If excess skin on the upper arms is causing you to be self-conscious or avoid wearing sleeveless shirts, an arm lift may be a great option to consider. An arm lift, also known as an arm reduction, is best used for patients who have significant sagging of the skin. This procedure involves surgical removal of excess skin and fat, resulting in a tighter, more toned upper arm.
For patients with minimal skin elasticity issues, other non-surgical options may be available, but for patients who have a lot of sagging skin, an arm reduction will offer the best and longest lasting results.
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What Is an Arm Lift?
Also known as brachioplasty, an arm lift is a body contouring procedure that reshapes the upper arm from the elbow up to the underarm. Depending on the patient’s needs, the procedure can involve removing skin and fat and tightening the muscles. The goal is to achieve a tighter, smoother appearance, eliminating sagging, wiggling and wrinkling in the biceps.
What Causes Sagging Arms?
Most people will experience some level of sagging in their arms as they age. The older we get, the less collagen and elastin we produce, causing skin laxity on the face and body. Additionally, we also tend to lose muscle mass the older we get, which translates into less volume under the skin. Many people also develop sagging arms after significant weight loss or frequent swelling due to medical conditions.
Signs You Could Benefit from an Arm Lift
- You’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight.
- When you move your arms, you feel your arm skin “wiggle.”
- You’ve noticed your upper arms have a batwing-like appearance.
- You are developing skin infections in the folds of your arms.
- You can feel your arm skin pulling when you move or exercise.
Arm Lift Recovery and Results
After arm lift surgery, expect to take 1 to 2 weeks off work for most jobs. If your job requires heavy lifting, you will need to take on another position until fully healed. During the first days after surgery, anticipate needing help from others with day-to-day tasks and arrange for this in advance. Most people are able to function more or less independently by the end of the first week. Avoid strenuous activity for at least 6 weeks after your procedure.
Results vary between patients. However, you should see a significant difference in the tone of your upper arms. Anticipate highly noticeable scarring for the first year after surgery. Take care to keep the scars out of direct sunlight and they should fade over time so they are more difficult to see.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does an arm lift cost?
This varies based on numerous factors, including how much sagging is present, if you need liposuction and whether you are having other surgeries at the same time. The final cost will include the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, facility/OR fee, and may include other costs as well. To get an accurate estimate for your procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Swetnam or Dr. Stubbs.
Will an arm lift make me appear thinner?
An arm lift is a body contouring procedure. This means that while it doesn’t result in significant weight loss, it does tend to make you appear thinner, at least in your arms. Loose skin often visually reads as fat rolls and adds thickness. Once it is removed, you can see the true tone and size of your arms.
How do I find the best arm lift surgeon near me?
The first step is researching cosmetic surgeons near you and going over patient reviews. Sticking with the best reviewed is always an easy first step; then, go to their websites to see their before and after photos of arm lift patients to see if there are some that align with your goals. Cut down your list to the top 2 to 3 surgeons and schedule consultations. Select the one who feels like the best person to partner with for your arm lift.
What are the scars like after an arm lift?
They are on the underside of the arms, which typically rests against your side. They run from the elbow up to the armpit, often meeting with the start of the chest wall. At first, they tend to be very red and obvious. For most patients, they lighten significantly over the first year, becoming much less noticeable. However, you will likely be able to see them to some degree for the rest of your life.
How soon after weight loss can I get an arm lift?
The general rule with body contouring procedures is that you need to have been at a stable weight for a minimum of six months; some doctors prefer that your weight be steady for at least a year. The definition of stable weight can vary based on your overall size, but usually you need to not have weight fluctuations greater than ten pounds.
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