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Arm Lift

 

The beauty of a youthful physique is threatened by aging, sun damage to the skin, and fluctuations in weight.  Diet and exercise are only the first steps in maintaining an ideal figure.  Even with weight loss success, loose skin and stretch marks may persist. Underlying muscle tone of the upper arm may be improved by a fitness regimen, but excess skin is nearly impossible to improve without surgery.

 

A brachioplasty is a procedure designed to improve the shape and contour of the upper arm.  This procedure is often combined with liposuction to remove excess fat and to tighten the skin of the upper arm. 

 

Arm Lift Surgery Candidates

 

In general, patients with excess skin and fat confined to the upper arms are the best candidates for brachioplasty. This procedure is often performed on patients who have undergone bariatric surgery or those have undergone significant weight loss. Surgery should generally be postponed until fluctuations in weight have plateaued. If weight is being lost due to lap band surgery, gastric bypass, or exercise alone, it is prudent to lose the maximal amount of weight prior to surgery. This will allow tightening of the involved areas as much as possible. 

 

Additionally, nutrition should be optimized prior to surgery. Bariatric surgery may lead to nutritional deficiencies and these should be addressed prior to surgery to ensure a safe and optimal recovery. A history of cigarette smoking and or diabetes may risk wound healing complications. Thus these smoking cessation is a necessity prior to surgery.

 

How is an Arm Lift Performed?

 

A brachioplasty is generally performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. A standard or "mini" brachioplasty may be chosen in patients with modest skin laxity. The amount of excess skin and/or fat varies with each individual, thus surgical approached are tailored accordingly. 

 

Following anesthesia, the arms are cleansed and anesthetized. Excess skin and fat are removed to improve the contour of the arm. The incision may be “hidden” in the armpit or on the underside of the arm. The wound is meticulously repaired in layers to minimize scarring.  A compression garment is required to reduce swelling following surgery.  

 

Postoperative

 

Brachioplasty surgery should be tailored to each individual. Surgery may require an hour and a half to four hours depending on the severity of the skin and fat excess. Generally, 7-10 days away from work are recommended for recovery. A compression garment is required for 2-4 weeks following surgery.