Weight loss is an incredible achievement. However, for some patients loose skin can remain long after the weight is gone. This is sometimes the case, in particular, with the arms. Considered one of the most common after weight loss cosmetic surgeries, brachioplasty, offered by our New Orleans plastic surgeons, correct hanging and sagging skin in the upper arm area. An arm lift gives the arm a tighter contour and allows men and women to wear short sleeve and sleeveless shirts without feeling embarrassed or anxious. For many individuals, arm reshaping is a final step in their weight loss transformation.
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During arm lift surgery, an incision is made along the inner arm, from the armpit down towards the elbow. Once this incision has been made, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat, and any loose skin will be trimmed away. Depending on the extent of the surgery, a draining tube may be placed to help control bleeding. In patients with excessive drooping, where there is looseness within the internal tissue structures, a tightening technique will be used internally. These surgical efforts will result in a smaller circumference of the upper arm.
Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility and typically takes around 2 hours to complete. It is considered an outpatient procedure. If this surgery is combined with another body contouring procedure, then the patient may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. Following surgery, the arm should be kept elevated to help control swelling and promote circulation. Patients will experience a slow return of normal function. Arm and hand strength, specifically, will be weak for the first several weeks as the internal tissues heal.
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Arm Lift FAQs
Liposuction or Lift?
Patients that have excess fat inside their arms may be candidates for liposuction, but arm lift patients typically do not have excess fat as their primary problem. These individuals have excessive sagging and loose, hanging skin. The only way to correct this problem is through a brachioplasty procedure. Patients who have relatively good skin tone but also have excess fat in the arms can sometimes achieve their desired results with an exercise and diet regime that incorporates the use of weights.
What About Scarring?
It’s important that patients understand scarring is a part of this procedure. It is recommended that patients avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. Most patients believe the scars are a small trade-off for a new, shapelier arm. We will discuss scar care to help assist in the healing process.
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. Some common techniques often combined during what is known as an “upper body lift” include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast surgery (breast lift). During your consultation, each surgery will be discussed and recommendations will be made on whether these procedures should be done at the same time.
How Toned Will I Look?
An arm lift is performed to remove hanging skin and fat. The only way to build muscle is through strength training. Following surgery, once the arms are fully healed, patients can resume exercise and weight training. This is a great way to add shape to the arms by toning and strengthening them.