The appearance of brachioplasty scar is perceived to be a major concern of patients with sagging skin in their upper arm caused by significant weight loss. Nonetheless, most feel that the “tradeoff” of having scars is worth it, particularly when the main goal is to have more slender arms that look proportionate to the body.
Leading Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a Snapchat video to demonstrate the appearance of brachioplasty scar resulting from the “standard” technique.
The female patient shown in the video has “flabby” upper arms due to large amounts of redundant skin that extended down to her elbow. For this reason, she required an incision pattern technique that extended from the armpit down to her elbow.
Dr. Smiley was able to remove a large wedge-shaped excess skin along the inner arm between the biceps and triceps. The brachioplasty scar from this technique is hidden as people usually hold their arms by their sides.
While placing the brachioplasty scar on the inner aspect of the arms is perceived to be the most ideal technique, sometimes having it more posteriorly (i.e., back of the arm and thus more visible) may provide a better contour. Nonetheless, the patient may have to ponder on the ramifications of each scar technique/placement.
A scar placed more posteriorly is also perceived to heal and fade better because of the reduced tension. The inner aspect placement, meanwhile, is believed to be slightly more susceptible to wound separations due to the natural tension in the area.
However, Dr. Smiley remains partial to the inner aspect scar placement because there are many ways to reduce tension on the wound and thus ultimately promote “better” scars. For this reason, he encourages his patients to take a proactive approach in scar treatments that typically include the use of compression garments, silicone gel and/or sheets, and sunscreen.
Dr. Smiley advocates the use of scar gels and other treatments containing silicone, which hydrates the skin and helps the scar fade better and remain thin and flat. (Note: Wound is known to heal better in a moist environment; hence, the mucosal skin of the mouth has almost zero risk of scarring. The same “line of thought” can be applied to keeping plastic surgery scars unobtrusive with the use of silicone gel and sheets.)