Brachioplasty (also known as an arm lift) is a term used to describe rejuvenation of the upper arm and forearm. Advanced age, weight gain/loss, and genetics all play a role in developing large, fatty arms with sagging skin and wrinkles. Training and maintaining a good shape helps your overall health. However, no amount of exercise, diet or targeted workouts will affect the arms. Ultimately, if you want great-looking arms, you’ll need surgical removal of fat deposits and excess skin as well as tightening of the skin and fascia.
What is the process like?
The procedure starts by making very detailed markings of the planned excision and the areas that need liposuction. Generally, we start the excision in the inner midpoint of your upper arm. We’ve found many people don’t realize they have a scar there. Next, we inject a tumescent solution into the arm to achieve anesthesia and to minimize bleeding. Then, we perform liposuction with small micro-canulas to remove fatty deposits and to reshape the arm into a more pleasing appearance.
Following liposuction, we remove excess skin and pull the remaining skin tight to complete the lift. If you have extra skin, sometimes the excision continues onto the forearm. Next, we suture the skin back together with suspension of the skin to the fascia to prevent the scar from spreading. Usually, we remove extra skin in the armpit and tighten it as well. This is known as an axillary lift. Two advantages include removal of hair-bearing skin (no more shaving) and removal of the sweat glands (minimal sweating).
What should I expect for recovery?
We place all sutures under the skin so no removal is necessary. You’ll have to wear a post-operative garment or ace wrap for 1-2 weeks. Overall, pain is low to moderate and normal activity may resume in 48 hours. However, some swelling does occur and may take up to 6 months to fully resolve. Complications can include seromas (fluid collections), bleeding, infection, and unacceptable scarring. You rarely need secondary procedures.
If you want an arm lift, choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with the credentials and experience to achieve the results you desire. Dr. Martin has over a decade of experience performing arm lifts in Cincinnati with minimal complications and pleasing results. Call our office for more information or to talk to previous patients who have undergone arm lifts. But don’t just take our word for it. Read one of our reviews from RealSelf, where one of our patients talks about their experience.