Background: Brachioplasty frequently offers functional benefits but results in poor aesthetic scars and a relatively high complication rate. The authors describe the complications and risk factors inherent in liposuction-assisted medial brachioplasty and assess patient satisfaction with the functional and aesthetic benefits.
Methods: A 5-year retrospective study was performed that included all patients who underwent liposuction-assisted medial brachioplasty. Complications were reviewed and analyzed by aesthetic and nonaesthetic categories, and patient satisfaction was rated.
Results: Sixty-six patients were included (mean age, 44.4 years). The average body mass index was 30.2 kg/m; mean weight reduction was 50.72 kg. Thirty-seven patients (56.1 percent) developed at least one complication, including six (9.1 percent) with a nonaesthetic complication versus 31 (47.0 percent) with an aesthetic complication. Complications were significantly associated with a longer operative time (p = 0.015), 233 minutes in the complication group versus 164 minutes in the no-complication group. Fifty-three patients answered the questionnaire. Forty-six (86.8 percent) stated that they would undergo this intervention again. Overall satisfaction was reported as excellent for 12 patients (22.6 percent) and pleasing for 24 (45.3 percent). All patients rated the functional outcome superior or equal to the aesthetic outcome. Quality of life was estimated to be better after than before the intervention for 41 patients (77.4 percent).
Conclusions: Liposuction-assisted medial brachioplasty is a safe and efficient technique. It offers a functional benefit with a low nonaesthetic complication rate. Despite the inherent scars, the majority of patients would undergo this intervention again because of an important satisfaction rate and improvement in quality of life.
Clinical question/level of evidence: Risk, III.