What is an arm lift (brachioplasty)?
Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a surgical procedure used to remove skin and fat from the upper arms.
Who is a good candidate for an arm lift?
- If you feel uncomfortable about how your arms look.
- If your weight is stable.
- If you have excess skin and fat in the area of your upper arms above your elbows.
Arm Lift Consultation
During the consult we will get to know one another and we will discuss:
- The reasons you are interested in undergoing an arm lift, what expectations you have, what results you are looking to achieve and what can be done realistically to improve the appearance of your arms. (By coordinating expectations, we can increase your satisfaction and alleviate any anxiety you may have regarding the procedure.)
- Your health status and medical history, including any drug sensitivities you might have or what medication, if any, you take regularly and whether or not you smoke cigarettes.
- Any history you may have of blood clots.
During the consult, you will undergo an examination of your arms. You will receive a comprehensive explanation regarding the procedure, where the scars will be located and the recovery process.
It is natural to feel anxious or excited prior to our consultation. Understanding the process will help reduce anxiety. You are welcome to ask any questions you may have and discuss any worries during the consultation.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
- We ask that you have laboratory tests prior to the procedure.
- In the event that you are taking medication on a regular basis, we will determine if it should be adjusted for the procedure.
- Avoid taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin for the two weeks leading up to the procedure and avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Nurofen, vitamin E and Omega 3 for two weeks prior to the procedure as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
- Cigarette smoking must be stopped at least one month prior to the procedure and for at least one month following the procedure.
- Please arrange for a companion (friend/family member) to pick you up from the hospital after the procedure and to stay with you for at least one night following the procedure.
Steps of the Arm Lift Procedure
Step 1: Anesthesia
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
Step 2: Liposuction
In most cases, the patient will undergo liposuction in the upper arm area.
Step 3: The incision
An incision will be made along the length of the inside of the upper arm and excess skin will be removed.
Step 4: Suturing of the incisions
The incisions will be closed in layers using dissolvable stitches.
There is no need to have the stitches removed.
The incisions will be covered with a dressing.
The scars will fade within 6-12 months.
Step 5: Results
The results are immediate however the final outcome will be apparent only after a number of months, once all of the swelling in the area has gone down.
What should I expect from the recovery process?
- A dressing or surgical tape will be placed over the incisions at the end of the procedure.
- In certain cases, a drain (a thin tube connected to a small container) will be inserted during the procedure in order to drain any fluid that might build up. Typically, they will remain in place for 2-3 days.
- Following the procedure, you will be transferred to recovery and then you will be discharged home.
- Prior to being discharged, you will receive postoperative instructions.
- You must wear a pressure garment for 6 weeks following the procedure. The purpose of the pressure garment is to reduce swelling as much as possible during the recovery process.
- Avoid athletic activities during the first 6 weeks after the procedure with the exception of walking.
- You may take pain medication according to the detailed postoperative instructions you receive. Most patients take pain medication for 2-6 days following the procedure.
- Update your physician regarding any changes in your health status.
- Postoperative follow-up visits will be scheduled during the 1st one month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after the procedure.