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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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.