What Is Involved in Arm Lift Surgery
Unsightly loose skin that hangs down from the arms is one of the most common aesthetic concerns among both women and men. Sometimes loose arm skin is called bat wings, bingo wings, or simply flabby arms. But whatever you call it, it can be extremely frustrating, because it is not a condition that can be treated with exercise or dieting. In fact, weight loss often makes loose, hanging arm skin worse!
In addition to weight loss, flabby arms can be caused by age, heredity, gravity, and hormone loss. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass every decade after the age of 30. And, declining testosterone levels in men – and decreasing estrogen levels in women – also lead to muscle loss.
As a result, arm of any of these issues, arm tissue relaxes may become loose and saggy. Fortunately, arm lift surgery performed by renowned Birmingham, MI plastic surgeon Dr. Ali can turn loose, flabby arms into tight, toned, sexy limbs.
There are different approaches to arm lift (brachioplasty surgery), depending on the severity of the sagging, the amount of extra skin, the quality of the skin, and whether or not fat also needs to be removed.
An arm lift procedure includes the following steps:
Arm Lift Surgery Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia (putting the patient to sleep) are all administered for patient comfort during arm lift surgery. The choice of anesthetic will be discussed with you by Dr. Ali during your initial arm lift consultation.
Arm Lift Surgery Step 2 – Incision
Incision length, location and pattern during arm lift surgery depends upon on the amount and the location of excess skin to be removed. Birmingham plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has performed hundreds of arm lift surgeries and is highly skilled in a variety of arm lift surgical techniques that can be customized to offer you the best results with the least visible scarring.
Arm lift incisions are typically placed on the inside of the arm (or sometimes on the back of the arm) where they are less visible. Depending on the patient’s unique needs the length of the incision may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow – but in many cases are smaller and more limited.
Arm Lift Surgery Step 3 – Fat Removal & Shaping
Excess skin and fat that needs to be removed Dr. Ali is then excised (removed) surgically. Dr. Ali may also determine that liposuction is the best fat removal procedure for the patient’s individual situation.
The underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures (stiches). Finally, the remaining skin is then placed back over the new contours and smoothed into position.
Arm Lift Surgery Step 4 – Closing the Incisions
The incisions will be closed either with stitches (sutures) that are absorbed by the body – or that will be removed within one to two weeks following arm lift surgery.
It is important to choose a skilled and highly experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Ali in Birmingham, MI to ensure that scars for these incisions are as well-concealed and as least visible as possible.
Dressings / bandages will be applied to the arm lift incisions, and upper the arms will typically be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery. In some, but not all, cases a small, thin tube may be temporarily inserted to drain any excess blood or fluid.
Arm Lift Surgery Step 5 – Recovery
You will need someone to drive you home due to the anesthetic and the incisions on your upper arms.
While the smoother, tighter contours from arm lift surgery are apparent almost immediately, the results will become more visible once the swelling and bruising subsides.
You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing, specific concerns to look for and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Dr. Ali will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for the incision, removal of the stitches (and drain if applicable), and medications you may take for post-operative discomfort. It is extremely important that the incisions are not subjected to force, swelling, abrasion or excessive motion during the recovery – and Dr. Ali will explain what you can and can’t do and when you can return to your normal activities.
Most patients can resume work, school and less strenuous normal activities within two weeks. And by six weeks, the majority of patients are able to return to a completely normal activity level.
Remember: the fastest recovery, least pain and least visible scars all depend on following your plastic surgeon’s instructions after your arm lift surgery!
Arm Lift Surgery | Birmingham, MI
Schedule an arm lift surgery consultation with Dr. Ali – and take the first step to looking and feeling fabulous and confident in sleeveless shirts, strapless dresses, swim suits, or even nothing at all!