What is Brachioplasty (Arm Lift Surgery)?
Brachioplasty, more commonly referred to as an arm lift, is performed to improve the shape, firmness, and appearance of the upper arm. Not meant as a weight loss procedure, an arm lift will help eliminate sagging skin and fat deposits on the upper arm that do not respond to exercise or a healthy diet.
Who is the ideal candidate for Brachioplasty?
Brachioplasty has become an increasingly popular procedure. The vast majority of adults lose some degree of body mass each year after age 30. When one has gained and lost weight, areas like the backs of the arms may be especially vulnerable to sagging. An arm lift may be appropriate for the healthy adult whose upper arm skin hangs down and wiggles when they move or wave. Because weight gain and loss can influence the shape of the backs of the arms, it is beneficial for a brachioplasty patient to reach their healthiest weight before undergoing surgery. Being at the ideal weight for one’s frame also enables the surgeon to achieve aesthetic results that are in good proportion to the rest of the patient’s body.
We will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for an arm lift during a consultation at our practice.
What happens during an arm lift procedure?
During the arm lift procedure, Dr. Gaines will make an incision along the inside of the arm that may extend from the underarm to the elbow. Working through this incision, fat deposits and excess skin are removed while the overlying skin is tightened. In cases in which excess fat rather than excess skin causes the sagging of the upper arms, only liposuction is required.
How long does a Brachioplasty procedure take?
An arm lift can take from one hour to more than three hours. The time it takes to complete the procedure depends on the amount of contouring that is needed and whether or not liposuction or ancillary procedures are involved. During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss how long they anticipate your surgery to take, along with the results they expect to achieve.
How can I prepare for a Brachioplasty?
Before any surgery, it is imperative to prepare for a few things. One is outcome. In talking with a reputable plastic surgeon, a patient can set realistic expectations for their new arm contours. Outcome is also influenced by general health at the time of surgery. Some patients may need to lose weight before surgery. Some may need to quit smoking. Recommendations are discussed during the consultation visit. Another aspect of preparation is logistics. Patients should arrange time off work and several normal activities, including childcare and cooking. Patients must have someone drive them to and from the surgery center on the day of their procedure. They must also have someone at home who can help them with routine post-operative care such as taking pain medication, eating healthy meals, bathing, and so forth. Around-the-clock care is needed for the first 48 hours at least, after which patients may begin performing a few very light duties. Finally, patients should prepare their recovery area. There may be one room in the home that feels most comfortable to spend the majority of time for a few days. This area may be embellished with cozy blankets, extra pillows, easy access to water, and entertainment.
What is the recovery like after Brachioplasty?
When you visit our practice, we will be able to provide you with more in-depth post-surgical instructions following Brachioplasty. In general, it is recommended that patients refrain from strenuous physical activity, particularly activity that involves pushing or pulling, for one to two weeks. Contact sports and strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately four weeks.
Hear what Dr. Gaines’ patients have to say
“Dr Gaines and his staff were excellent throughout the entire process! Very positive and friendly environment. Dr Gaines is a compassionate Surgeon with incredible bedside manners. I highly recommend this entire team.” – A.C
“Exceeded my expectations — Spectacular facility and outstanding staff!” – M.C
“Dr Gaines is very personable and knowledgeable! His staff is amazing and helpful! I am very grateful for the care they gave me!!!” – M.H
What kind of anesthesia is used during an arm lift procedure?
Experienced plastic surgeons perform brachioplasty either using general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Both are safe and highly effective at blocking pain signals. Patients can expect to feel zero pain during their procedure, and to be monitored closely throughout surgery.
What are the risks associated with an arm lift?
Brachioplasty is generally considered safe and effective when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has specific experience with this procedure. All surgical procedures come with varying degrees of risk. The arm lift carries slight risks for infection, bleeding, scarring, asymmetry, and loss of sensation. In the hands of a reputable surgeon, these risks are minimal.