Although significant innovations in brachioplasty occurred in the 1970s, it remains an unpopular procedure. Current brachioplasty techniques are somewhat unpredictable and are commonly associated with significant untoward results.
Recent anatomic studies demonstrate that in youth the posteromedial arm soft tissues are firmly suspended to a tough yet dynamic fascial system sling that ultimately gains its strength from the clavicular periosteum by means of the clavipectoral and axillary fasciae. Loosening of the connections of the arm superficial fascial system to the axillary fascia, as well as relaxation of the axillary fascia itself, with age, weight fluctuations, and gravitational pull yields a “loose hammock” effect, resulting in significant ptosis of the posteromedial arm.
On the basis of this anatomic concept, the brachioplasty procedure was modified to provide secure anchoring of the arm flap to the axillary fascia along with strong superficial fascial system repair of incisions, reducing the risk of widening or migration of scars and unnatural contours. Five patients having brachioplasty with or without liposuction were followed for 6 to 12 months. The primary indication for surgery is moderate to severe skin laxity of the arms with or without associated arm fat deposits. Results were consistent, and complications were limited. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 96: 912, 1995.)