Brachioplasty, or an arm lift, is a procedure aimed at removing excess skin and fat from the back of the arms in order to improve the shape and contours. This procedure is sometimes combined with liposuction in order to achieve the desired results. Some of the reasons why treatment is sought includes:
- Removal of excess arm fat
- Contour improvement after weight losss
- Unwanted skin irritation or pain
Dr Perron specialises in several body contouring procedures that are designed to help patients feel more comfortable in their own skin. Following arm lift surgery, patients can finally feel more comfortable in their favourite clothing and clear up any rashes and irritation that was occurring due to excess skin.
Reshaping and contouring any area of the body starts with being in good health. If you plan on losing weight, aim for a weight that you consider ‘ideal’ before considering an arm lift. Being in shape before this procedure will ensure an ideal outcome and a smoother, faster recovery.
During your consultation with Dr Perron, your expectations and goals will be discussed and your arms will be evaluated to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for this procedure. Along with being in good health, the ideal patient will be struggling with excess loose skin on the upper arm due to age or weight loss. In some instances, excess fat will also be present.
An arm lift usually takes a couple of hours to complete and is performed under a general anaesthetic. During surgery, an incision is made along the lower border of the arm between the elbow and armpit. Excess tissue is then removed before the incision is stitched back up. In the event that there is also excess fat present, liposuction will also be required. Using a cannula, excess fat will be broken up and extracted to achieve sleeker arms.
Once the incisions have been closed, a compression garment will be applied and the patient will be moved to a recovery room. A hospital stay may be required for a night or two, especially if the arm lift was combined with other procedures. Dr Perron will advise you accordingly once the anaesthetic has worn off. Drains may also be inserted to get rid of any excess fluid after surgery. Patients will not be able to drive themselves home after surgery and will require someone to collect them. A follow-up appointment will need to be scheduled a few days later to check your progress and remove the drains.
Arm Lift Recovery
The recovery time for brachioplasty will vary between patients. For most people, it will be about a week before normal activities can be resumed. Exercise should be limited in the first few weeks to walking, or inclined walking, with more vigorous exercises being introduced as directed. Patients can do their part to prevent blood clots, DVTs and lung complications such as pneumonia by incorporating movement and walking into their routine the day after their procedure.
Patients can expect swelling, discomfort and bruising for several days after their surgery, but this can easily be managed with the right pain medication. The compression garment that is applied will need to be worn for a few weeks to aid healing and enhance your results. Dr Perron will also provide you with additional advice that will improve your recovery experience, such as how to sleep to avoid applying pressure to your incisions.
There is some degree of risk involved with any type of surgical procedure. Minor bleeding, bruising, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain are all common after cosmetic surgery. The specific risks associated with brachioplasty include the following:
- Asymmetry in size and contour
- Fluid accumulation in the back of the arms
- Irregular skin
- Persistent swelling
- Numbness around the back of the arm
Not everyone is a good candidate for a brachioplasty. Dr Perron will discuss your specific circumstances and expectations with you so that you can decide on the best option for you.
The average Brachioplasty procedure starts at about $4,000, but what a patient is looking to achieve will make the final cost different for everyone. For example, not all patients will need to incorporate liposuction, so this would reduce the final cost of an arm lift. Hospital and anaesthetist fees are other factors that will alter the final cost. If the patient is experiencing rashes and underarm ulceration due to excess skin on the arms, there is a chance that Medicare and private health insurance will cover a portion of the costs of this procedure – the surgery has to be deemed medically necessary to qualify for a rebate.
Most patients will start seeing the results of their surgery after about three months, but it’s best to expect to wait at least six months – your arms need time to settle and all swelling needs to subside first. An arm lift is designed to produce lasting results but patients do need to maintain a healthy weight if they want to prevent excess fat and loose skin in the future. This means eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, including strength training.
As with any procedure that requires incisions, an arm lift will leave some scarring behind. Fortunately, the incisions are made underneath the arm, which helps hide any scars after surgery. There are also steps that patients can take to reduce the appearance of scars after brachioplasty – Dr Perron will provide you with advice on scar management.
Yes, an arm lift very commonly forms part of an upper body lift, so it is possible to combine it with other procedures. As you can imagine, having a combination surgery may increase the cost as well as the recovery time required afterwards. On the plus side, patients only need to plan for one recovery period.
This will depend on what you want to achieve. If stubborn, excess fat is your only concern, liposuction might be enough to help you achieve your results, especially if the skin on your arms is still elastic. However, if there is a fair amount of loose, sagging skin on your arms, surgery is the only way to remove it.
During surgery, patients won’t feel a thing because a general anaesthetic is administered. There will be some discomfort after surgery but nothing that can’t be managed with prescription pain medication. Wearing the compression garment as instructed can also make recovery a little smoother.
The difference lies in how much skin needs to be removed. If only a moderate amount of skin needs to be removed, a mini arm lift is enough. In the event that additional skin needs to be removed, a longer incision is required, which falls into the category of traditional arm lift. Dr Perron will let you know what your options are after a physical examination.