The skin under our arms can sag and lose its elasticity over time, or as a result of drastic weight changes. Often this sagging skin is stubborn and cannot be improved through simple exercise. Patients who have noticed sagging skin under their arms may want to consider a brachioplasty or arm lift to achieve a toned and firm appearance.
A brachioplasty targets the excess skin in the area between the patient’s underarm and elbows. While an arm lift does improve the overall appearance of your arm, it is important to note that this procedure is not a weight-loss treatment. Brachioplasty can be performed in combination with liposuction to remove excess fat and to help achieve a more toned arm contour.
How does Brachioplasty surgery work?
Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, can be performed under general anesthesia or through intravenous sedation. Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ali Totonchi will begin the procedure by making an incision from the armpit running along the arm up to the patient’s elbow. The length of the incision will depend largely on the amount of excess skin and tissue that will be removed. The incisions will be made along the medial area of the arm to make it less conspicuous.
If you have excess fat in the arm area, Dr. Totonchi may include the removal of the excess fat tissues either through liposuction or excision during your surgery. The skin will be pulled tightly and the excess skin will be removed. The underlying muscles in your arm will be repaired if necessary, using sutures to reshape it and to provide additional support. The brachioplasty will be completed by closing the incisions using sutures and drains will be temporarily inserted into your arm to prevent the accumulation of body fluids. The brachioplasty procedure is completed in 2 to 3 hours and is performed on an outpatient basis in our office in Cleveland, Ohio.
What should I expect during recovery from brachioplasty surgery?
Patients will find that the recovery from a brachioplasty procedure is faster and easier than many other cosmetic surgical procedures as this only affects the skin and not the arm muscles. The results of a brachioplasty are immediate and patients can appreciate the results right after the procedure. A week or two after the brachioplasty, you will be asked to come back to have your sutures and drains removed. Patients will be asked to wear compression garments for about 6 weeks after the brachioplasty to help maintain the results and manage the swelling. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly after a brachioplasty procedure to ensure that the toned and smooth new contour of your arms is long-lasting.
Are there any risks associated with arm lift surgery?
An arm lift is a surgical procedure, and therefore risks are always involved. Potential risks associated with an arm lift include pain, swelling, irregular contours, skin or nerve damage, infection, blood clots, fluid accumulation, scarring, bleeding, or asymmetry. Complications are rare and will be carefully managed by Dr. Totonchi and his care team.