The removal of upper arm fat deposits and excess skin is an arm lift, or brachioplasty. This procedure is commonly performed after significant weight loss. It can help eliminate residual tissue and skin in the upper arms.
Most patients undergo arm lift surgery after weight loss. But the procedure may also be perfect for you at a normal, healthy weight. You may be genetically predisposed to excess arm skin or fat deposits. This condition may also be treated if you develop it as part of the natural aging process.
When to Consider an Arm Lift
You may be an ideal arm lift candidate if you are healthy and at a stable weight. You may have been unable to tone your arms to your satisfaction with diet and exercise. The arm lift procedure may provide:
- Decreased fat deposits in upper arms
- Removal of excess or sagging skin
- Improved self image
- More freedom in choice of clothing
You should stop smoking prior to the procedure, as it can slow healing. Certain medical conditions or medications can have a similar effect. For this reason, your full medical history should be discussed during the consultation.
What are the steps of the arm lift procedure?
A general anesthetic will be applied prior to the procedure. Some procedures may be performed with a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. An incision is made from the arm pit out towards the elbow. The size of the incision depends on the scope of the operation.
Excess tissue and fat deposits are removed through the incision. Liposuction may be used in some cases to remove fat. The remaining tissue is adjusted and secured in place using internal sutures or staples. The incision is closed using fine sutures for minimal scarring.
How long does recovery take following the procedure?
Immediately after the arm lift, a bandage may be applied. This may limit swelling and protect the incision area. A tube will drain any excess fluid that accumulates during the healing process. Compression garments are sometimes provided to limit swelling and bruising.
Generally the arm is kept elevated for the first few days. Function will return to the hand and arm gradually over the next few weeks. Stitches can often be removed about 1-2 weeks following the surgery, at which time normal activities may be resumed. Full recovery may take 3-6 weeks.
Will there be scarring from an arm lift?
The scarring from this procedure is determined by the scope of the skin removed. Some procedures can be limited to just an incision line in the armpit. Larger procedures use incision lines from the elbow through the armpit. Fine sutures are used to minimize incision line visibility. The resulting scars should fade for up to one year.
How will I feel after the procedure?
Following the arm lift, there is typically some discomfort in the arm area. This is due to swelling, which occurs as part of the healing process. This discomfort may be treated with prescription medication for the first few days. It should continue to diminish over 7-10 days.
Are there any possible complications?
Some arm lift patients may experience swelling and tingling in the hands. These conditions typically resolve with time. As with other surgical procedures, there is a chance of infection, bleeding and poor wound healing. Dr. Mosiello will discuss all possible complications with you during your consultation with him.
Learn More About Arm Lifts in Tampa
For more information about an arm lift, or to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Mosiello, contact our Tampa location at 813-631-1500. Feel free to stop in and familiarize yourself with the office, conveniently located in New Tampa, near Wesley Chapel.