Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Anyone have a brachioplasty

View Full Version : Anyone have a brachioplasty

01-04-2013, 03:05 AM
I am thinking about getting a brachioplasty and NOT waiting until all the weight is gone. I have weird fat pockets that bother me. I consulted a doctor at Mayo Clinic and she thought there was no reason to wait. I really want this but am scared.

I've attached some pictures of my arm.

What do you think? Would these bother you enough to get an arm lift? Has anyone had one - what was recovery like?

I am toying with waiting to lose more weight - but I think then I will still have at least pockets of skin. Also the weird fat pockets appeared even when I was much thinner so I don't have high hopes they will disappear so I guess I figure - why wait?

Any thoughts (pro or con) or support/encouragement would be appreciated.

Missy Krissy
01-04-2013, 10:09 AM
If they bother you, the doctor gave the ok, and you can afford it, go for it! If it were me I would.

01-04-2013, 10:16 AM
I'd do it. I hate my arms as well and plan to have this done.

01-04-2013, 10:47 AM
some places offer financing too. when I'm at goal I'm financing an arm lift and boobie lift and anything else I need done so you can look into that and pay it off over three years instead of in one chunk.

01-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Thanks guys! I will definitely give your after pics. I went to a few plastic surgeons and they all said no reason to wait for finished weight loss. I didn't fully trust them because they make money off of my surgery. When I went to the Mayo Clinic to get another opinion, I felt much better about it. The Dr's at Mayo are salaried and don't have a direct financial interest in whether or not you do surgery. It was clear she was prepared to tell me to wait for weight loss - and the PA told me that's what they usually tell people, but after examining me the doctor thought there was no reason to wait based on the weird fat distribution in my arms and the fact that the rest of my arms are fine. I trusted this so I decided to do it and I'm scheduled for the 21st!

Plus the Mayo clinic is charging me less than half of what the fancy plastic surgery clinics wanted to charge. Total cost is $3400. I think the cost is so low because they only have to do a small portion of each arm instead of elbow to armpit like most armlifts.

I am excited (and scared) about this. But I feel like this is a wonderful opportunity to fix something that I am constantly self-conscious about. Even though I'm scared, I think I would regret not doing it. The one downside is that brachioplasty's tend to have bad scars ... its one of the worst places for scar healing. But heck, the scars can't look that much worse than the stretchmarked wrinkly skin on my arms and at least my arm won't keep waving back when I dance!

01-04-2013, 10:55 AM
Miss pixie - do your thighs rub together? Mine do, and I think they always will. I had that problem much thinner and I can even remember as a little kid having that issue even though I wasn't fat. If after weight loss my thighs still chafe, I am totally going to have them liposuctioned.

Cherry Quinn - Yes! My plan was to do financing through care credit - particularly when the quotes I was getting from fancy plastic surgery clinics were around 7 - 8k. But Mayo doesn't do care credit. However, they cut me such a good deal, its worth it. I fortunately do have enough saved to pay mostly cash, and the rest will go on a credit card that I will just pay off over the next few months. I am a graduate student, so it is a LOT of money to me - even as good of a deal as it is - but in the grand scheme of life its not that much and I just think its going to make me feel so much better about myself.

01-04-2013, 10:56 AM
Thank you everyone for your support. I think I am just having some "buyers remorse" (I booked it yesterday) - and I was really fishing for encouragement that I was doing the right thing. I am scared shitless - but like I said - I know I would regret NOT doing it.

01-04-2013, 11:05 AM
good luck and good healing :)

01-04-2013, 04:42 PM
OMG. I just saw this thread. I never ever ever thought I would come across someone else with the same weird arm flab issue that I have!!! I just want to give you a big giant hug and tell you, I feel your pain. You have no idea how many times I wished for regular "fat girl arms". I have that same little dip/crease where the flabby arm fat just stops and hangs. I've had it since I was in grade 6 so I've never been able to wear pretty sleeveless dresses or shirts with any semblance of confidence. Personally I am waiting until I'm at goal weight for a few years just because the cost of a surgery like that scares the crap out of me and I want to make sure I can't change it with diet and exercise alone. All the power to you though, girl. Keep us updated. I am particularly interested in the scar length difference for us irregular flab girls. Good luck and speedy healing!!

