Arm Lift – Dr. Burton Sundin & Dr. Reps Sundin, Washington D.C.
These days, many of us have flabby, sagging upper arms. Oftentimes, no matter the amount of diet and exercise will ever be able to address the specific area of the upper arm when the skin has lost elasticity and unwanted fat deposits give the arm a loose, sagging look.
That’s not to say that exercise won’t strengthen the muscles of the arm and proper diet won’t target some of the unwanted fat deposits. However, diet and exercise alone will never fully resolve the issue of sagging skin that has lost its elasticity and the role that genetics or heredity plays.
For these reasons, cosmetic surgeons have developed the arm lift procedure to remove excess skin and fat, tightening the sagging, drooping arm.
An Arm Lift Can:
- Reduce the excess skin and fatty deposits that hang between the elbow and the armpit
- Tighten your upper arm so that the skin is smooth and taught
- Balance the proportion and scale of your upper arms to match the scale of the rest of your body
What is An Arm Lift?
Brachioplasty, or commonly known as an arm lift, is an elective, surgical procedure used to remove unwanted fatty deposits and excess skin from the upper arm region of the upper torso from the armpit tot he elbow. The result is an upper arm that is proportionate to the rest of the arm and body, and one that is smooth, contoured and toned.
Is it Right for Me?
The arm lift procedure may be right for you if you:
- Are a fully mature adult with dramatic loss of elasticity in the skin of the upper arm
- Have achieved a relatively settled weight that is not considered obese
- Are relatively healthy, free of any major disease or any illness that could complicate surgery or recovery
- Do not smoke
- Have realistic expectations for the results of the arm lift procedure
What to Expect During Your Consultation
In order to create the best possible results from your arm lift surgery, it is important that your surgeon consult with you to discuss your desires and expectations, as well as how the arm lift surgery will impact your health, lifestyle and general well-being. It is a good idea to prepare by considering the following before your consultation:
- General medical history, including the results of laboratory work and past surgeries
- A detailed account of current prescription medications, supplements (vitamins or others) that you take
- Any use of tobacco or other drugs
- What are your motivations for surgery? What are your expectations?
At the consultation, your surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your current health
- Photographically document the areas of the body to be effected by surgery
- Based on the information gathered, your surgeon will discuss your surgical options and recommend a course of treatment
- Disclose the risk of common complications associated with the arm lift surgery and the use of anesthesia
- Cover what to do the day of surgery
- Cover post-operative care and recovery
In the weeks before surgery, your surgeon may request:
- Further laboratory testing or medical evaluations
- Adjusting current prescriptions
- That you avoid the consumption of alcohol, drugs and abstain from smoking for a certain period surrounding surgery
Finally, your surgeon will go over the options you may have regarding the location of your surgery. Typically, the arm lift procedure is performed in an accredited surgical center, outpatient ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor will suggest either intravenous or general anesthesia.
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.
The arm lift incision typically follows a straight line on the underside or back of the arm, and can extend any length – depending on the amount of correction that is needed – from the armpit area to the elbow. The excess skin is trimmed and fat deposits are suctioned out of the area by liposuction. Then, the musculature of the arm is restructured and tightened with internal sutures to create a new, smooth and taught look to your upper arm.
Closing the Incisions
Once the procedure has been completed, the incisions are closed with layered, absorbable sutures, clips and surgical tape.
See the Results
Although you will notice immediate results, your arm tissues will continue to recover even further as swelling subsides and scars begin to fade, and you will find that your results will continue to unfold over time.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo the arm lift procedure is yours alone. After careful consideration of both the risks and benefits of surgery, you’ll have to weigh the risks against the potential benefits to make an informed decision that you can live with. Your health care professional will go over all potential risks of surgery and will make themselves available to answer any and all of your questions.
Here is a listing of some of the risks associated with arm lift surgery:
- Adverse scarring
- Excessive bleeding (hematoma)
- Complications associated with scar healing, including pain associated with surgery
- Fluids aggregation
- Necrosis, or fatty tissues deep within the affected area may die
- Leg swelling that won’t go away
- Nerve damage or loss or change in sensation
- Skin loosening persists, especially with fluctuations in weight
- Potential risks of anesthesia use
- Blood clots
After any surgery, it is important to closely monitor how you feel, especially directly after surgery. Varying degrees of pain are certainly to be expected, however, if you experience any kind of tightness or shortness of breath, pains deep in your chest or an irregular heart beat you should go to the doctor immediately. To avoid complications, it is of paramount importance that you strictly follow your doctor’s post-surgical instructions and be careful!
The recovery period immediately following your surgery is critical to achieving the best results possible from the surgery. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that you follow your doctor’s instructions exactly. Bandages will need to be changed and restrictions on physical activity are just a few of the steps one must take in order to keep the incision from separating and fully realizing the potential results of arm lift surgery. In most cases, you can return to work within one week and resume limited physical activity shortly thereafter.
Here are some important questions regarding recovery to ask your doctor before surgery:
- Where will I recover directly after surgery?
- Will I be prescribed any post-surgery medications?
- How often do my bandages need to be changed and when will they be removed permanently?
- When will the stitches be removed?
- How soon will I need to return for a follow-up visit?