An arm lift, arm liposuction or brachioplasty removes excess skin and fat, reducing the circumference and reshaping the upper arm area. Careful planning and excision of excess skin and fat can hide the scar on the inside of the arm, improve the patient’s ability to fit into clothing and improve general comfort in this area.
In selected patients, the modified arm lift (smaller procedure) confines the scar to only the armpit and usually is combined with liposuction procedure to remove the fat through a keyhole wound.
An upper arm lift is part of a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure called ‘body contouring’ which is designed to remove skin and fat from various body areas. This sagging skin in the upper arm is usually caused by weight loss, but the natural ageing process also causes skin to lose elasticity. Many individuals find that arms, in particular, lose their firmness as the layers of muscle and supporting fat become thinner. Some call this a ‘bat wing’ deformity. In such cases, an arm lift can help to restore and tighten these areas, giving a much firmer, youthful look.
The LipoSoft Procedure
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you based on the condition of your arms and skin tone. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly with him. He will be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each. He will also explain the type of anaesthesia to be used in your situation.
The best candidates for an arm lift are men or women who are looking to improve the way they look. If you’re physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate. This surgery is not suitable after mastectomy or other operations in the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes.
The procedure is usually done under General anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. The extent of the procedure depends on the amount of extra skin present and looseness of the supporting tissues. Extra skin is removed from incisions along the inner arm. The incision must be placed where the tissue can be best tightened. The incision may extend anywhere from the inside of the elbow to the inside of the armpit. Surgical sculpture involves not just the superficial skin but also the deeper attachments that have loosened. In some cases of limited extra skin, the incision can be hidden in the armpit. This can re-suspend tissues is some cases. Liposuction performed through a puncture wound is the procedure of choice when there is excess fat and the skin is reasonably tight.
Regardless of the location of the surgical incision, every effort is made to ensure that the resulting scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. Drainage tubes following the operation are usually not needed and the surgery usually takes about 2 hours to complete. Dissolving stitches are used to close the incisions, which will also be taped for greater support.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and assist you for a few days.
You’re likely to feel sore in the arms for few days following your surgery, but you’ll be up and about in 24 to 48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication that your surgeon will prescribe. Within several days, the dressings tape will be removed, and you will be asked to wear a compression garment. This is to reduce swelling and assist in shrinking and tightening of the skin. You should wear it as directed. Elevation of the arm with pillows whilst sleeping will increase comfort. The sutures are absorbable and don’t need to be removed.
Getting You Back to Work And Normal Activities
Most patients can return to work within a week, depending on the level of activity required for one’s job. Limiting heavy lifting is important for 1-2 weeks.
Exercise and normal activities may be resumed in 2 weeks.
Your scars will be firm and pink for at least six weeks. They may remain the same size for several months. After 6 months, your scars will begin to fade to a thin white line For most patients, the results of an arm lift are extremely satisfying and well worth the surgery, the recovery and the scar. Your decision to have an arm lift is a highly personal one that not everyone will understand. What is important is how you yourself feel about it. If you’ve met your personal goals, then your surgery was a success.