Mr Omar Tillo
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
When we get older and lose muscle tone, we may not like what we see in the mirror. If you extend your arm, you may notice a flap of skin that hangs down.
In an ideal world, diet and exercise could correct this. But for some people, that is not enough. An arm lift or brachioplasty can improve the beauty and appearance of the arm.
An arm lift is also known as a brachioplasty. During a brachioplasty, the surgeon makes an incision in the arm. Excess skin is removed, and extra fat may be removed as well. Afterwards, there will be pain and swelling, which can take several weeks to go away. There will also be a scar. Generally, the scar will run down the underside of the upper arm. Sometimes, a surgeon will do a mini arm lift. This procedure leaves a scar in the armpit where it less likely to be noticed.
Risks that you are exposed to include infection, fluid accumulation, haematoma, skin necrosis, poor scar healing, and blood clotting. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the chances of revisional surgery, which is different from post-surgery follow-ups and future surgery. In the period leading up to the brachioplasty procedure, you will be asked to give up smoking if you are a smoker. Aspirin can act as a blood thinner and you will be asked to stay off it.
A good candidate for arm lift cosmetic surgery is generally a person who is in good health and is also of normal weight. Surgeons also look for someone who has been unsuccessful with using diet and exercise to improve the tone of the arm. This is not a simple surgery. There is anaesthesia, which carries risks. There is also the scar tissue to deal with. Anyone considering an arm tuck should consider a board certified plastic surgeon who has done many of these procedures.
You may experience saggy arms for various reasons, such as weight loss or simply ageing. This can cause you to feel self-conscious, particularly when wearing shorter clothes. While exercise helps to keep the muscles tight, skin and fat can be stubborn and remain droopy.
An arm lift will remove this excess skin and fat, while also tightening the tissues, giving the arm a smoother, more youthful appearance.
The arm lift procedure involves undergoing liposuction to remove any excess fat. Next, the excess skin is removed and sutured shut.
After the arm lift, you will have a scar which will run down the underarm. While this scar will be more noticeable after surgery, it will fade with time. If you do not want a scar, you may wish to do a mini arm lift, as the scar will be limited to under the armpit, so it will not be as noticeable.
To help the healing process, you will be asked to avoid smoking. You will also have to avoid blood thinning medications.
Risks that can occur with this surgical procedure include:
After the procedure, you will have bandages applied to the incision area. The bandages and stitches will be removed two weeks after the surgery.
You will notice some bruising and swelling, which is a completely normal side effect after an arm lift. This should fade after approximately 20 days.
You will have to avoid any excessive physical activity and heavy lifting for at least two weeks. You will be able to return to work after one week, however, you will still have to avoid any physical labour.
Refrain from smoking.
Stop certain medications which thin the blood to avoid increasing the risk of bleeding.
Apply an antiseptic lotion before surgery.
The surgeon will make the incision from the axilla to the elbow. Skin and fat will be removed. Stitches will be used to close the incisions. The procedure takes about two hours.
Avoid gym activity for two weeks.
Patients can return to work after one week.
The scar will be on the inside of your arm. Very fine sutures will be used to make the scar as inconspicuous as possible. The scar will fade over time.