An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is performed to correct sagging or excess hanging skin on the upper arms.
Is an Arm Lift Right For Me?
When someone loses a significant amount of weight, sometimes the skin on the upper arms does not shrink, leaving them with uncomfortable hanging skin.
If you’re considering an arm lift, keep in mind that different parts of the body heal differently, and the arm does not heal easily. A major drawback with this operation is a large and visible scar. Dr. Nitta uses Embrace® on the wounds to improve wound healing, but the scar still tends to be noticeable. However, for many patients it remains the best option for reducing severely hanging skin on the arms.
The procedure takes about 4 hours, depending on the amount of skin that needs to be removed. The incision extends from the armpit to the elbow. A compression garment is worn for 3 weeks after the procedure.
Prior to surgery, patients will be measured for a custom fit garment, which will be placed on after surgery. Two days after surgery, patients will have their first follow up visit at which time drains and dressings are removed and the custom garment is replaced. This post-operative garment will have to be worn 24/7 for a duration of 3 weeks. Patients will be allowed to remove the garment only to shower. 1 week after surgery, patients will return again for an office visit to have sutures removed, though the majority of sutures will be dissolvable. During this period of the recovery phase, special dressings will be placed on the wounds to prevent scarring. It is important to understand that the arms do not heal as well as other parts of the body; therefore, chances of visible scarring are higher than for surgeries done on other parts of the body.
As with any other surgery, patients will need to limit their activity for 10 days, after which time they can resume low impact cardio. No heavy lifting or vigorous upper body activity can be carried out for the first month, and no swimming for 6 weeks.