Many individuals are bothered by the appearance of the upper arms, whether due to age or weight loss. Excess skin and fat can lead to a loose, flabby appearance which some refer to as “bat wings”. The arm lift, technically known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure which reshapes the underside of the arm for a smoother, firmer, more youthful appearance that is more proportionate to the rest of the body. During surgery, excess skin and fat are removed from the underside of the upper arm between the elbow and underarm area.
Arm Lift – The Surgery
Arm lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The incision is placed on the inside or back of the arm and the length will depend on the degree of correction needed. For more extensive procedures, the incision may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. For less extensive procedures, the incision may be smaller. Working through the incision, Dr. Rubinstein tightens and reshapes the underlying tissues and removes excess skin before closing the incision. If excess fat is present, it is removed with liposuction techniques.
After Surgery: What to Expect
Patients will see immediate improvement after surgery, but results will get better as the bruising and swelling fade. Dressings and bandages may be applied to the arms after surgery along with drainage tubes to collect excess fluid. You may be advised to elevate the arms for the first few days and to wear compression garments. Patients generally find that they can return to work within one to two weeks.
As with all surgery, there are potential risks associated with the arm lift and these may include excess scarring, bleeding, infection, adverse anesthesia reactions, poor wound healing, blood clots, numbness and asymmetry. Carefully following your surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions can help to minimize your risks.