Though statistics may suggest that arm lifts are less popular than many other plastic surgeries, the only reason they are performed less frequently is because of their specificity. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is intended to reduce the appearance of excess skin and fat on the arms, particularly the upper arms. Since the procedure focuses on such a particular area, it is also incredibly effective for its intended purposes and has a high rate of safety and satisfaction. Arm lift surgeries are highly customizable and can be appropriate for a wide range of patients with the right set of concerns. If you have been wondering if there is a way to reduce loose skin and fat on your upper arms, you might benefit from an arm lift surgery.
What is an Arm Lift?
Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that removes extra skin and fat from the upper arm, reducing the overall circumference of the upper arm and reducing the appearance of upper arm “flab.” If you bend your arm at the elbow in a flexing movement and you notice sagging beneath your upper arm, this is the area that an arm lift will address- the so called “bat wings.” Using precise incisions and sutures that will leave minimal scarring, your surgeon can excise loose skin and fat in the area to create a tighter upper arm that no longer sags. Arm lifts are relatively short and simple procedures, typically taking under two hours to perform and rarely resulting in any significant complications. Since the area in question is not particularly sensitive, this surgery is a safe and straightforward way to address upper arm laxity.
That being said, a brachioplasty is still a surgical procedure. The ideal arm lift candidate is in good health — a non-smoker with a BMI under 30 and no known blood conditions. These parameters ensure that you won’t be at risk for excessive bleeding or blood clotting during and after your surgery. Aside from these criteria, there are two main groups of people who typically benefit most from arm lift surgeries: those who have recently lost a significant amount of weight, and those whose skin has begun to sag due to age.
Arm Lift After Significant Weight Loss
Healthy skin is usually quite elastic — through moderate weight fluctuations, pregnancy or injury, the skin can typically expand and contract along with changes in body shape. But on the extreme end of these cases, the skin can stretch to a point where it is unable to shrink down. The most common reason for stretched skin is when people lose a considerable amount of weight — perhaps even hundreds of pounds — and find themselves with saggy skin in areas like the stomach, thighs or arms. For this group of people, the excess skin can be a major source of concern. It is usually heavy and unsightly and can prevent them from wearing certain clothes or exercising comfortably.
Many people in this situation choose to undergo plastic surgery to have the skin removed so they can take full advantage of their new body size. An arm lift is one such surgery that might make sense. Upper arm weight loss can leave bags of skin that hang down even when the arm is in a resting position, making it difficult to fit into shirts with sleeves while also causing self-consciousness in arm-baring clothing. A brachioplasty will remove this skin and allow the arms to appear proportional to the rest of the body.
Arm Lift for Aging Arms
Time and gravity are two other culprits when it comes to sagging arms. Younger skin is more able to hold its shape — essential skin structures like collagen and elastin are abundant in younger years and ensure that skin stays volumized and flexible. But over time, these structures begin to break down and the body produces less of them. This leads to a loss of skin elasticity, which makes skin more susceptible to losing its shape and firmness. Pockets of fat in the area may also begin to droop and weigh heavily on weakened skin. As gravity ever so slightly pulls down day-to-day, eventually the skin and fat start to noticeably sag. When this occurs on the upper arm, it can lead to bags that droop down from the bicep area. For many people, these bags affect their confidence and daily comfort.
An arm lift is one of the most effective ways to reverse this and restore tightness to the skin of the upper arm. And, since an arm lift is a relatively simple surgery, it can be appropriate even for patients of a more advanced age — though you will need to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to be sure.
Arm Lift Recovery
The final consideration to be sure that an arm lift is right for you is to think about how the surgery and recovery will impact your lifestyle. Arm lift recovery typically takes about two weeks, and it can be a month or more before you can resume activities that might strain your arms. If you have an active job, take care of pets or small children or otherwise use your arms on a daily basis, you may want to wait until you are able to dedicate plenty of time to healing before you choose to undergo brachioplasty.
The best way to know if you will benefit from an arm lift is by scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. During this in-person meeting, you will be able to discuss every aspect of your health and lifestyle that is relevant to the surgery. Based on this information, your surgeon will recommend a procedure that is appropriate for you, whether that is an arm lift or otherwise. If you are interested in an arm lift in Cedar Rapids or Coralville, Iowa, or the surrounding areas, reach out to Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery. Dr. Kahlil Andrews is an expert plastic surgeon who can provide a full range of cosmetic procedures. Our team is here to guide you along your aesthetic journey and help you get back to feeling confident in your body. Contact us today at 319-382-8230 to make your first appointment.