Arm Lift

arm_liftFluctuations 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.

WHAT IS AN ARM LIFT?

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. The procedure is performed to reduce excess sagging skin that droops downward, tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm, and reduce localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region.

In general, candidates for an arm lift 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 who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery, Non-smokers, and individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?

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.
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.
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.

PREPARING AND PLANNING FOR YOUR SURGERY

arm_lift_2First, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Aguilar. Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you would like to achieve. Dr. Aguilar will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and Dr. Aguilar will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you, during your initial consultation.

  • Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
  • Expect Dr. Aguilar to conduct a physical exam of the area you wish to have the procedure on.
  • Photographs will be taken for your medical record.

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, and stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery, the use of anesthesia during your arm lift, and post-operative care & follow-up. Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Arm lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.

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. The results of arm lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent. The results of arm lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent. If your arm lift is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Important facts about the safety and risks of arm lift surgery

The decision to have arm lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications. The risks include:

Unfavorable scarring, bleeding (hematoma), infection, fluid accumulation, anesthesia risks, possibility of revisional surgery, poor wound healing, skin loss, blood clots, numbness or other changes in skin sensation. Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling, asymmetry, major wound separation, and fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis).s

Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs may occur, as well as, pain which may persist, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications. Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal.

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE

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.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.