What Is An Arm Lift?
An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty is surgery to remove loose or hanging skin that can develop on the underside of the upper arm. This skin can start to hang as a result of aging, extreme changes in weight, chronic sunlight exposure, or any condition resulting in a loss of skin elasticity. Patients can also undergo an arm lift when they have no excess skin but are unhappy because of the overall girth and thickness of the upper arm.
Patients frequently seek refinement of their upper arms from board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Schaffer. Dr. Schaffer has been recognized numerous times as a national Top Doctor and Texas monthly Super Doctor.
Patients that are interested in an arm lift typically have excess hanging skin or fat that does not respond to diet and exercise. In order to be eligible, patients must maintain a stable weight, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations for surgery. In addition, candidates must also be in good overall health and have no medical conditions that surgery can affect.
Arm Lift Consultation
During your confidential informative consultation, Dr. Eric Schaffer will thoroughly discuss with you the risks, benefits, and trade-offs involved in a full brachioplasty. Dr. Schaffer offers variations on a full brachioplasty that may be a better option for certain patients. These options include a limited brachioplasty or the addition of liposuction.
Liposuction by itself is useful only if there is too much fatty tissue and the skin tone is reasonably good. In combination with a brachioplasty, liposuction allows Dr. Schaffer to reduce the thickness of your upper arm, tighten your skin, and result in an overall contour improvement of your upper arm. A limited brachioplasty is offered to patients that only need to correct minor amounts of skin laxity. Depending upon your condition, as well as your goals and desires, Dr. Eric Schaffer will design a plan to help you achieve your goals.
The arm lift procedure
Arm lift patients will go under general anesthesia or IV sedation, depending on their specific circumstances. Patients can return home the same day of surgery which takes about 2 to 4 hours to complete. First, Dr. Schaffer makes an incision along the inside of the upper arm that typically spans the underarm to the elbow. A full brachioplasty requires an incision along the upper inner arm while a limited brachioplasty has an incision that is confined to the armpit area. Next, Dr. Schaffer removes excess fat, either by direct excision or liposuction. Then, he will trim away excess skin and tighten the arm’s underlying supportive tissue. Finally, the skin is sutured together and the patient is sent to recovery.
Before & After Brachioplasty
Recovery from a Brachioplasty
It is common after brachioplasty for a patient to experience swelling, bruising and mild discomfort. This is manageable with pain medication and should resolve itself about two weeks after surgery. Our office encourages patients to wear compression bandages for proper healing. Results are visible immediately, however, continue to become more apparent as swelling, bruising, and the scar fades.
Arm Lift Risks
Arm lift surgery, as with any surgical procedure, comes with a set of risks including:
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation
- Loss of sensation
- Nerve, blood-vessel and/or muscle damage
- Permanent swelling
- Persistent pain