Many people feel uncomfortable with the appearance of their arms, especially as excess fat and sagging skin can increase with age. When women lose or gain weight, the upper arms can become loose and saggy, an effect that can also occur with the passage of time. When these effects of gravity become apparent, women may refrain from wearing tank tops, sleeveless dresses or swimsuits; the lack of confidence and body pride that can accompany concerns about the appearance of the upper arms can inhibit your ability to enjoy life and live in the moment.
Some people refer to the look of sagging upper arms as “bat wings,” as draping skin appears wider than the rest of the arm and out of proportion to the body. However, this condition can be corrected. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that can remove this excess fat and sagging skin from below your upper arms, giving your arms and your entire body a slimmer, more toned and youthful look. This procedure can eliminate bulges and saggy areas from your upper arms and restore your confidence and self-esteem. Women who have had an arm lift often report enhanced quality of life as they resume wearing swimsuits and other body-conscious clothing that show off the area of the upper arms. At Cold Spring Plastic Surgery, our Long Island plastic surgeons can help you to develop a plan of action that helps you restore the youthful look and feel of your arms and body.
Am I a Good Candidate for an Arm Lift?
An arm lift can be a great choice for an adult who has seen the effects of aging, weight loss and other bodily changes on their upper arms, leading to sagging skin that cannot be removed through diet or exercise. An arm lift can result in some scarring under the upper arm, although these scars are generally only visible when the arm is lifted high; in addition, for people who need a moderate arm lift procedure, the incision can be located primarily inside the armpit area, reducing the appearance of scarring.
Many people combine a brachioplasty with liposuction in order to remove stubborn fat deposits and tighten loose skin at the same time. An arm lift removes the excess skin that is often most responsible for the appearance of sagging upper arms. It is important to refrain from smoking prior to your arm lift procedure, as smoking can inhibit your body’s ability to heal after the removal of skin. In addition, it is best to consider an arm lift when you are at a weight that makes you happy; additional significant weight gain or loss can impact your results, so if you are engaged in weight loss, it is best to wait for your arm lift until you are satisfied with your size.
What Will Happen in an Arm Lift Consultation?
When you come in for a consultation with our experienced Huntington plastic surgeons at Cold Spring Plastic Surgery, your surgeon will discuss your goals for the surgery and the outcomes that you wish to achieve. They will go over your medical history and previous surgeries in order to develop a thorough evaluation and understanding of your health. Your surgeon can present before-and-after photos, to help you envision the outcomes of your procedure in a realistic and accurate manner. This will help your surgeon to develop a personalized, unique plan that fits your health needs, your body and your goals for the surgery. In addition, your surgeon will provide detailed information about surgical risks, recovery time and what you can expect during your procedure.
How Is an Arm Lift Performed?
A brachioplasty procedure takes approximately two hours to complete. During this time, you will receive general anesthesia or intravenous sedation as recommended by your plastic surgeon. There are some different types of incisions that can be used depending on your needs and goals for the outcome of your arm lift.
In general, incisions are placed on the inside or the back of the arm. The incision will often begin under the armpit and can extend to the area above the elbow. Depending on your needs, the incision size can range and be smaller or larger; your surgeon will provide detailed information about the best options to help you achieve your goals.
After the incision is made, excess fat can be removed with liposuction or direct removal. The supportive tissue under the skin will then be reshaped and tightened before the skin is replaced and smoothed for a tight, accurate fit above the arm’s contour. The incision can run along the inside of the arm or the rear of the arm.
After the procedure, your arm will be wrapped in a surgical dressing and an elastic bandage in order to prepare for your recovery period.
What Can I Expect When Recovering from an Arm Lift?
Your surgeon will provide you with detailed information about your recovery period and how best to care for your arm after the procedure. Most often there are no sutures to be removed, they are all on the inside and dissolve with time. You can expect to see bruising and swelling on the arm for up to 3 weeks after your procedure; there can be some pain or discomfort during this time as the surgery heals. For the first four weeks after your procedure, you should avoid heavy lifting and intensive exercise using your arms, although you can resume light activity as soon as you feel comfortable. In general, you can expect to return to work about one week after your procedure, unless your work involves heavy lifting on a regular basis.
While your results should be immediately apparent following an arm lift, the full results of your procedure will be visible six months to one year after your procedure. It is important to use sunscreen and keep the area with your incision scar out of the sun in order to minimize its appearance and allow it to fade.
Schedule an Arm Lift Consultation
The experienced Long Island plastic surgeons at Cold Spring Plastic Surgery look forward to meeting you and discussing how an arm lift can help you achieve your goals. Call our office or use our convenient online form to make an appointment at our Suffolk County location. We work with patients from across the United States and around the world, and we look forward to speaking with you about how our plastic surgeons can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.