01-04-2013, 08:24 PM
I once called for a consultation at Sono Bello (or however you spell that place) and they basically told me that I had to wait until I reached a certain BMI. I have the same problem so I feel your pain. Mine aren't too bad and I don't intend to let them get worse but as of now, I always make sure to wear shirts with sleeves that cover my arm fat. There's so many pretty shirts that I can't wear because of it so I say, if it's going to make you feel better about yourself and happy and the doctors gave you the OK, then GO FOR IT!

Good luck!

01-05-2013, 12:34 AM
Skellig - So glad to find an arm fat pocket sister. I searched long and hard on the internet and could only find ONE picture of someone with arms like mine. I will post again after surgery so you can all see before and after pictures. Supposedly the scar will be much shorter than a traditional arm lift. She will only do the part affected by the fat.

SweetMerlot - after researching things, I really advice against SonoBello. Look into a more reputable plastic surgeon or liposuction specialist. Sonobello has some quality control issues and I think its risky. Also, you can have a high BMI and still do liposuction. However, you may not be happy with it because the skin doesn't tend to retract that well on your arms.

MissPixie - I don't think that picture looks that bad! I'd love to have legs like that. :) But if it bothers you - I say get it sucked out. Modern liposuction is practically non-invasive. You don't even have ot go under for liposuction. Or get a lift if you need it! I do think people should do things that make them feel good about themselves.

Everyone - thank you thank you thank you for your support. I go under the knife two weeks from Monday. The week of the 21st (probably towards the end of the week), I'll post with some updates.

01-20-2013, 10:55 PM
Believe it or not .. I go in tomorrow. SOO nervous but excited.

01-21-2013, 09:50 AM
Good luck and I can't wait to see the results!

01-21-2013, 04:18 PM
I was thinking about you last night. I remembered today is the day you were going in. Hoping you have a speedy recovery and all goes well. :)

01-23-2013, 07:43 PM
Oh my goodness! The surgery is done! I hope it went well (i'm sure it did!) I can't wait to see pix!

01-23-2013, 09:19 PM
OMG....I know I'm late but I thought I'd never meet anyone with my arms!!!!!!!!! All the best on your surgery....Let us know how things go. Thanks for being brave enough to post.

01-24-2013, 01:34 AM
Surgery went really well. The first day/night sucked. Actually just the night. I was really very fine after surgery. That night, I vomited a few times from the anesthesia/pain meds (I vomited about an hour after each pain med). But now I can hold them down. Even better don't really need the percocet anymore. I'm doing really well and am very functional. I have more arm movement than I thought - totally full movement from my elbows down. I do have drains coming out of my armpit pinned to little collectors on the bandages. Those are uncomfortable and annoying (and disgusting). The drain tubes will hopefully come out on Friday. A lot of people warn that you get kind of depressed after Plastic Surgery - like "what did I just do" but I haven't experienced that. I'm just looking forward to having the bandages off and more arm movement.

The other weird side effect I wasn't expecting are very sore abs and a very very sore back. I think every time I get up from laying down, I need to compensate with my core because I can't use my arms ... so its definitely been rough on my core. The good news is I'm probably building muscle there!: )

I haven't seen my new arms yet - they are still wrapped in the original bandages. Today a friend helped me sponge bathe and wash my hair in the sink. The part I can see is my armpit fat which she liposuctioned a little and those look noticeably better.

I will show you guys "after" pictures once I am able to take them.

01-24-2013, 04:44 PM
So good to hear you're recovering well! I tend to throw up after general anasthetic as well so I understand that. Lame, eh? As if you don't have enough to deal with pain wise you get to add violently throwing up to the mix.

01-24-2013, 04:50 PM
I wish you a speedy recovery! I can't wait to see your new arms.

01-24-2013, 05:11 PM
I hope your recovery is quick--and can't wait to see the results!

April Snow
01-24-2013, 06:17 PM
Glad your recovery is going so well, and looking forward to when you can see the results - and eventually post photos too but for now, for you to be able to see and I hope you are as happy as you expect. Do you think you will get to have a peek when they take the drains out or do the bandages still stay on for a while after that?

01-25-2013, 02:01 PM
I actually unwrapped them last night. They weren't as scary looking as I though. I was a little sad that they weren't quite as good as I expected but I don't want to jump the gun ... they are still swollen and stuff. The bad arm is a HUGE imporvement. The arm that wasn't so bad doesn't look much different (right now at least) so i keep thinking .. why did I let them add a scar? But really, i think they are just puffy and swollen. I'm excited to see what they look like as they heal.

