An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow.
Fluctuations in weight, growing older and even heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance.
Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits.
If the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an arm lift may be right for you.
An arm lift is performed to:
- Reduce excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow
- Reshape your arm to result in smoother skin and contours
- Result in a more toned and proportionate appearance
Special note: In order to achieve your improved image, there will be a scar on the inside of your upper arm.
What happens during arm lift surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of your plastic surgeon.
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 (axilla) to just above the elbow. If fat is to be reduced during your arm lift, it will be excised or treated with liposuction.
Inner Arm Incision
Depending on your specific conditions, 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.
For patients with less of a problem but with excess skin near the armpit. This excess tissue can be removed with an armpit incision only.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following your arm lift.
Step 4 – See the results
The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although initial results will be somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. Your new, shapely and toned upper arm is dramatically improved both in appearance and feel.
Following your surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?