About Arm Lift
According to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more and more patients are having upper arm lifts each year—in fact, the number of arm lifts being performed has increased by approximately 5,000% percent since 2000! The reason this proven procedure is more popular than ever is likely tied to the rising numbers of massive weight loss patients. This is because even with healthy eating and a workout regimen, it just isn’t possible to get rid of loose arm skin on your own.
But it’s not just weight loss patients who seek arm lifts—here at The Swan Center, we’ve also helped patients who have sagging skin due to aging recover arm elasticity and tightness, as well as younger patients who simply have a genetic tendency towards heavy arms.
Also known as brachioplasty, an upper arm lift can accomplish two things: remove excess fat deposits and tighten loose skin. While the procedure requires the trade-off of an inner arm scar (which fades over time), it corrects the dreaded “bat wings” many arm lift patients complain about, helping them feel more comfortable in sleeveless tops and swimwear.
About the Procedure
During consultation, you and one of our board certified plastic surgeons will go over your arm reshaping goals, and they will recommend a plan to you. Some patients only need skin excision, while others need fat excision or liposuction as well.
The length of the incision on each of your arms will depend on the amount of excess skin you need removed, but they are typically placed along the upper inner arm toward the back of the arm, where it is least noticeable.
You’ll be fully anesthetized to an appropriate level for the operation (at The Swan Center, we only use board certified MD anesthesiologists for your safety). Your surgeon will first remove excess fat and skin, then tighten and reshape the underlying arm tissue with internal sutures. Next the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
Your plastic surgeon will carefully close the incisions with absorbable sutures, or traditional stitches that will be removed in a follow up visit. A small, thin tube may also be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess fluid during your initial recovery period. Lastly, your arms may also be wrapped in a bandage or compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery.
Recovery from Arm Lift
Smoother, tighter arm contours will be apparent soon after surgery, even while you are recovering, but it is critical that you take it easy. Any pain will be easily managed with a prescription medication.
You’ll need to avoid all lifting and physical activities that require your arms for a number of weeks; we’ll provide personalized information for your recovery. Follow your post-operative instructions to the letter: resting and avoiding putting stress on your scars will help you recover faster and lessen the appearance of scars. Plan on at least one to two weeks away from work if you have a desk job; you may need to take more time off if you have a job that requires lifting or significant work with your arms.
Combining Arm Lift with Other Procedures
Many arm lift patients are looking for a lift in a number of areas, so it is quite common to plan another body lifting procedure, such as a breast lift, tummy tuck, or lower body lift, in the same operation.
We’ll let you know if it is realistic and safe to combine the procedures you want, or if the best course is to plan separate procedures. While your recovery will be longer if you have multiple procedures in one operation, it is a great way to save on operating room and anesthesia costs and consolidate recovery time.
From the first complimentary consultation to your postoperative visits, The Swan Center surgeons and staff will be glad to answer any questions. Your health and satisfaction are always our top priorities!