Background: Upper arm deformities secondary to massive weight loss or senile elastosis have led to an increased demand for aesthetic contouring procedures such as brachioplasty.
Methods: The records of all patients who underwent a brachioplasty procedure from a multipractice medical center were reviewed. Outcomes measured included patient demographics, operative interventions, and postoperative course.
Results: Ninety-six patients were analyzed. Fifty-three patients (55.2 percent) underwent a concomitant procedure, with 53.1 percent undergoing arm liposuction at the time of brachioplasty. Major and minor complications rates were 17.7 percent and 44.8 percent, respectively. Common complications included hypertrophic scarring (24.0 percent) and infection (14.6 percent). The total revision rate was 22.9 percent, with residual contour deformity (40.9 percent of revisions) and hypertrophic scarring (36.4 percent of revisions) representing the most common causes for revision. Patients who underwent a previous bariatric procedure were at an increased risk of developing a major complication (p = 0.02). Concomitant upper arm liposuction and concomitant procedures were not associated with a significantly increased complication rate.
Conclusions: Brachioplasty, despite being an effective treatment for contour irregularities of the upper arm, is associated with significant revision and complication rates. Post–bariatric surgery patients should be informed of the potential for increased complications. Additional procedures performed at the time of brachioplasty do not significantly increase complications. Liposuction of the upper arm can be performed safely in conjunction with brachioplasty.