An arm lift is a cosmetic surgical operation to enhance the look of your upper arms' undersides. Extra skin and fat are removed from the area between the armpit and the elbow during an arm lift, commonly referred to as a brachioplasty. To give the appearance of additional tone, the remaining skin is reapplied over the freshly realigned features. The skin on your upper arms changes as you age, drooping and becoming looser. The undersides of your upper arms may droop if you lose a lot of weight. Exercise can help the upper arm muscles get stronger and more toned, but it cannot address extra skin that has lost its suppleness. If the backs of your upper arms are drooping, you might decide to get an arm lift. Your body image may also improve with an arm lift.
Risks associated with an arm lift include:
- Scarring. Although arm lift incision scars are permanent, they are usually hidden by surrounding skin. Incisions can occasionally leave behind elevated, red scars. To lessen the look of scars, corticosteroid injections or other procedures may be utilized.
- Your arms' asymmetry in terms of shape. This might take place as a result of adjustments made throughout the healing process. Additionally, while the doctor will work to make your arms appear as symmetrical as feasible, perfection is unachievable.
- Skin feeling changes. The movement of your arm tissues during an arm lift may have an impact on superficial sensory nerves. You'll probably experience some short-term numbness.
- Issues with the stitches. It may be necessary to remove stitches that were used to fix the arm's new shape after they had reached the skin's surface. The damaged skin may become inflamed as a result of this. You might therefore require extra surgery.
An arm lift carries the same risks of bleeding, infection, and bad anesthetic reactions as any other major surgery. Not everyone should use an arm lift. Your physician could advise against getting an arm lift if you:
- Are significantly overweight
- Have frequent changes in your weight
- Have a medical condition that interferes with wound healing
- Are a smoker
Preparing Before the Surgery
You'll initially discuss an arm lift with a plastic surgeon. At your initial appointment, your plastic surgeon will probably:
- Examine your medical background. Be ready to discuss your present and previous medical issues in detail. Discuss any medications you are now taking or have recently taken, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements made from herbs, as well as any procedures you have had.
- Examine your health. The doctor will look at the undersides of your upper arms to assess your treatment options. Your arms will be photographed by the doctor for your medical file.
- Talk about your objectives. Describe your reasons for wanting an arm lift and your desired results in terms of looks. Make sure you are aware of the advantages and hazards, such as scarring.
- Stop using cigarettes if you do. Smoking might delay healing because it reduces blood flow to the skin. Your doctor will advise you to cease smoking if you currently do so before surgery and while you are recovering. Because the danger of problems is higher if you continue to smoke, some doctors won't do the procedure.
A hospital or an outpatient surgery center can do an arm lift. Sometimes sedation and local anaesthetic are used during the treatment to numb only a portion of your body. In other situations, general anesthesia—which knocks you out—is advised.
Before the procedure
Steer clear of some drugs. Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and herbal supplements need to be avoided because they can worsen bleeding. Plan for assistance during rehabilitation. Make arrangements for a driver to take you home following surgery and to stay with you while you recover.
During the procedure
Your arms' undersides will be cut by your plastic surgeon. Depending on how much skin will be removed, the incisions' length and pattern will vary. Your underlying tissues will be pulled taut by the plastic surgeon after making the incisions, and they will be stitched shut. In order to remove fat, he or she could also employ a suction technique (liposuction). Excess skin will subsequently be cut away when it is draped over the new features. The incisions will be closed with stitches or medical tape.
After the procedure
Your incisions will be bandaged after an arm lift. To reduce swelling, your arms will be loosely bandaged with elastic. Your arms can be inserted with little tubes to drain any extra blood or fluid. Within a day or two of your arm lift, you'll probably meet with a member of your plastic surgery team. If you have been using a drainage tube, he or she might take it out. To reduce swelling, certain plastic surgeons may advise you to wear a compression sleeve for a few weeks. In the initial days following an arm lift:
- For three to four weeks, refrain from raising your arms over shoulder height.
- For four to eight weeks following surgery, refrain from engaging in physical or athletic activity with your arms that could extend the incisions.
- Use topical or oral antibiotics as indicated and take pain medicine as needed to prevent wound infections.
Ask your doctor when or if they plan to remove your stitches. Some stitches naturally fall out. In the weeks following the procedure, some must be removed in the doctor's office. If any of the following occur after an arm lift, call your doctor right away:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- An irregular heartbeat
- Redness of the skin and a fever
An arm lift can make your upper arms look more toned by eliminating loose skin. Results from arm lifts often last for a long time. However, keep in mind that as you age, your skin may naturally lose some firmness and some drooping may happen. You can keep your results by keeping a steady, healthy weight.