What to Know About Arm Lifts

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to address loose and sagging skin in the upper arms. It removes the excess skin and fat to create a better arm contour and a tighter look. This cosmetic procedure can improve your body image as you feel comfortable showing your arms off after the recovery period.

Am I a Good Candidate for Brachioplasty?

Age, genetics, and weight loss can cause sagging to the skin of your upper arms. Exercise is good for strengthening and toning muscles, but it can’t take care of excess skin, which is where brachioplasty comes in. By correcting aesthetic concerns, this procedure can give you a confidence boost.

During your initial appointment, your surgeon will review your medical history, perform a thorough physical examination, and discuss your goals. It is important to approach plastic surgery with a positive mindset and realistic expectations. You should also be aware that you may have scars on your arms and be fine with such a tradeoff for a more defined appearance.

Your doctor may not recommend the surgery if you:

  • Are severely overweight
  • Smoke
  • Have frequent and significant weight fluctuations
  • Have a medical condition that could interfere with your healing

The preoperative process may also include lab work, x-rays, an EKG, and possibly pre-surgery drug prescription or adjusting your current medications and supplements.

The Surgery Process

An arm lift is an outpatient procedure performed under anesthesia. Your surgeon marks several spots on your arms, armpits, and elbows before making the necessary incisions. When removing the excess skin and fat, they may also use liposuction.

Smoothing the skin to create a firmer arm contour, your doctor then closes the incisions. They place your sutures under the skin so your body can absorb them. To protect the area and promote healing, your surgeon applies a sterile dressing, a compression garment, and possibly drains, to your arms.

You will then stay for a short period of observation in a recovery room before the medical staff can discharge you safely. Someone else needs to drive you home, so make sure to plan accordingly.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Arm lift recovery usually takes up to two weeks. Following your surgeon’s post-op instructions is very important to get better results and heal more quickly.

Staying hydrated can speed up the recovery time and eating a nutritious and balanced diet also contributes to your healing. Experiencing some discomfort and bruising for a few days is normal. You should keep your arms elevated to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling.

If you notice anything concerning in the surgery area, contact your medical provider. You will also schedule several follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress.

Be careful to avoid any strain on your arms. Don’t lift over your head and wear comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and remove. You usually pause your workouts and certain activities for up to two months. Your doctor will let you know when you can resume exercise, including strength training for muscle development and arm toning.

A brachioplasty creates permanent results. The incision line will scar, and you should keep it away from direct sunlight for a year to prevent discoloration. The scar will eventually fade and blend with your normal skin color.

Call West Coast Plastic Surgery Center today at (805) 978-8545 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment!

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