A Brachioplasty, or arm lift, is a very popular and commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure for people who desire firmer and more contoured arms.
Dr. Rivela, consistently voted “Best Plastic Surgeon” in The Woodlands by Woodlands Online every year since 2010, has performed numerous Brachioplasty procedures.
A Brachioplasty can remove the excess skin and fat deposits, leaving the upper arms with a more pleasing and youthful contour. As a person ages or after extensive weight loss, upper arm skin can become loose and flabby. Dr. Rivela consults with patients about undergoing surgery for an arm lift if they wish to tighten their skin to look and feel more youthful. The incision extends from the elbow to the underarm, and sometimes onto the side of the chest. In some instances, Dr. Rivela may recommend that liposuction be used alone or in conjunction with an arm lift to remove excess fat in the upper arms.
The success and safety of your Brachioplasty procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Dr. Rivela may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of Arm Lift surgery and any risks or potential complication
Contact Rivela Plastic Surgery for more information on Brachioplasty and other possible cosmetic enhancements that you are considering and to schedule an in-depth consultation with Dr. Rivela. Let us help you achieve your desired look. Our caring staff is committed to helping you look and feel great.
Brachioplasty surgery is performed at the hospital or surgery center and typically takes 2-3 hours to complete. After you are properly anesthetized, Dr. Rivela will make the incisions necessary for the removal of excess skin and fat.
After the incision has been made, Dr. Rivela gently elevates the skin and fat off of the underlying muscles of the arm. Dr. Rivela removes excess skin and fat and re-drapes the skin over the underlying muscles. A drain may be placed beneath the incision. These slender, rubber tubes assist in draining any fluid that may accumulate beneath the incision and delay your healing.
The incisions are carefully closed to minimize your scar. A sterile dressing is applied to the incisions, and a compression garment is placed over your arm. This compression garment or binder helps support your arm during healing and decreases post-operative swelling while helping decrease any bruising that may occur.
Location of operation: Hospital or surgery center
Length of surgery: 2-3 hours
Length of stay: Outpatient
Immediately after surgery, some patients will have a feeling of tightness in the upper arm as the area swells due to the trauma of surgery. Some patients may develop swelling and some tingling in the hands as well. Most of these symptoms resolve with time.
Post-operative pain will vary considerably from person to person. The average patient undergoing an arm lift procedure will usually require a few days of oral pain medication to treat discomfort. Over a 7-10 day period, most people resolve the majority of their acute post-operative pain.
Discomfort: Range from moderate to severe and patients should anticipate 7-14 days of prescription pain medication.
Swelling and Bruising: Any swelling will peak in three days and should improve considerably in 2-4 weeks.
Bandages: Dressings or bandages may be applied to the incisions. These bandages will be removed in 1-2 days. Arms will be wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling. The compression wrap must be worn continuously for 4-6 weeks. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
Stitches: Stitches will be removed in 7-10 days after surgery.
Go out in Public: Most patients feel presentable in a bathing suit within 6-8 weeks; however, be certain to wear sunscreen (SPF 15-40) for at least one year on any scars that may be exposed to the sun.
Work: Patients can expect to return to work in 7-14 days. If the job requires lifting, patients should wait 4-6 weeks.
Exercise: May be resumed in six weeks.
Driving: Driving may be resumed after a patient has stopped taking prescription pain medication.
Final result: After the swelling has fully subsided in 4-6 months.
Am I good candidate for upper Arm Lift?
Arm lift surgery can be performed on a variety of patients including those of normal weight who simply need a little tightening. Most patients, however, have lost a large amount of weight, have stabilized their weight loss and do not have out of control medical problems. They have excess skin and fat in their upper arms. Many of these patients complain that their arms feel and look like “bat wings.” Occasionally some older women have extra skin that is bothersome and are considered reasonable candidates.
Will there be scarring with Brachioplasty surgery?
Brachioplasty typically involves the removal of skin and necessitates the creation of a scar that starts near the elbow, traverses to the arm pit, and may cross over onto the chest wall. Any scar goes through a maturation process, which takes a year to complete. Initially, most scars are conspicuous. Some surgeons prefer to place the Brachioplasty scar on the inner arm so that it is not as visible when the patient’s arm is by their side. Other surgeons prefer to place the scar a bit more towards the back of the arm so that it is not visible from the front, especially when the patient is observed from the front while moving the arm.
Should I get liposuction or an Arm Lift?
You must have sufficient tone in the skin and tissues of the arm to be able to have liposuction alone. If there has been a dramatic weight loss with extra skin, more than likely you will need to have an arm lift performed.
Who is a good candidate for Brachioplasty surgery?
A good candidate is someone who has had loss of tone in the upper arm. This can either be secondary to weight loss or significant loss of tone with aging.
Who should not undergo a Brachioplasty procedure?
This surgery is not suitable after a mastectomy (breast removal) for breast cancer or operations in the axilla lymph nodes. Those with multiple infections of the sweat glands may also not be candidates for Brachioplasty. This is because there may be problems with draining the fluids from the arms as a result of a previous surgery. If a patient was to have another operation, the arms could swell very badly and this may be permanent.nnAlso, patients who are not within 15% of their ideal weight should not be considered, as Brachioplasty is not an option for weight loss. It is best that the patient be at their target weight first.
How do I prepare for the Brachioplasty procedure?
Patients are asked to stop taking all medications that may increase bleeding including aspirin, Plavix, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen), and herbal supplements like Vitamin E. Patients also need to be in good general health and should have a full physical before the procedure to make sure their blood pressure is controlled.nnPatients need to refrain from smoking as the nicotine in tobacco products decreases the oxygen that is carried in the blood flow to the skin to help heal the surgical incision. Patients who smoke have delayed healing and increased wound complications.nn beautiful arm lift, you are beautifulnPatients need to refrain from smoking as the nicotine in tobacco products decreases the oxygen that is carried in the blood flow to the skin to help heal the surgical incision. Patients who smoke have delayed healing and increased wound complications.
Will my arms start to sag again after an arm lift?
Generally not, but with substantial weight gains and losses, there could be a partial recurrence of laxity to the area.