An arm lift aims to reduce the amount of excess skin and fat in the upper arms, in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing arm shape. It also aims to tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue allowing a new defined shape of the upper arm. This method particularly targets stubborn fat that cannot you cannot remove through exercise and diet alone. If you have a lot of excess fat in the upper arms, your surgeon may also use liposuction to aid the contouring of the arms.
You may choose to have an arm lift if you are looking to boost your self-esteem and remove:
Excess skin after major weight loss
Drooping skin as a result of aging or heredity
Excess fat deposits and cellulite
An arm lift, 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 surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat.
Techniques of Arm Lift Surgery
Arm Liposuction: This is usually done for patients who don’t have extra skin but have some fat on their upper arm. So the patient won’t have an arm lift scar.
Arm lift with minimal incision: This is usually done for patients who have some extra skin that would be counted as minimal, the patient will need incisions, but minimal.
Extended Arm Lift: This technique is used on patients who were overweight, therefore there is a lot of extra skin. Because of this, the incision will be long, usually the incision starts from the elbow, through the armpit, and to the side of the chest.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ Am I good candidate for arm lift surgery ?
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.
+ What are the steps of an arm lift procedure ?
An arm lift procedure includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during arm lift surgery. 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 during arm lift surgery 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. 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
Step 3 – Closing the incision
Your incisions will be closed either with absorbable sutures or stitches that will be removed within one to two weeks following your arm lift.
Step 4 – See the results
The smoother, tighter contours that result from arm lift surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising.
+ What effect can alcohol, smoking, and drugs have on an arm lift?
If you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight or take drugs for medical or other reasons, the risks of surgery are greatly increased. Smoking in particular delays the time it takes for your wounds to heal, and increases the risk of infection. For this reason, our surgeons recommend that patients stop smoking and using all nicotine products at least 6 weeks before and after surgery.
+ Will I have drains put in after an arm lift?
After an arm lift you may have a small plastic tube placed under your skin at the site of the incision. This ensures any blood or fluid that may build up during the operation can freely drain, therefore avoiding build up. You will generally only have the drains kept in for 1 to 2 days.
Aftercare for Arm Lift Surgery
The written instructions are common information that should be adhered to before and after arm lift surgery
If the patient is pregnant or if the patient isn’t healthy enough to have the operation, (will be checked by the anaesthesiologist) the operation will be cancelled.
Two Weeks Before Surgery :
Stop drinking alcohol or using nicotine products such as, cigarettes, nicotine gum etc. The reason for this is, nicotine changes the healthy circulation of the body and might affect the result of the patients’ arm lift surgery and increase the risk of complications with anaesthesia.
One Day Before Surgery:
Patients SHOULDN’T EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER 12 AM. A fasting is required to get sedation for surgery.
Day of The Surgery:
Patients can shower and shampoo in the morning of the arm lift procedure.
Patients shouldn’t have any makeup on, their hair shouldn’t be sprayed or have gel in it, they shouldn’t also have nail polish or false eyelashes.
Patients should wear loose fitting clothing and avoid anything that must be pulled over the head. (No t-shirts because patients shouldn’t lift their arms)
Patients shouldn’t wear jewelry, or bring valuables to their arm lift surgery.
Patients should drink lots of water. (Fizzy drinks don’t count)
Patients should take their medication as instructed.
For a year after the arm lift surgery patient should avoid direct sunlight on the incision area. This way, discoloration of the scar can be avoided. The scar could be bright pink at first but will fade to the patients normal skin color in time.
Arm lift healing time is normally 1-2 weeks.
Patients should get plenty of rest and not do any hard activity that might include lifting weight or lifting over their head.
Don’t start to exercise up to 2 months. Afterwards, start with light exercises.
After the doctor says okay, the patient can start strength exercises. This will help carry on with the muscle growth and toning of the arms.
2 to 3 hours
6 – 9 months