional Brachioplasty; Felmont Eaves, MD, who will discuss the procedure in the massive weight loss patient; and Lawrence Reed, MD, who will discuss minimal incision Brachioplasty.

Excess fat and sagging, hanging skin on the upper arms is a common and distressing cosmetic issue for many women, one that may be caused by aging, genetics, and/or weight loss. To correct this, many patients will undergo Brachioplasty, or arm lift procedures. According to recent data from ASAPS, in 2007 there were 21,870 Brachioplasty procedures performed, an increase of 769% since 1997.

"When liposuction first became popular about ten years ago, we saw a decrease in the number of Brachioplasty procedures being performed," said Dr. Morello, a board-certified plastic surgeon in White Plains, NY who is a past-president of the Aesthetic Society. "Now, liposuction is usually one part of the procedure."

"The key to getting a good result is custom tailoring the patient's needs to the procedure. Some patients with firm skin, including those who simply want a more muscular arm, might only need liposuction, a good option because there is not much of a scar. On the other end of the spectrum some patients with a lot of hanging skin will require traditional Brachioplasty. The goal of this panel is to cover the surgical approaches that can currently be offered to the entire spectrum of patients." added Dr. Fodor, past-president of the Society and a board-certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, CA.

Traditional Brachioplasty operations to remove excess fat and skin require the surgeon to make an incision from the armpit to the elbow, leaving patients with a long, undesirable scar. Scar size will be even greater in patients who have experienced massive weight loss.

"We continue to see many patients with massive weight loss, often from bariatric surgery. These patients face the possibility of significant scarring from Brachioplasty because of the amount of skin that will need to be removed. However, current surgical techniques allow us to better control the appearance of the scar," said Dr. Eaves, a board-certified plastic surgeon with a practice in North Carolina and Treasurer of ASAPS.

One new approach to the upper arm lift is minimal incision Brachioplasty, which requires a much smaller incision, hidden in the armpit.

"Minimal incision is a new and modern approach to the age-old problem of the sagging upper arm. Patient satisfaction is very high with the hidden scar technique," said Dr. Reed, a plastic surgeon in New York City, who has had both a long and successful track record with this technique.

Panelists will discuss in detail several arm lift procedures, scar-controlling techniques, and patient selection and satisfaction.

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