Population preferences of undergoing brachioplasty for arm laxity

Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Dec:73 Suppl 2:S149-52. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000131.


Background: The number of patients requesting surgical procedures performed for brachioplasty and massive weight loss is increasing. The authors set out to quantify the health state utility outcome assessment of living with arm deformity requiring brachioplasty.

Methods: Utility assessments using the visual analog scale (VAS), time trade-off (TTO), and standard gamble (SG) were used to obtain utilities scores for arm deformity, monocular blindness, and binocular blindness from a sample of the general population and medical students. Linear regression and Student t test were used for statistical analysis. A P value less than 0.05 was deemed statistically significant.

Results: All the measures for arm deformity of the 107 volunteers (VAS, 0.80 ± 0.14; TTO, 0.91 ± 0.12; SG, 0.94 ± 0.10) were significantly different (P < 0.001) from the corresponding measures for monocular blindness and binocular blindness. When compared to the sample of the general population, having a medical education demonstrated a statistical significance of being less likely to trade years of life and less likely to gamble risk of death for a procedure such as a brachioplasty. Race and sex were not statistically significant independent predictors of risk acceptance.

Conclusions: We have objectified the health state of living with upper arm deformity requiring brachioplasty. Utility outcome scores (VAS, 0.80 ± 0.14; TTO, 0.91 ± 0.12; SG, 0.94 ± 0.10) were comparable to living with health states such as aging neck needing rejuvenation, excess skin in the thighs necessitating thigh lift, and massive weight loss requiring panniculectomy based on previously reported studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / surgery*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Blindness / psychology
  • Cosmetic Techniques / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Analog Scale