About Arm Lift Surgery
A frustrating side effect with losing weight or getting older is the appearance of loose skin. At Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre, we offer arm lift surgery (also known as brachioplasty) as a procedure for anyone who cannot achieve toned and tightened arms with exercise and diet. Loose skin from the elbow to the upper arm is very common, especially for women and men who are advancing in age or have lost a significant amount of weight. Arm lift surgery removes this excess skin, often called "bat wings." Scott Sessions, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in La Mesa, CA, is very skilled in skin tightening and fat removal surgical techniques. If you would like to learn more about how brachioplasty can alter the contour of your arms, please schedule a consultation at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre.
An arm lift is an aesthetic surgery employing innovative techniques to slim the arm and remove extra skin. Many of our patients have reported avoiding sleeveless shirts and tops because they were self-conscious about their arms. Most arm lift patients wish to:
- Reduce excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow
- Reshape the arm for sleeker contours and smoother skin
- Achieve a toned and proportionate appearance
Ideal candidates for arm lift surgery should be in good overall health so that your body will heal well. It is also important that you do not smoke or are able to stop smoking for a period before and after your surgery. It is also imperative that you are at or near your goal weight prior to your procedure.
Typically, your upper arm lift surgery will take place in an outpatient setting, unless multiple plastic surgeries are scheduled to be performed at the same time. An arm lift can be added to other procedures (usually performed in an inpatient setting for monitoring), like a tummy tuck or thigh lift — if Dr. Sessions decides it's safe.
Arm lift surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and may take several hours to complete. The sagging skin will be surgically excised from the elbow up to the underarm. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, depending on Dr. Sessions's assessment, and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow. Depending on your specific conditions, your incisions may be more limited. They will be as concealed as possible, but they will leave a visible scar. If liposuction is required to remove stubborn fat, this will be performed as well. Then, the underlying supportive tissue will be tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin will be smoothed over the new contour of your arm. Once the skin is tightened, it will be sutured in place.
What to Expect
You will need to keep the incisions sanitized, covered, and in compression garments. You may also have a small, thin tube placed under the skin temporarily to drain any excess blood or fluid that might collect. Your recovery period will last around two weeks with lots of elevating the arm. Permit yourself time to heal. You use your arms for many things so we encourage our patients to ease their way back into their usual routines. An appointment to remove your sutures will be made for around 10 days after surgery. The compression garments should be worn until you are released by Dr. Sessions, and all strenuous activity should be avoided with the exception of short walks for at least 4 – 5 weeks. If you have excessive swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, hematoma (fluid buildup), infection, loss of feeling in the arms or hands, or heavy scarring, please call Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre for help.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does arm lift surgery cost?
With every plastic surgery procedure, costs depend on many factors, including the technique used, the size of the treatment area, the patient's goals, and more. Dr. Sessions needs to be able to evaluate your arms in person before he can estimate cost, but costs can definitely be discussed at your consultation. To make it easier to select a skilled surgeon, like Dr. Sessions, and get your best results, Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest financing.
Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. This is sometimes called an upper body lift and may include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), or breast surgery (breast lift). An arm lift is also commonly done as part of an after weight loss surgery for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want full body contouring. During your consultation with Dr. Sessions, other surgeries can be discussed so your custom surgical plan fits all your goals.
Will there be scars?
An arm lift uses incisions to excise loose skin, which means there will be visible scarring. However, Dr. Sessions has years of experience and is very skilled in closing incisions back up to produce the smallest, thinnest scars possible. After your surgery, ointments to assist in scar healing will be recommended along with other tips for scar care management. Dr. Sessions also recommends that you avoid sun exposure during the first year to minimize scar discoloration. Most patients believe the benefits of a more toned arm outweigh the appearance of scars.
What results can I expect from an arm lift?
The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although the initial results will be somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. Your new upper arm will be dramatically improved in both shape and tone. You should maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise to avoid a significant change in your weight, which may affect your results. Once Dr. Sessions authorizes you to begin weight training, this is a great way to add shape to your arms.
Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?
While there are several nonsurgical skin tightening procedures, most will only provide mild improvements. To address moderate to severe amounts of loose skin, a surgical arm lift is your best option. Along with eliminating excess skin, Dr. Sessions may also liposuction small amounts of fat and smooth the remaining skin and tissue for a better result. If you are interested in nonsurgical treatments, Dr. Sessions can talk about all the possible options during your consultation and help you decide which is best for your goals.
Get Back Your Shape
Whatever you call your droopy arm skin or "bat wings," we understand that their appearance can impact your daily life. Dr. Sessions considers it an honor to help boost your self-confidence with plastic surgery. This advanced procedure offers both emotional and physical benefits. If you are at or near a healthy weight and still cannot eliminate the extra fat and skin from your upper arms, please call and schedule a private consultation at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre. Feel younger and fitter with arm lift surgery.