Whether from significant weight loss or the results of age, many men and women notice a loosening of the skin and excess bulk on the undersides of their upper arms. This sagging skin is sometimes referred to as “bat wings” and is something that many people feel self-conscious about, especially in t-shirts or revealing dresses. However, arm lift surgery (brachioplasty) can help remove this extra skin to reveal a smoother and more toned look.
One of the negatives of the natural aging process is the gradual loosening of the skin, and the upper arms are extremely susceptible to this. With arm lift surgery, this flabby skin is reduced or eliminated, and patients are left with thinner, more aesthetically pleasing arms.
With an arm lift, loose skin and fat along the under portion of the arms is surgically removed, and the tissues in the area are tightened to give a toned and more youthful appearance. While an arm lift does not create muscle, it does allow your existing muscle to show.
Many people with loose and sagging skin choose to cover their arms with long sleeves. However, with arm lift surgery, the unsightly extra skin will be removed, and the arms will be toned. Men and women won’t be able to wait until summer to show off their newly sculpted arms.
During your consultation, Dr. Pearce will discuss your aesthetic goals for the procedure. Once Dr. Pearce agrees that arm lift surgery is the right choice, he will review the surgical process and provide you with any pre- and post-operative care instructions.
Your arm lift is custom-tailored to your needs and aesthetic goals. Your arm lift will include one of the following:
Mini Arm Lift:
Standard Arm Lift:
Extended Arm Lift:
Many patients choose to combine their arm lift with other body contouring procedures, as it allows them to have one recovery period and save on overall costs. Some of the procedures that patients tend to combine with arm lift surgery include:
After the surgery is complete, the patient’s arms will be covered in bandages and compression garments to keep the swelling down and help speed up the recovery process. Small tubes may be placed in the arms to drain any blood or fluid still present in the area.
During the weeks following arm lift surgery, patients are asked to refrain from lifting their arms above their shoulders as well as lifting or carrying anything heavy. Patients should also refrain from any physical activities that may stretch the arms and cause the stitches to rip.
Local or general anesthesia will be used during the surgery itself. Besides some slight pressure, the patient should not feel any pain while the procedure is being performed.
After arm lift surgery, patients may have some swelling and soreness in their arms, though this can be alleviated with prescription pain medication.
Most patients realize their final results within six months of their arm lift.
As long as patients maintain a healthy lifestyle, the results of arm lift surgery can be long lasting. However, arm lift surgery does not stop the natural aging process, and patients are expected to develop additional laxity.
Due to the placement of the incisions, an arm lift presents the most visible scars of any plastic surgery procedure. This is the trade-off for the slimmer, more toned arms you receive.
Dr. Pearce tries to make the incisions in less visible areas of the arm (on the underside); however, they will still show when you lift your arms in t-shirts or strapless dresses. There are ways to minimize scarring, including silicone strips and topical creams. All scars will fade with time.
Local or general anesthesia is used during an arm lift. Dr. Pearce will make the decision based on what is safest for the patient and better for the surgery.
Dr. Pearce will make incisions along the underside of the arm (where the skin is sagging). He will keep these incisions as minimal as possible, but they may extend to — or below — the elbow. Dr. Pearce will remove the excess skin and fat deposits in the area and sculpt the arms to create better definition and shape. Lastly, the incisions will be closed with stitches and surgical tape.
Each patient heals at their own pace. Most patients will recover within two to three weeks; however, it may take a few weeks longer for the tissue to fully heal.
Arm lift cost varies with each patient and each specific procedure. At the consultation, Dr. Pearce will review the full cost with the patient.
Though Dr. Pearce will do everything he can to minimize any issues during the procedure, arm lift surgery does carry some risks and side effects, including: