Arm Lift Surgery:
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces excess and often times sagging skin of the upper arms. The procedure results in tightening and smoothing of the underlying supportive tissue(s) that defines the shape of the upper arm by reducing localized pockets of fat in the region of the upper arm. Arm lift surgery may be right for you if your upper arms are sagging and appear loose due to excess fat and skin. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.
Arm Lift Cost:
Most health insurances do not cover arm lift surgery or its complications, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans.
Arm lift surgery costs may include:
1. Hospital or surgical facility costs.
2. Medical tests.
3. Post-surgery garments.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Surgeon’s fee.
- Anesthesia fee.
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for an arm lift, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Arm Lift Consultation:
During your arm lift surgery consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments.
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and previous surgeries.
Your arm lift surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
- Take photographs.
- Discuss your options.
- Discuss likely outcomes of arm lift surgery and any risks or potential complications.
Arm lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery, and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Arm Lift Preparation:
In preparing for arm lift surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
- Take certain medications or adjust current medication regimen.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid aspirin, NSAIDS (Ibuprofen), and herbal supplements as they increase bleeding.
Arm Lift Procedure Steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during arm lift surgery. General anesthesia is the most likely choice of anesthesia. Your surgeon and anesthesia provider will design the best anesthetic plan for you.
- Step 2 – Incision
Incision length during arm lift surgery depends on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed. The surgeon uses their best judgment and depends on surgeon preference and experience. Excess fat may be directly excised or treated with liposuction. Then, underlying tissue is tightened and reshaped. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
- Step 3 – Closing the Incisions
Incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within one to two weeks following surgery.
- Step 4 –Results
The smoother contours that result from arm lift surgery are apparent almost immediately. Swelling and bruising is expected and will subside with time.
Arm Lift Recovery:
During your recovery from arm lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery.
Be sure to ask your arm lift surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after surgery is complete?
- What medication will be prescribed to me after surgery?
- Will I have dressings that need to be maintained? When can I remove them?
- When will my stitches/staples be removed?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Arm Lift Risks and Safety Information:
Arm lift surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Poor wound healing
- Unsightly scarring
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels and muscles
- Fatty tissue under the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Pain, which may persist
- Sutures may not absorb, but spontaneously surface through the skin, causing irritation, drainage and redness
- Possible need for revisional surgery.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.