Everyone wants the kind of tight, toned arms that look great in short sleeve shirts, but aging, genetic and weight fluctuations can cause the arms to develop drooping skin and pockets of fat that dieting and weight loss alone can’t get rid of. As we age, our skin loses elasticity, and once stretched out, it does not recoil back into its former shape, resulting in sagging that makes many patients self-conscious.
Arm Lift Surgery
During your initial consultation, Dr. Min will ask you about your desired appearance, as well as any wardrobe preferences that may help determine the location of your incisions. He will also ask you questions about your general health and activity levels to determine if he can meet your expectations. He will walk you through your options, explain the details of the brachioplasty procedure, and answer any questions you may have. You will have an opportunity to review before and after photos.
Dr. Min will assess factors such as the quality of skin, the amount of underlying fatty tissue, the amount of excess skin, the elasticity of the skin, and the contour of your arms. He will share and explain his recommendations with you about what is most appropriate for your body and what results you can expect. Together you will decide on the details and timing of your procedure.
What is an Arm Lift?
An arm lift (a.k.a. Brachioplasty) is a procedure that combines liposuction to address the excessive fat deposits and a surgical removal of the excessive skin to create a well-defined, trim and toned upper arm that complements your figure as well as your wardrobe. Today’s arm lift techniques are safer and the scars are much less conspicuous than they have been in the past.
Men and women of all ages and body types can benefit from this safe and proven procedure. Ideal candidates for an arm lift have persistent areas of fat and/or loose skin on the underside of their arms that does not respond to exercise, are in good health, and have realistic expectations about their results. Patients who have recently experienced significant weight loss or undergone Bariatric surgery are ideal candidates.
How Does an Arm Lift Work?
An arm lift (Brachioplasty) is usually performed under general anesthesia. The most common form of the procedure is a combination of liposuction and the surgical removal and tightening of the excess skin. In some cases, patients may be able to achieve their desired results with Liposuction or a skin lift alone.
The surgeon will make one or more incision in the upper arm and perform liposuction to remove excess fat. Loose and sagging skin will then be trimmed, tightened and sutured in place with absorbable stitches. The arm is then placed into a compressive garment to help ensure an even contour. Sometimes a surgical drain is needed to reduce complications. An arm lift is a body sculpting procedure and is intended to be a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. Dramatic changes in appearance will be visible almost immediately, but maintaining the results will require a healthy diet and exercise.
Patients can expect some swelling and bruising, which will peak 2-3 days after surgery. Individual instructions will vary, but most patients can return to work within 2 weeks.
Your Arm Lift Options
The types of incisions will depend on your health, body shape and the extent of your procedure. Some scarring is inevitable, but the procedures have advanced significantly in recent years, and much can be done to minimize visible scars. The most common locations for arm lift incisions are:
- Inner arm incision
- Back of arm incision
- Axilla (armpit) incision
Safety & Risks of Arm Lift Surgery
Arm lifts are a very common and safe procedure. Nonetheless, we feel it is important that all of our patients fully understand the risk(s) associated with this or any surgical procedure. The most important thing to know is that Dr. Min and Newvue will stand by you should any complications arise and do everything we can to help you achieve your desired result. Risks associated with arm lifts include: reaction to anesthesia, infection, bleeding & seroma, and loss of sensation. During your consultation, Dr. Min will discuss these risks with you and address all of your concerns.
Prior to Your Arm Lift Procedure
Prior to your surgery, we will schedule a preoperative appointment with Dr. Min. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that your procedure goes smoothly and efficiently. Our staff will review the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as your consent forms, and answer any questions you might have. You may be given prescriptions to be filled prior to your surgery. You will be given a list of medications and supplements to avoid for two weeks before and after surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. You should not smoke for at least two weeks following surgery.
Your Arm Lift Procedure
We will do everything in our power to help you feel informed and relaxed on the day of your procedure. After you arrive at our Bellevue office, you will meet with Dr. Min and with your anesthesiologist. Once any questions you have are answered, you will be given medication to help you relax.
You will wake up in the recovery room, where you’ll be closely monitored. We’ll let you know how everything went and advise you on what to expect as you recover. You’ll want to be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up and stay with you for the first couple days as you adjust.
After Your Arm Lift Procedure
You’re still our patient after you leave, and we will be there for you as you recover to answer any questions you may have and advise you on any side effects you may be feeling. You can expect to feel tired and sore after the surgery, and you will experience some swelling and discomfort in the treated area, both of which can be managed with medication.
We like our patient to wear a compressive dressing for about 6 weeks following surgery, and should be able to shower normally after 5-7 days. While some movement is permissible, most patients will want to avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks.
2-3 hours (generally outpatient)
Return to work in 1-2 weeks, resume light exercise after 4 weeks, swelling resolves completely after 4-8 weeks
Possible Side Effects
Swelling, bruising, pain or discomfort