Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Confidence in Yourself and Your Surgeon
Experience matters. Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, removes loose, hanging skin from the upper arms that is often caused by aging or significant weight loss. Patients seek an arm lift to restore the firmness of younger arms or eliminate the excess skin that develops after rapid weight loss. With toned and trim upper arms, patients no longer have to feel as restricted about their wardrobe choices.
The arm lift procedure is most effective for patients who are close to their ideal weight but have loose skin and fat in the arms. Many of these patients have lost a significant amount of weight and are now at a stable weight, but still have excess fat and skin in the upper arms.
This procedure is recommended for patients who are in good overall health, do not smoke and do not have any existing medical conditions that may interfere with this procedure. It is important for patients to also have realistic results about the arm lift procedure in order to achieve successful results. An arm lift cannot be used to lose a significant amount of weight.
Patients often choose to combine brachioplasty with other cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction, thigh lift, and a tummy tuck in order to sculpt the body and create a slimmer and more defined appearance. These body contouring procedures are most commonly performed after significant weight loss or for patients looking to tone problem areas within the stomach, thighs, arms, neck and more.
Patients with minimal fat and no excess skin may be able to achieve effective results through liposuction alone. Liposuction is a much less invasive procedure that suctions out excess fat through tiny incisions. A small incision can also be made near the armpit for patients with minimal extra skin, which helps reduce scarring and recovery times.
For patients with a fair amount of excess fat and skin, a standard arm lift incision is made on the inside or back of the arm that extends from the underarm to the elbow. Fat is removed through the incision and the remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place. A drain may be placed at the incision site to remove excess fluid, while the arm is bandaged and sometimes wrapped in compression bandages.
An arm lift is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The entire procedure takes about two hours to perform, and patients can usually return home the same day after the anesthesia has worn off. Dr. Alexander will determine which technique is best for you after evaluating your body, medical history and goals for surgery.
Recovery from Brachioplasty
Allow yourself time to relax and heal. After the brachioplasty procedure, patients may experience tightness and swelling in the upper arm, as well as tingling in the hands. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days. Postoperative pain is likely to occur, but will vary depending on the individual patient. Most patients find their pain is relieved after 7 to 10 days. The incisions from the arm lift procedure are placed in inconspicuous locations so that scarring is minimal. Most patients believe that the removal of excess fat and skin outweighs the appearance of any scarring.
The results of this procedure are visible immediately, and will continue to improve as swelling and other side effects subside over the next year. Patients often feel more comfortable exposing their arms and have improved self-confidence after this procedure. Results tend to be long-lasting, provided that patients maintain an active and healthy lifestyle after surgery. Significant weight gain after brachioplasty will affect the results.