Brachioplasty,
Arm Lift in San Antonio TX

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.

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Brachioplasty Candidates

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.


What are the benefits of a Brachioplasty?

Arm lift surgery is the procedure that slims and tightens the backs of the arms. The benefit of surgery may seem simple, the arms will look smoother and slimmer. This is true. However, the benefits of Brachioplasty are significantly greater than the cosmetic outcome. People whose arms have become loose and saggy often tell us that they avoid wearing certain types of clothing. The summer weather presents difficulties wearing short-sleeves. The winter months may be difficult because the arms look out of proportion in long sleeved-tops and sweaters. It can feel like a losing situation all the way around. Removing excess skin and tissue doesn’t just sculpt the arms, it restores proportions and, better yet, gives you back a sense of confidence in your appearance.


Before & After Brachioplasty

Before
After

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Before
After

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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.


Are my Arm Lift results permanent?

The results of arm lift surgery are generally considered permanent. You can maintain good results over time by keeping a healthy diet and exercise habits that include cardio to prevent weight gain and strength training to keep the arms toned. Regardless of habits, it is natural for tissue to lose some degree of firmness simply due to aging. However, most arm lift patients continue to enjoy smoother, slimmer arms for many years. 


What will my scarring look like after an Arm Lift?

Arm lift scars may look slightly different for everyone. At first, incision lines are red or pink. They may look slightly puffy or raised. After the incisions have healed (usually by week 4 of recovery), a scar treatment program may begin. This can include a topical scar cream applied daily or silicone scar sheets applied as directed. Several months after arm lift surgery, incision scars should be significantly improved. Their location on the underside of the arms also keeps them from being noticeable.


How long after an Arm Lift can I drive?

As long as you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication, you may resume driving after 1 to 2 weeks of recovery. It may be best to start with short drives at first. Pay close attention to how well you can turn your head and drive safely without causing discomfort or excessive stretching.


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

Is an Arm Lift covered by insurance?

In most cases, arm lift surgery is not covered by insurance. Though loose skin and tissue on the backs of the arms can be uncomfortable and unattractive, Brachioplasty is a cosmetic procedure, not one that is medically necessary.


Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in an arm lift, call 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer. Our practice serves San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas in TX.

For more information on our services, call our office to make an appointment.

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