Brachioplasty, otherwise known as arm lift surgery, is common among people who have sagging skin in the upper-arm region. Typically, skin droops as a result of massive weight loss, aging, or genetic factors. The excess fat in this area can also be stubborn and hard to get rid of. As a result, an upper arm lift is recommended for these patients.
Am I Right for This Surgery?
Anyone who is above the age of 18 and wants to remove extra skin and stubborn fat from around their upper arms is suitable for this procedure.
Those who have sagging skin as a result of weight loss will need to prove that they are making an effort to maintain a stable weight before the surgery. This is a precaution, as regaining weight after the surgery can lead to harmful side effects. Patients have to sit with their doctors and have realistic expectations for the outcome before undergoing surgery.
Before the surgery, your doctor will perform general tests to determine overall health conditions. Your doctor might also adjust or prohibit the usage of certain medications leading up to the surgery, as they might be harmful.
Smoking is strictly prohibited for weeks before the surgery. Supplements, aspirin, and other over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs need to be avoided, as they can lead to excessive bleeding.
What to Expect from the Brachioplasty Procedure
Before the surgery, the patient is administered general anesthesia or other sedatives and is unconscious for the whole process. Depending on the amount of loose skin and fat to be removed, an incision is made either on the inside of the arm or at the back of the arm. Incisions start at the beginning of the underarm and lead up to the elbow, depending on the incision size required.
Loose skin tissue will then be removed. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat. Internal sutures are used to reshape and tighten supportive tissue. The skin is then redraped and the incisions are closed with sutures.
The Recovery Period
Once the surgery is complete, dressing and bandages are used to cover up the area. To minimize swelling, compression bandages can be applied. In some cases, a thin tube called a drain is placed to drain excess fluid and blood for up to a couple of days after the surgery.
Your doctor will prescribe required medications, schedule follow-up appointments, and instruct you on proper post-surgery care. Typically, it will take a few weeks for swelling to reduce, and arm activity is restricted for up to a month after surgery. The amount of recovery time and post-surgery inactivity depends on each patient, and strictly following your doctor’s advice is vital.
Results of the procedure are apparent immediately after the surgery. Final results are seen a few weeks after, once the swelling and bruising go down. The outcome is permanent but may vary through aging and weight gain. Patients are advised to stay relatively fit after the procedure.
Scheduling Your Consultation
To get started with the brachioplasty process, contact our office and set up an appointment for a consultation. Dr. Lawrence Glassman, an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, is the ideal option for your arm lift procedure.