Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess fat and skin from the upper arms to give them a more toned, slimmer appearance. Over time, the soft tissue in the upper arm becomes lax and may begin to droop and sag, resulting in upper-arm skin that appears to hang. Many people are embarrassed by the appearance of sagging upper arms, and seek treatment to restore a slimmer, more youthful appearance.
The arm lift procedure is ideal for a patient who has a significant amount of hanging skin or fat in the upper-arm area, maintains a stable weight and has realistic expectations for surgery. It is also important that the patient be healthy overall, with no major medical conditions that may be affected by surgery.
During the arm lift procedure, Dr. Walden will make an incision, often spanning from the underarm to the elbow, along the inside of the upper arm. Next, she will remove excess fat using liposuction, and then trim and tighten the excess skin and suture it into place. For patients with only a small amount of excess skin, a minimal-incision arm lift procedure, in which a few small incisions are made near the underarm, may be performed. Dr. Walden will determine which procedure is best for you after a physical exam and a discussion of your goals for surgery.
Once fat is removed and skin is tightened, the incision will be closed with sutures that will be absorbed by the body within a week or two. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation and usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of removal required. Patients will be able to return home the same day as surgery.
After an arm lift procedure, patients will likely experience swelling and bruising, as well as mild discomfort that can be managed with pain medication. Drainage tubes may be placed at the incision site to collect any excess blood or fluid for the first few days after surgery. Compression bandages may be worn as well to help promote proper healing.
The results of an arm lift are visible right away, but will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subsides, which usually takes two weeks. Most patients are highly satisfied with the results, and are more than willing to deal with some scarring in exchange for thin, youthful-looking arms. Scars will continue to fade over time and become less and less noticeable.
Although an arm lift is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. These may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Loss of sensation
- Permanent swelling
Dr. Walden will discuss these risks with you, as well as address any concerns you may have, prior to surgery.
Check out Dr. Walden on Austin’s KEYE talking about pretty arms and hands including the arm lift (brachioplasty) procedure:
Pretty hands and arms. How to get them!