Avoiding Constriction Armband Deformity Following an Arm Lift

Avoiding Constriction Armband Deformity Following an Arm Lift

brachioplasty patient 8 front view
brachioplasty patient 8 right view

Please appreciate how this 53-year-old female eliminated constriction armband deformity.

Constriction armband deformity can occur following an arm lift surgery using Brachioplasty techniques. Constriction armband deformity refers to creating a tight ring around the arm which can create a contour deformity.

When the tightness is minimal, it typically resolves without any major concern. When moderate, it will merely compromise your aesthetic lines. If the tightness is severe, the band can potentially create functional concerns related to impeding blood flow.

The main risk factor for developing constriction armband deformity in surgical procedure patients remains the presence of constriction bands preoperatively. Surgical techniques when performing brachioplasty procedures must be modified when performing upper arm contouring to address constriction bands that may be present preoperatively.

This is why it is so important to complete a thorough exam of patients to ensure that a preoperative constriction band is not present. Traditional Brachioplasty utilizes a bi-elliptical excision of the underarm skin redundancy. However, this treatment option may be modified to avoid this common complication.

How to Avoid Worsening a Constriction Armband Deformity Following an Arm Lift

In order to avoid worsening a constriction band, the traditional underarm excision pattern may be modified based on the degree of constriction. The typical arm lift excision pattern involves a bi-elliptical excision shaped like a football pattern. For patients with minimal constriction, avoiding excision of the band region can help avoid further deformity. This is best characterized as making two smaller football excisions around the point of constriction. A specialized skin reorientation maneuver along the excision line is designed for patients with moderate constriction. Called a z-plasty flap, this surgical maneuver allows your surgeon to create more skin laxity that will help counter your armband. In essence, the z-plasty allows your surgeon to transfer skin from looser areas to the tighter region, i.e., the constriction band region.

Another way to think about constriction armbands is that the band region sets the maximum reduction in arm circumference possible. All the other areas of the arm should be brought down the constriction band circumference. By tightening the excess tissue and skin around the constriction band, the net result is that the constriction band will no longer be the tightest region.

Patients can now be reassured that they can avoid constriction deformity following comprehensive evaluation and meticulous skin excision design.

When you evaluate for arm lift surgery, you must ensure that the before and after outcomes eliminate constriction armbands by avoiding further tightening of the constriction armband deformity.

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