A brachioplasty is the excision of excess skin and fat from the upper arm. The scar usually extends from the posterior aspect of the armpit to the back of the elbow. The scar is placed in such a way as to minimize scar exposure from the front and as much as possible from the back. This operation trades improved contour for a scar. The brachioplasty scar has a tendency to widen and sometimes needs a secondary revision.
The brachioplasty operation is often done on patients who have lost a great deal of weight, either on their own or following gastric restrictive surgery. It usually is the only option for patients who want this part of their anatomy improved. Liposuction alone will just result in additional excess hanging skin that results in an even worse appearance of the upper arm. The operation is often done in conjunction with other operations such as breast lifts or abdominoplasty.