While flabby arms can be an eyesore, they can easily be addressed with an arm lift, a surgery that removes the saggy skin around the upper arms. With this surgery, Dr. Chan will trim away the extraneous skin and tighten the remaining tissue. If there’s excess fat, the doctor can use liposuction to remove it. Patients who undergo an arm lift report shapelier, more toned arms that enhance their overall appearance. This procedure works well for those who have experienced great weight loss, as well as aging patients who have encountered a loss of skin firmness.
The goal of an arm lift is to result in a more toned upper arm appearance. The length of the incision varies depending on how much skin and fat are to be removed. Patients who have a fairly good skin tone may only require a minor incision. However, patients who have excessively loose, hanging skin will require an incision that may run from the armpit to the elbow. At this time, the excess skin is trimmed and the underlying muscles are tightened. In some patients, the armpit will also need to be addressed and surgically tightened.
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Patients undergoing an arm lift, also called a brachioplasty, are put under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure that takes an average of 2 hours to complete. If the procedure is a part of an after weight loss surgery, which usually involves more than one body part, an overnight stay may be required. After surgery, the arm is protected with a compression garment. Drain tubes may be present to avoid the risk of infection. Swelling and bruising are normal. Patients should keep the arm elevated to promote blood circulation and help with swelling. With proper care, the arm will return to normal function after several weeks.
Arm Lift FAQs
Arm Lift or Lipo?
This depends on the amount of loose skin that is present. Patients who lose a significant amount of weight generally need the skin removed in order to attain a positive result. In fact, many times, arm lift patients do not even need liposuction because there’s no excess fat to be removed. On the other hand, patients who have relatively good skin elasticity may only need liposuction or minor tightening.
What About Scars?
Any patient who undergoes an operation where skin is excised and incisions are made should understand that scarring is a part of the procedure, including brachioplasty. We make every effort to ensure that the scar will be as minimal as possible. For post-surgery care, topical ointments to assist in scar healing will be prescribed. It is also recommended that patients avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. Most patients believe the benefits of a more toned arm outweight the appearance of scars.
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. This is sometimes referred to as an upper body lift and may include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast surgery (breast lift). During the consultation, each surgery will be discussed and recommendations will be made as to whether these procedures can be done at the same time.
An arm lift is performed to remove hanging skin and fat. The only way to build actual muscle is through strength training. Following surgery, once the arms are fully healed, patients can begin weight training if they wish to do so. This is a great way to add shape to the arms by toning and strengthening them. Patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid regaining weight, which could compromise the surgical results.
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