If you have sagging arms, excess skin, and fat, then you might have thought about getting an arm lift.
An arm lift or medically termed Brachioplasty is a cosmetic procedure.
It helps to treat the sagging arms by reducing extra skin, tightening, and smoothing tissues, and removing extra fat.
Thus, this results in more toned and defined upper arms.
Sagging skin can be due to aging and genetic both and you might be left with extra skin after losing a lot of weight.
However, regardless of what causes sagging skin, there are different things to keep in mind when considering an arm lift.
There are certain factors one should consider before getting a type of plastic surgery.
These factors are important to understand before getting any surgery.
This article sums up all the important factors you should understand before getting an arm lift.
Moreover, it also sums up some common facts you might be wondering about.
So let’s get right into them.
Who is a Good Candidate for Arm Lift?
In general, you are a good candidate for arm lift if you have significant upper arm laxity, whose weight is stable and not significantly overweight.
Moreover, you are a nonsmoker, is a healthy individual with no medical condition that could impair your effective and fast healing or increase the risk of surgery.
Thus individuals with weight loss, positive outlook, and realistic expectations are good candidates for an arm lift.
Consultation for an Arm Lift Surgery
During an arm lift surgery consultation, your plastic surgeon with their team will discuss certain factors with you.
These include your surgical goals, medical conditions, whether you have drug allergies, and the treatment.
Moreover, they will also take your medical history, the medications you might be using, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and other factors,
They will also ask whether you had any surgery in the past or not.
Your arm lift surgeon will also discuss and evaluate your health status, and discuss the possible is factors.
Discuss the options and the outcomes of arm lift surgery and risks or potential complications.
It is important that you discuss all the things with your surgeon before the procedure and ask them questions you might have in your mind.
Preparing for an Arm Lift Surgery
For any cosmetic procedure or a plastic surgery procedure, like botox and filler or nose job, there are steps you can take.
You can take certain steps in the weeks and months before surgery to make sure your arm lift is safe and effective.
Moreover, it is important that if you smoke, then you should quit smoking before the procedure.
Especially 1 or 2 months before, to avoid or reduce your risk of any complications.
For instance, a common smoking-related complication is slow wound healing and will increase your risk of infection.
Thus, it is important to discuss with your doctor and come up with a plan to quit smoking before the surgery.
A few weeks before surgery, your doctor will give your preoperative evaluation and make sure that you are ready for it.
Your preoperative will also include:
- lab work
- a chest X-ray
- an electrocardiogram
- a prescription for preoperative medication
- adjusting dose of certain medications and supplements you are using currently
The Arm Lift Procedure
On the day of your surgery, your doctor or plastic surgeon will start by marking your arm where they intend to make incisions.
There are different ways of performing an arm lift, however, one of the most common ones involves incisions on the inside or back of your arms.
Other options include making incisions on your armpit or one that extends from the top of your elbow to your armpit.
Moreover, your doctor will either give your local or general anesthesia and it depends on the surgical methods your doctor chooses.
With the help of the marks they made on your arms, your doctor goes in and tightens or reshapes the tissue in your upper arm.
They will then pull your skin back over the tissue and close the surgical wounds with the help of stitches.
However, if there is an extra pocket or pockets of fat, it might make it hard for your arm to fully heal.
In such a case, your doctor may use the process of liposuction at the same time to remove that fat.
This entire procedure usually takes three hours to complete.
After your surgery, you have someone to get back home with and stay overnight to make sure that you do not have any problems or complications.
Recovering from an Arm Lift
To control swelling, you will have to wear a compression garment while you recover from surgery.
Your doctor may also insert a temporary drainage tube in your arm to drain any fluid or blood that might build up after the surgery.
Moreover, they will give you post-operative care instructions to take home.
These will cover how to take care of your wounds, medications to take and when, certain warning signs you should look out for, and a timeline for follow-up appointments.
It is important to note that you should avoid smoking while you recover because it slows down the healing process of wounds.
This may raise your risk of developing permanent scarring or infections.
You will be able to return to your work or daily routine activities within 2 weeks.
Within 6 weeks, you should be able to return to your normal activity level.
However, it is important to consult your doctor about any pain or problems moving after the initial recovery period.
Arm Lift Risks
Like all surgeries, an arm lift has some potential risks and in addition to pain and infection, you might also have the following:
excessive bleeding, permanent scarring, fluid buildup, nerve, muscle, or blood vessel damage, and fatty tissue death.
General anesthesia also comes with potential risks and include:
Confusion, pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, or death in rare cases.
However, in rare cases, some individuals remain partially awake under general anesthesia.
Thus, it is important to make sure you go over all the possible risks with your doctors so can learn to recognize them and get effective treatment.
Results and Cost
While arm lift surgery carries the same risks as other surgeries
You can take steps to improve your results by following the instructions of your doctors before and after the surgery.
Moreover, eventually, you will lose some firmness over time as you age, however, your overall results should last for several years.
According to the American Society of Plastic surgeons, the average cost of an arm lift is about $4,257.
The cost, however, may change with your health and the extent of your surgery.
You should also consider other factors in extra money to cover any complications, follow-up procedures, or repeat surgeries you may need.
Conditions that can make an Arm Lift a Risky Procedure
There are a number of conditions that can make an elective surgery or a cosmetic surgery riskier in particular.
For individuals who frequently smoke, this surgery is not recommended.
And as for any other elective plastic surgery, all tobacco products, vaping and nicotine gums, and patches should be stopped at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery.
Moreover, individuals with a history of connective tissue disorder like Ehlers Danlos are not good candidates for a procedure.
This is because that involves an extensive incision.
Additionally, these individuals also have a history of poor tissue quality as well as difficulty healing.
In the same way, individuals with long-term oral steroids for medical conditions are not good candidates for Brachioplasty.
Types of Scars you might have and Time for them to Heal
One of the biggest things to consider for this procedure is the extensive scarring that is most often difficult to conceal.
While there is an option that contains short-scar Brachioplasty, this technique is for those with loose skin.
Especially the ones whose skin is at the upper posterior arm near the armpit.
You can hide these scars with a short-sleeved shirt.
However, the traditional Brachioplasty scar extends from the armpit to the elbow.
Either on the very back of your arm or on the inside, facing your chest wall.
Therefore, this scar is longer and more difficult to hide.
However, for those individuals who do not smoke, the scars will heal and fade over with time.
Thus, protecting the scars from extensive sun exposure with sunscreen or long sleeves is the key to helping them lightly.
Can Liposuction only can fix the Problem?
If you have excess arm skin, however, underlying fat keeps your skin tight, an arm lift and liposuction combination is an option.
However, for most patients, an arm lift is the best fix for sagging arms rather than liposuction.
Many patients request liposuction as there is no extensive scarring.
However, with an arm lift, there is scarring afterward, particularly if your surgeon removes a significant amount of fat and skin.
But liposuction alone will not solve the problem of excess skin.
Even if your surgeon removes the pockets of fats, the excess skin remains there even after liposuction.
An arm lift is a cosmetic or surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the under portion of your upper arm.
There are certain factors to consider and we have tried to sum up all the potential questions you may have in mind with regard to this procedure.