What is an arm lift?
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that:
Reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward
Tightens and smoothes the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
Fluctuations in weight, growing older and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.
Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat.
Who is a good candidate for arm lift surgery?
In general, arm lift candidates include:
Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity
Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
What are the risks of arm lift surgery?
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits, risks and potential complications of arm lift surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure.
Arm lift surgery risks include:
Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels and muscles
Fatty tissue under the skin might die (fat necrosis)
Fluid accumulation (seroma)
Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
Pain, which may persist
Poor wound healing
Possible need for revisional surgery
Sutures may not absorb, but spontaneously surface through the skin, causing irritation, drainage and redness
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
What should I expect during my arm lift recovery?
During your recovery from arm lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing, specific concerns to look for and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your arm lift surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
Are stitches removed? When?
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
When do I return for follow-up care?
What results should I expect after arm lift surgery?
The smoother, tighter contours that result from arm lift surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure. Initial results will be obscured by swelling and bruising, and a scar will remain where the incision was made.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
The results of arm lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.
Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
This article was taken from AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS web page: