What Can Arm Lift Surgery Address?
Sagging Arm Skin
Just like any other part of the body, the arms can be affected by sagging tissue. As collagen and elastin production begins to slow in the body, the skin on the arms becomes less structurally sound. This leads to the sagging appearance that many people refer to as “bat wings.” Your surgeon can correct this skin laxity by excising extra tissue throughout the upper arm.
Excess Arm Fat
Excess fat in the arm can cause a variety of aesthetic issues. Aside from making the arm appear larger and less contoured, excess fat can exacerbate drooping skin by creating excess weight. During an arm lift procedure, your surgeon can use liposuction to remove fat and create a better contour from the armpit to the elbow.
Lack of Physical Comfort
It can be physically uncomfortable to have loose skin and excess pockets of fat on the arm region. Excess skin can cause chafing or rashes in the arm area and can make people feel self conscious when they wear short sleeve shirts. After an arm lift surgery, you can expect to feel more comfort as the circumference of your arm is significantly reduced.
Arm Lift Techniques
Inner Arm Incision
In this technique, the incision is made on the inside of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. This incision placement is the best way to create inconspicuous scarring since the scar will be hidden whenever the arm is in a downward position. This method provides access to the entire length of the upper arm for correction and is performed under general anesthesia.
Back of Arm Incision
This incision is made along the back of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. Unlike the inner arm technique, the back of the arm incision will be visible when the arm is lowered. However, this incision is mostly hidden from anyone who is not behind you. Similar to the inner arm incision, this method provides easy access to address the entire section of your upper arm and is performed under general anesthesia.
If you are concerned about having visible scars on your arms, a minimal incision arm lift is available. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. During this procedure, an incision is made inside your armpit. Skin is then pulled down and tightened from this area. Because the incision is far away from the rest of the arm, this technique is reserved for patients who have sagging or excess fat primarily near their armpit.
Directly after your procedure, your wounds will likely be dressed with bandages that will help keep the incision site clean. A compression garment may also be wrapped around your arms to reduce swelling. Your surgeon may have inserted a drainage tube into the surgical site. This will help reduce the buildup of blood and fluid around the incision. You should have someone close to you during the first 24 hours. Most patients need a few weeks to recover, but you should be able to return to work within one or two weeks and can resume driving after 14 days.
Scarring will depend on the techniques used during your surgery. While the minimal incision technique does the best job at hiding arm lift scars, it is important to keep in mind that all scarring will fade with time. Keeping the fresh scars out of direct sunlight is a good way to ensure that they heal quickly.
The cost of your arm lift surgery will depend on numerous factors such as the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fees, techniques that were used, hospital fees, etc. Your surgeon will provide you with an accurate estimate during your consultation.
Most patients experience minor to moderate pain and swelling immediately following this procedure. The pain typically peaks between 36 and 48 hours after the procedure, but it will gradually subside within a week or so. Any pain and discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medication provided by your surgeon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for arm lift surgery?
If you are an otherwise healthy individual who does not smoke, have realistic expectations for your surgery, and are within your ideal body weight, you might be a strong candidate for this procedure.
How should I prepare for arm lift surgery?
Anyone considering arm lift (or any) surgery should quit smoking immediately. You should also refrain from taking anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding risks.
What are the risks of arm lift surgery?
Arm lift surgery comes with the same risks of any other surgery. This includes the possibility of anesthesia complications, blood clots, infection, unfavorable scarring, and poor wound healing, to name a few.
How long will the arm lift results last?
Arm lift results are generally permanent, but this surgery cannot prevent the future development of tissue sag or fat. Typically, if a healthy diet and lifestyle are maintained, the results last a lifetime.