The short scar arm lift procedure is reserved for patients whose excess skin is limited to the one-third of their upper arm (adjacent to the armpit). This technique results in a scar that runs parallel to the natural skin fold of the underarm and thus even with a short-sleeved top no surgical stigmata are seen.
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently demonstrated the technique on his Snapchat account. The surgery involved a female patient who developed excess skin after moderate weight loss.
Dr. Smiley said the patient was a good candidate for the short scar arm lift procedure because her excess skin did not reach her elbow.
“If we can do away with the long scar, which the standard arm lift entails, we do it,” he said on Snapchat.
Dr. Smiley said the standard arm lift uses a more extensive incision pattern that the scar extends from the armpit to the elbow. Nonetheless, it remains in a discreet position—i.e., on the inner aspect of the upper arm—so no surgical stigmata are seen unless the patient raises her arms, he further explained.
During surgery, the celebrity plastic surgeon created incisions to remove a wedge-shaped tissue (skin and fat) that was causing the sagging appearance. Afterwards, he tightened the fascia with deep sutures to further improve the contour.
Dr. Smiley reshaped the patient’s arm in accordance with the well-established aesthetic guidelines that suggest that a feminine arm has a relatively lean appearance, although it has a little convexity to the posterior and anterior surface.
After making sure that a high level of symmetry has been achieved, Dr. Smiley then closed the incisions with layers of sutures without picking up the skin (it was only held together by surgical tape). This suturing technique eliminated most of the tension on skin, allowing the wound to heal quicker and the scar to fade better into the background.
Dr. Smiley said that short scar arm lift procedure is occasionally complemented by minimal liposuction to further improve the arm’s contour.