A popular surgery among older patients and those who have lost a large amount of weight is an arm lift. Also known as brachioplasty, an arm lift uses a variety of advanced cosmetic surgery techniques to remove excess skin and fat deposits from the upper arm for a more youthful and toned look. Our plastic and reconstructive plastic surgeons, Dr. Rozbeh Torabi and Dr. Tim Matatov, implement innovative surgical techniques that have made brachioplasty more convenient, safer, and give superior results with less down time. At Elite Plastic Surgery, we consult with men and women regularly for arm lift procedures. Results and surgical techniques may vary from patient to patient so if you would like to learn more about this procedure, please call and set up an appointment today.
Do I Qualify?
The best candidates for an arm lift procedure are men or women who have loose and hanging skin from the underside of the upper arm. This skin keeps these individuals from wearing short sleeves or fitted clothing. Patients must be at or near their goal weight, and their weight should be stable. This surgery is not reserved for weight loss patients alone. Patients who are in good health and wish to have their arms toned and tightened may also consider this procedure.
During the Procedure
Brachioplasty is typically performed in under 3 hours as an outpatient procedure and patients are seldom required to have overnight stays in the hospital. The goal of an arm lift is to remove excess skin and reveal a toned upper arm. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin quality and elasticity and determine how much fat, tissue, and skin should be removed to attain the results you desire. The length of the incision made during surgery will vary. For example, patients who have healthy skin tone may only require a minor incision. Massive weight loss patients who present with excessively loose and hanging skin will require a more extensive approach. During surgery, the excess skin is trimmed and removed, then the underlying muscles are tightened. An armpit lift is sometimes incorporated during this procedure for patients who have additional skin and fat deposits within the armpit.
Brachioplasty requires about 2 weeks off from your daily routine. Brachioplasty patients usually experience lack of strength in arm and hand for several weeks before gradually returning to normal arm function. Sutures are removed in 10 days, but patients should continue wearing compression garments for 4 weeks. No exercise is allowed for 4 – 5 weeks. There will be tolerable pain, with the possibility of swelling, bleeding, hematoma, infection, loss of sensation, and some scarring. Here are some of the postoperative instructions needed for a speedy recovery:
- Give your hands complete rest for a week
- Keep the surgery area dry and clean
- Start walking on the second day after surgery
- No driving, swimming, smoking, or intense exercise for 4 weeks
- Wear compression garments on your arms for 4 weeks
- Keep your arms elevated as much as possible
Swelling is expected after arm lift surgery, although the amount of swelling varies among patients. The swelling starts to subside during the first 1 – 2 weeks after surgery. A compression garment or sleeve will usually be recommended to control this swelling and to keep the skin and tissue firmly protected. Most patients can resume moderate arm activity in 3 – 4 weeks, with a complete recovery about 4 – 6 weeks after the surgery. While all surgical procedures will leave some scarring, the incision resides under the arm so that it is not as noticeable. Your plastic surgeon will provide a scar treatment plan to help the incision(s) heal in a healthy and quick manner. The arm lift result lasts for decades unless there is substantial weight gain or loss.
Plan Your Procedure
Reveal Your Toned Arms
If you are in the process of completing your weight loss journey or if aging and gravity have caused loose skin to hang from your arms, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our office to learn more about arm lift surgery. At Elite Plastic Surgery, we create natural-looking improvements, and remove "bat wings" from the upper arms to reveal a sleek, well-contoured upper body. With significant experience and skill, we can create tighter, more youthful-looking arms with lasting results.