An arm lift is also known as a brachioplasty. It is a surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and subcutaneous fat of her upper arms. Having excess skin and subcutaneous tissue of your upper arms is common with aging, weight fluctuations, and genetic reasons. Unfortunately it is a condition that cannot be corrected with exercise.
How an Arm Lift is Performed
An arm lift is typically performed under general anesthetic. Local anesthetic is infiltrated and a dilute freezing solution is put in if liposuction is required. Excess skin and fat are marked preoperatively. Dr. Robin Evans, our skilled plastic surgeon, then performs a trial removal once you’re asleep to ensure that the exact right amount is taken from each arm. There are always some preoperative asymmetries between each arm. Skin and subcutaneous tissues are excised and liposuction is performed if necessary. Multiple layers of dissolving sutures are placed. A dressing is applied and a compression garment is put on in the recovery room.
Who is the Ideal Arm Lift Candidate?
If you have significant upper arm skin laxity with or without excess subcutaneous fat you are a candidate for an arm lift. Being at a stable weight is important to achieve the best result. Being otherwise healthy and having an active, healthy lifestyle will help her recovery process. It is important you are a non-smoker.
Recovery Process after an Arm lift
Recovery typically takes 4-6 weeks. Initially it will be numb after the local anesthetic (freezing) that was placed during your operation. Dr. Evans typically uses multiple layers of dissolving sutures and special skin glue to closure incisions. This allows you to shower the day after your operation. As well, we fit you with a surgical garment that is to be worn for a total of 6 weeks after your operation. This helps contour the area as it is healing and gives you the best possible result. Dr. Evans does give you pain medication to take as needed. People typically use the pain medication for a week or 2 after that their operation. Initially the upper arms are tight. This is performed so that you have the best, longest lasting result possible.
What are the Risks of an Arm Lift?
There are general operative risks such as the risk of anesthesia, bleeding, infection and poor wound healing. Unique to arm lift surgery are a possible widening of the scar. It is important understand that you’re trading shape and contour for a scar on your inner upper arm. There is a theoretic risk to nerves and blood vessels. As well, sensory nerves are often stretched or injured during the operation which can result in numbness around your incision. Sometimes the numbness does not go away. There is always asymmetry preoperatively and there is the possibility of asymmetry after the operation as well. Occasionally Dr. Evans uses drains to reduce the chance of a fluid collection called a “seroma”. If placed, the drains typically stay in a week.