An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat deposits between the underarm and the elbow.
Massive weight loss, aging and even genetics can cause the upper arm skin to become loose and flabby. Although the upper arm muscles may be strengthen with exercising and workout, it cannot tighten the excess skin that has lost elasticity.
In that case, an arm lift is the perfect solution to reduce excess sagging skin, tightening and smoothing the arm’s underlying supportive tissue, and reducing fat pockets, thus leaving the upper arms with a more satisfying and youthful contour.
Am I a good candidate?
Good candidates are non-smoker and healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk factors during surgery. Those who consider an arm lift after a massive weight loss should have stabilized their weight for at least six months.
I will evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, discuss your options and then recommend a course of treatment accordingly.
How is it done?
The arm lift surgery will take about two hours and can be done under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Patients are required to stop smoking well ahead of surgery and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
I will start by making an incision along the inner arm. The incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of the excess skin to be removed, and are usually done on the inside of the arm to hide visible scarring.
Patients with a youthful skin and minimal excess fat may be able to achieve effective results only through liposuction; liposuction is a much less invasive procedure that suctions out excess fat through small incisions that are often hidden in creases or body holds.
However, for patients with a considerable amount of excess fat and skin, a large incision will be made extending from the elbow to the armpit. The excess fat and skin is removed through the incision and the remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place. A drain may be placed at the incision site to remove excess fluid.
Dressings or bandages placed above the incisions, and the arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to reduce swelling.
How long is the recovery?
Swelling and bruising are natural signs of the healing process and will disappear within six to eight weeks. The stitches are usueally removed one to two weeks after surgery.
Following instructions and recommendations is key to the success of your surgery. It is important to avoid excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.
Normal but light activity can be resumed within a week or two, and exercise can be slowly brought back into your lifestyle within the fourth week of recovery.
Disclaimer: The info presented on this page is indicative and for generic use only. Each patient’s case is unique and will be studied by Dr. Chadi Murr for full assessment.