A brachioplasty, more commonly known as an arm lift, removes and tightens loose or sagging skin. Excess arm skin can result from the natural aging process or following massive weight loss.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Excess arm skin can make an individual feel self conscious in everyday situations when raising the arms or wearing sleeveless tops. Although increased skin elasticity occurs naturally during the aging process and can effect skin all over the body such as the face or neck, sagging arms can also create uncomfortable chaffing and interfere with daily life. When less invasive forms of skin tightening such as with laser or radiofrequency energy will not suffice, a surgical removal of skin may be necessary. Before an arm lift begins, preoperative marks will be made to guide the surgeon during the procedure. The exact length and shape of the incision will vary from patient to patient as the surgery will be customized to the individual, and will likely differ from each arm. Generally though, incisions will be placed as conspicuously as possible on the inside or back of the arm, extending from the underarm to just above the elbow to remove sagging skin. Excess fat may also be removed during surgery via direct excision or liposuction. Underlying muscle and tissue will also be tightening and reshaped using internal sutures. To complete the surgery, the arm will be sutured back together, forming a new smoother, slimmer contour.
The goal of an arm lift is to remove excess sagging skin while tightening the underlying muscles to reveal a smoother arm contour.
What to Expect
A brachioplasty, more commonly known as an arm lift, removes and tightens loose or sagging skin. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an arm lift.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications for 2 weeks
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- No alcoholic beverages for 2 days
- Diet medications, ephedrines, and asthma medicine should not be taken 2 days prior
- Do not take thyroid medicine the day of the procedure
- Avoid caffeine after midnight day of procedure
- Preoperative marks on inside or back of arm, from underarm to just above the elbow
- General or local anesthesia with sedation
- Incisions made and excess skin removed
- Excess fat removed via excision or liposuction -Underlying muscle and tissues tightened and reshaped
- Sutures to close
Recovery from an arm lift can take between 1-6 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work after 1-2 weeks while driving is permitted after 10 days. Driving is not allowed if patient is still taking prescription pain medication. Exercise routines and normal levels of activity are typically resumed 6 weeks postoperatively.
The ideal candidates for an arm lift are individuals who have sagging arm skin due to age or significant weight loss.
Not Recommended For
Brachioplasty is not recommended for patients with active skin or sweat gland infections. Women who have had certain surgeries related to breast cancer may not be good candidates since the procedure can cause permanent swelling of the arms.
Common side effects from a brachioplasty can include bruising, bleeding at the incision site, tightness, tingling sensations, and numbness. Typically, discomfort and swelling will be most noticeable about 36-48 hours postoperatively. After this initial period these symptoms will dissipate quickly.