Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
An arm lift, otherwise known as a brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that corrects sagging arm skin, and tightens and smooths the supporting tissue of the upper arm. The procedure can also reduce stubborn pockets of fat that are stored in the upper arm. While exercise and weight loss can dramatically improve the appearance of many parts of the body, exercise cannot correct excess drooping arm skin. This is an especially frustrating problem for those who have lost large amounts of weight, but still feel self-conscious due to their sagging skin.
Patients about to receive a brachioplasty must not smoke or take blood thinners 3-4 weeks before surgery. The procedure itself is performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. Once the patient is anesthetized, Dr.Rednam marks the incision sites so the scars can be as hidden as possible.
During an arm lift, Dr. Rednam makes an incision on the inside or back of the arm. She uses liposuction to eliminate excess fat if necessary, while also tightening the arm’s supportive tissue with internal sutures. Lastly, she shapes and smooths the skin around the new structure of the arm. Some patients wanting a mild adjustment might be candidates for a minimal armpit incision, though this depends on the patient’s arm pre-surgery. Once the arm lift is complete, Dr. Rednam closes the incision with dissolving sutures or stitches that will be manually removed about two weeks after surgery.
Patients typically see results immediately following the procedure, though some may have to wait until their swelling and bruising subsides. During recovery, bandages or compression garments may be suggested in order to minimize swelling. In some cases, a drainage tube may be inserted under the skin to remove excess fluid from the surgery site.
Full recovery from an arm lift takes about 6-9 weeks. Most patients resume daily activity after about 3 weeks—which includes lifting heavy objects and carrying small children.