If you are working toward a slim, toned body, your goal probably includes strong, well-defined upper arms. But the upper arms can be notoriously tricky to shape. At Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery, we frequently encounter patients who are afraid to bare their arms because they aren’t happy with the way they look. They may avoid tank tops, wear long sleeves at the beach or never leave the house without a cardigan. Many of these clients have tried targeted exercises but were underwhelmed by the results. Part of the problem is that the skin of the upper arms is very prone to sagging and drooping.
Your upper arm has localized fat deposits that are typically helpful in supporting arm muscles and plumping other tissues in the area. But weight changes, aging or genetics can cause upper arm skin to lose elasticity, which allows these fat deposits to sag — when this happens, they further weigh down the loose skin and cause the laxity or bagginess that so many of our patients find frustrating. Since the problem is not related to musculature, it is all too common for people to experience upper arm laxity even if they are in otherwise good physical shape.
Often, the most direct solution to this concern is an arm lift, or brachioplasty. This simple surgical procedure can address loose skin and sagging fat in the upper arms, improving the overall appearance and restoring a firm, youthful look to your arms. Our team wants your dream physique to become a reality — arm lifts are just one of the ways that we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals and feel great about your body.
How Does an Arm Lift Work?
The concept of an arm lift is quite simple. Since the sagging is caused by non-essential loose skin and fat, your surgeon can easily remove the excess body tissues. Once the extra skin is eliminated, Dr. Andrews will close the skin producing a tighter more sculpted contour. The scar after an arm lift is positioned in the back of the arm, in a location that is not seen by people you are interacting with while having a normal face-to-face conversation. The overall result is a tighter and smoother upper arm area that will showcase the results of your fitness routine with visibly toned muscles.
Is an Arm Lift Right for You?
Since arm lifts are relatively low-risk cosmetic surgeries, they are appropriate for a wide range of patients — women and men, older and younger and with varying degrees of upper arm sagging. They are also commonly performed alongside other body sculpting surgeries, such as tummy tucks, especially in the case of drastic weight loss that has left behind stretched and sagging skin. The best way to know if an arm lift will accomplish your goals is to schedule a visit with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Andrews — their evaluation can help you find out if you are a good candidate for an arm lift and clarify what you might expect from your results.
In all, the main requirements for an arm lift are that you have noticeable sagging skin on your upper arms, are in good health, do not smoke and do not have any significant health concerns that would prevent you from successfully undergoing and recovering from surgery. Dr. Andrews always ensures his patients’ utmost safety, and this includes suggesting alternatives to surgery for people who are at particular risk for complications. If you are not a good candidate for an arm lift now, you can always work with Dr. Andrews to find other options or to make lifestyle changes that will allow you to become a candidate for the procedure in the future.
Your Arm Lift Procedure
Dr. Andrews has performed many successful arm lift procedures, and each one is slightly different depending on the patient and their needs. During your consultation, Dr. Andrews will take plenty of time and care to understand your personal goals and expectations as well as any particular concerns you may have. Then, if you decide together than arm lift is your best option, he will work with you and his team to develop a surgical plan tailored just for you.
Your surgery will take place in an accredited operating room. We typically use general anesthesia for our arm lift patients, especially if it is combined with other procedures like a tummy tuck or liposuction. However, you can talk to Dr. Andrews about your options — it may be possible to use local anesthesia instead. You will need a friend or family member to bring you to and from your surgery since you will not be able to drive yourself. You should plan for your surgery to last about three hours, though this will differ if you have chosen to combine your arm lift with any other procedures.
Recovering From Arm Lift Surgery
Since your arms are usually in very constant use, you will need to take plenty of time for rest and recovery after an arm lift so that you avoid compromising your results. Usually, arm lift patients need to take about two weeks away from work and daily activities to allow for a full recovery. You should avoid activities that use your arms significantly– such as driving or household tasks — for at least ten days after surgery, and more intensive activities like exercise or lifting for about a month. When you visit for your follow-up appointments, Dr. Andrews can discuss with you when you can resume certain activities.
Dr. Andrews will give you personalized recovery instructions after your surgery, including best pain management practices, ways to keep swelling down and suggestions to keep you comfortable. Complications from arm lift surgery are rare, but you can always contact our office if at any point during your recovery you are concerned that what you are feeling is not normal.
To learn more about arm lifts, other body contouring surgeries and the full suite of cosmetic procedures we offer, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery today. We provide top-quality plastic surgery and aesthetic treatments in Iowa, serving the Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Waterloo and surrounding area. We also treat patients who come to us from other cities, we can discuss with you how we can safely perform your surgery and arrange a follow-up and recovery regimen that is convenient for you. Call us at 319-382-8230 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kahlil Andrews and find out how we can help you achieve your beauty goals.