What is a Brachioplasty
(Arm lift) ?
As we get older, skin loses its elastic properties and begins to sag due to gravity and genetics. This issue is more common in women than it is in men because of the muscle structure in the arms. Many women go to the gym to try to resolve this problem, yet there are limits to how much this can help because of the differences between men and women. This sagging is there naturally, yet when a candidate is aging or there is severe weight loss, these sags are far more pronounced. Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms is sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat.
An arm lift, or Brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that:
- Reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward
- Tightens and smoothes the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
- Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
- Fluctuations in weight, growing older and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise
Arm Lift Procedure
During the procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Areas of your arm will be marked out where the incisions will be. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, depending on the surgeon’s preference, and may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. Excess fat may be directly excised or treated with liposuction.
Depending on your specific condition, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
Arm Lift Candidates
In general, arm lift candidates include:
- Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity
- Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Arm Lift Recovery
Following surgery, a dressing is applied and your arms are wrapped in elastic bandages.
- Some pain and nausea can be expected. This can be relieved with anti-pain and anti-nausea medications. Take them as directed. If you are coming from out of town, please have these medications with you.
- Begin taking antibiotic medication once home from surgery and continue until the prescription is finished.
- Any bandages worn post-operatively should be comfortable and not too tight. Adjust these bandages as necessary.
- Use cold compresses 20 min on and off during waking hours. Never place ice directly on the skin.
- Maintain a regular fluid intake during the day. Gatorade is a good option. Restrict fluids after supper as increased fluid intake may cause greater swelling.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing, specific concerns to look for, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Before / After
Commonly Asked Questions
Where will the incisions be for this procedure?
The incision will generally extend from the axilla (underarm) to the elbow on the underside of the upper arm. In some cases, smaller incisions may be used by your GraceMed surgeon.
Are there any risks associated with an arm lift?
Generally the risks include infection, swelling, seroma, skin contour irregularities, asymmetry, change in skin sensation, and scarring. With any surgery there are risks, please talk to your GraceMed surgeon during your consultation for information on surgical risks.
What should I expect after my arm lift procedure?
You may have surgical drains in place. You will be placed in a compression garment to minimize swelling following the procedure. You could experience some pain, bruising, and swelling for about a month following the procedure. You will not be able to participate in strenuous activities for about 6 weeks following this procedure. Normal activity can be resumed within a couple of days. It is important to begin light walking within a day to prevent blood clots. You will have intermittent follow up visits depending on your individual recovery.