If you have been doing every arm workout you can find, and you still haven’t tightened up the skin flapping on your upper arms, it’s probably time to consider a brachioplasty. A brachioplasty (or arm lift) can eliminate the loose, sagging skin that hangs from your upper arm, restoring the shape of your arm and improving proportion and appearance.
As we naturally age, the collagen and elastin fibers that have kept our skin strong and supple start to weaken, and production of these vital building blocks diminishes. Our bodies begin to succumb to the downward pull of gravity, and soon, we have drooping skin in places that used to be toned and firm. Our arms tend to be the most noticeable victims of these changes, leaving you with excess tissue that makes you uncomfortable and doesn’t allow you to feel completely confident in the body you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Options for Brachioplasty
Arm lifts are becoming increasingly popular, with statistics showing an increase of more than 900 percent over the past 20 years. Nearly 25,000 arm lifts were performed in 2016, compared to only 2,500 in 1997. The primary goals of an arm lift are to eliminate excess skin and reduce the circumference of your arm. At Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery, this can be addressed in two ways – with a standard brachioplasty or a limited-incision brachioplasty.
A standard brachioplasty is recommended for people who have excess tissue that extends the length of their upper arm. During the surgery, an incision is made beginning at the elbow and ending up near the underarm, either on the inside or back of the arm. Dr. Terrasse will then remove the excess skin and fat, and using internal sutures, tighten and reshape the underlying supportive tissues. You will be left with a long scar, but it will fade with time, and Dr. Terrasse can recommend options for reducing its visibility.
If the redundant skin in your arms is limited to your armpit area only, then a limited-incision brachioplasty may be the best option for you. In this procedure, the incisions are placed in the underarm, excess fat and skin are removed, and the skin is tightened in just that area. The scar from this procedure is less noticeable, but it may not satisfactorily address more severe sagging. Determining which surgery will give you the best possible results is something you and Dr. Terrasse will decide together.
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Am I a Candidate for an Arm Lift?
One of the best things about Dr. Terrasse having experience with a vast array of operative procedures is that there are no limits on the potential candidates who can possible benefit aesthetically and physically from the results that are possible like some surgical or even minimally invasive procedures. With that being said, there are some medical limitations that must be recognized.
Any underlying condition that will add unnecessary risk to your surgery or recovery must be considered. Some conditions may cause you to bleed more than usual, while others may cause you to have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. Whether it is these risks or any others, we will have to work together to figure out if an arm lift is safe for you to undergo.
Other than medical concerns, there are some general rules we follow to decide if you are a good candidate. Generally, you are considered a strong candidate if:
- You are having the procedure performed to achieve your aesthetic goals, not someone else’s.
- You have realistic expectations about what you can achieve. Otherwise, you are likely to be disappointed, even if your surgery is highly successful.
- You do not smoke, take unprescribed medications or excessively drink.
- You are maintaining an active lifestyle and are at your ideal weight.
Keep in mind that an arm lift will help improve the appearance of loose skin and tissue, but the symptoms can develop again with additional weight fluctuation. In the event that you are not a good candidate for this procedure, we will help you find an alternative that will reach as many of your aesthetic goals as possible.
How Should I Prepare for Arm Lift?
You may be asked to do some preliminary testing prior to undergoing your arm lift surgery. This could range anywhere from having blood work drawn to undergoing a full physical to check on your health. Your exact preparation will be unique to your medical conditions, but every patient is provided with a list of preoperative instructions to follow before their surgical day.
Those instructions usually include avoiding alcohol, blood thinning medications, unprescribed drugs, nicotine products, etc. Anything that could hamper your safety, recovery or results should be avoided.
Can I Combine My Arm Lifts With Other Procedures?
Many patients choose to undergo more than one surgical procedure in a single session.
Here are some of the most common arm lift combinations:
- Liposuction — Take away unwanted fat anywhere on the body to help those new arm contours pop.
- Mommy Makeover — Have an entire Mommy Makeover performed to address all the places on your body that were affected by pregnancy, childbirth and nursing.
- Tummy Tuck — If you are looking to start wearing form fitting clothing after your arm lift, getting a tummy tuck
If you have other areas of your body or face that you feel could benefit from surgical intervention, let Dr. Terrasse know during your consultation. He will let you know how your goals might be able to be achieved with that combination in mind.
Results and Recovery
Brachioplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure performed using general anesthesia, and in some cases, with or without IV sedation. After your surgery, you will need someone to take you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours, until the sedation wears off. Your arms will be wrapped in compression garments to help reduce swelling, and Dr. Terrasse will provide you with instructions on how to care for your incisions as they heal. You may experience some mild pain, but usually over-the-counter pain medication can ease any discomfort you are feeling. Bruising and swelling are common, and usually subside within about ten days.
You should be able to return to your normal activities within one to two weeks, and get back to more strenuous activities after about six weeks. Dr. Terrasse will let you know of any specific limitations prior to surgery, and monitor your progress through follow-up visits.
Results of an arm lift are permanent, as long as you maintain a healthy weight and exercise routine. You may eventually experience minor sagging, but this is inevitable as you age naturally.
If you are frustrated with the “wings” of redundant skin and stubborn flab, then a brachioplasty may be the solution for you. Call Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery today at 847-234-2400 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Terrasse.