01-25-2013, 04:56 PM
It's always difficult to deal with physical changes. I've had a few major surgeries as a child and then as a teenager and when I was as kid, I was like, no big deal. As a teen when I started to understand that these surgeries would kind of be with me for the rest of my life in the form of scars or other physical difficulties, it really sunk in. Just know it's pretty normal to be nervous and scared about the scars or not looking like you'd think it would look. I looked like frankenstein after surgery and now 10 years later, my most obvious scar is barely visible! Give it time and be patient and kind to yourself. :)

01-25-2013, 07:04 PM
Hope you are recovering well!!!

April Snow
01-26-2013, 09:30 PM
It's only been a few days, and I'm sure that most of what you are looking at is swelling. But how exciting that you can already see a huge difference on the bad arm - they are both going to keep looking better every time you look at them!

April Snow
02-08-2013, 08:28 AM
How are you doing, mandypandy? Hope you are feeling good and the swelling is going down enough for you to be able to start to see a big difference!

02-10-2013, 12:33 PM
I am doing well. I had wound separation in my arm pits which is NOT FUN. Its apparently pretty common and normal in the underarms - an area with a lot of tension that stays moist. So now I have these big gaping wounds I am waiting for to heal. Other than that it looks great - but I'm tired of these gaping wounds.

I will update with after pictures once I am a little bit more healed up.

I still don't regret doing this - But I am frustrated and wish I could heal faster!!

02-10-2013, 01:04 PM
Ugh that's no fun, hope you heal fast. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I would like to have this procedure done at some point. My arms are the worse thing on me I hate them.

02-10-2013, 03:40 PM
I am doing well. I had wound separation in my arm pits which is NOT FUN. Its apparently pretty common and normal in the underarms - an area with a lot of tension that stays moist. So now I have these big gaping wounds I am waiting for to heal. Other than that it looks great - but I'm tired of these gaping wounds.

I will update with after pictures once I am a little bit more healed up.

I still don't regret doing this - But I am frustrated and wish I could heal faster!!

glad you are doing well, save the horrible wound separation. remember to bump up your protein intake as it helps your body heal wounds. there is actually a product I bought my mom called "Juven" protein power (mixed with other stuff) that wound clinics use to help heal bedsores and other large wounds on body. Maybe you could try that? It's sold at Walgreens.

take care of yourself :-)

April Snow
02-12-2013, 12:04 PM
So sorry that the healing is more complicated than you expected. :( But nice to hear that otherwise, you are happy about the results.

I wish you a speedy recovery!!

03-13-2013, 10:38 PM
Hmm..I wonder how you are doing mandypandy? How do you feel?

03-13-2013, 10:45 PM
I am doing really well. The wound separation closed on one arm completely and is about to close on the other. I will post pictures soon. There are a few things that aren't quite perfect so I probably will get it revised in about a year (they do free revisions within a year at Mayo Clinic) but I am okay with that and have no regrets. I can wear short sleeves now!

03-14-2013, 08:22 PM
Hooray! I'm so happy for you! I'm having it done in late July (haven't set the date yet, but I had a consultation and they gave me an itemized bill of how much it would cost.....$4885.00 if any one is interested (Massachusetts). I can't wait!! Keep healing and I can't wait to see pix!


03-17-2013, 10:58 PM
any pics?

03-18-2013, 01:53 AM
Here are a couple of pictures. The scar isn't the best because I had wound separation - but the coloring came out funny - its not quite that dark and noticeable in real life. I am happy with it - I will eventually have scar revision and fix a little fat piece by my armpit that isn't quite even - can't really see in this picture (and hopefully have lost enough weight where I will just tighten everything up). You can still see where the crease was, but the doctor thinks that will even out over time.

I have no regrets - even if revision wasn't possible. When I look at the original pictures, I am SOO happy.

03-18-2013, 02:51 AM
Your after pics look great!

03-18-2013, 03:16 AM
I agree with Mozzy! You are healing very well and looking good!

03-18-2013, 11:42 AM
Looks amazing! I'm glad you are happy with the results =)

03-18-2013, 08:53 PM
Your arms look awesome!! I am scheduled for my brachioplasty on July 17. I will definitley be posting before, during and after photos of my surgery. So happy for you!!