An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the skin of the
inner arm is excised and repaired. The procedure is performed when extra skin
rather than fat is the underlying problem. Also, if the skin has poor elasticity
and will not contract with conventional liposculpture then brachioplasty is indicated.
This procedure can lift and tighten up loose skin in the upper arms, resulting
in a firmer, more youthful contour.
effects of aging over time change the skin resulting in a loss in thickness,
elasticity and adherence to the underlying tissue. In addition, the
deep layers of fat, muscle and bone thin as well. One area where both
men and women notice these changes is the upper arm.
arm lift is usually not suitable for women who have had a mastectomy.
The drainage of fluid from the arm may be damaged and further
surgery can lead to persistent swelling. People who have repeated
infections in the armpit, or suffer from excess sweat formation
(axillary hidradenitis), should consider liposuction as the cosmetic
procedure of choice in reducing the thickness of the arm.
is arm lift surgery performed?
surgeon begins by marking the area of excess skin to be treated.
Incisions are made on the inner and under surface of the arm.
The pattern of skin removal usually follows an elliptical or
triangular shape. The surgical opening may run from the armpit
to as low as the elbow. If desired, fat may be suctioned at this
time. The remaining skin is stretched and sutured (stitched)
into place. A drain may be placed to extract excess fluids from
the incision site. This will allow for enhanced adherence of
the skin and underlying tissue. The incisions are then bandaged.
long does an arm lift surgery take?
arm lift is generally completed in approximately two hours.
type of anesthesia is used?
arm lift is usually performed using local anesthesia along with
a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. General
anesthesia may also be used, causing you to be asleep during
the whole procedure.
is the procedure performed?
procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, in the
surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery
center or hospital.
can I return home and resume normal activities?
a brief stay in the recovery room, you will be allowed to go
home. If general anesthesia is used, you should arrange for someone
to drive you home and assist you with your daily activities during
your recovery period. Normal activities may be resumed in approximately
one to two weeks.
do I prepare for arm lift surgery procedure?
your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes
that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance
of your arm is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon
can determine the appropriate alternatives. An arm lift procedure
does not affect muscle tone, therefore, you should speak with
your surgeon about how to tone and firm the muscle beneath the
skin both before and after your procedure. You also should make
arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from
your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during
your recovery period.
to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete
health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications
and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing
for this procedure will be given to you after the health history
and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health
status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your
diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or
avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant
with your surgeon's instructions.
precautions are necessary during recovery?
each person's recovery is unique, the recovery period after an
arm lift generally lasts one to two weeks. For the first week
following surgery, you will have to avoid strenuous activity,
including bending and lifting. You will probably be able to return
to work in a week and resume exercise within two weeks. Strenuous
workouts and contact sports can be engaged in after about four
weeks. Your surgeon will remove any stitches that are not absorbed
after about one week. Please ask your surgeon for after care
instructions specific to your case, as these will assist you
during your recovery period.
are the possible complications after arm lift surgery?
most common risks associated with this type of surgery include,
but are not limited to, a reaction to the anesthesia used, excessive
bleeding, infection, visible scarring, asymmetry or irregularities,
and changes in nerve sensation. No procedure is without risks;
however, the majority of complications known to be associated
with an arm lift are minor when the procedure is performed by
an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. It is always
important to be informed about the possible complications before
any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with
results can I expect after arm lift surgery?
arm will be placed in a special compression garment to help the
newly sculpted skin adhere to the tissue underneath. You will
probably have several layers of stitches on the upper arm. A
drain may be inserted to help the skin to adhere to the underlying
tissue. The stitches may be absorbed or removed by your surgeon
during your follow-up visit.
note that the natural aging process will eventually affect the
whole body, including the area treated in this procedure. The
contouring effects of arm lifts are typically long lasting, and
most people are very pleased with the appearance of balance and
proportion in the contour of the arm.