How is an upper arm lift performed?
An upper arm lift is typically an outpatient procedure. During an upper arm lift, your surgeon will remove your loose skin under your upper arms.
Below are the general steps for a standard upper arm lift surgery (standard brachioplasty); however, you should speak with your aesthetic plastic surgeon about what may be unique to you.
- Your surgeon marks your elbows, arms, and armpits to indicate where your incisions will be. The location, length, and direction of these incision lines will depend on the type of brachioplasty you undergo.
- You will receive either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, based on your surgeon’s recommendation.
- Your surgeon will make the necessary incisions. The incisions may be completely concealed within the armpits, or they may extend down the inside of the arms in the most inconspicuous locations possible.
- After making the incisions, your surgeon will remove the extra skin and fat and bring the incisions together to provide a firmer and smoother arm contour. Your surgeon may use liposuction as an adjunct to remove excess fat.
- Your surgeon smooths the skin over the new contour of your arm and carefully closes the incisions to minimize scarring. Your surgeon may place sutures beneath the skin, where your body will gradually absorb them.
- Finally, the surgeon will apply a sterile dressing over your incisions, a compression garment to help with swelling, and possibly surgical drains to remove fluid that accumulates within the incisions.
What are my upper arm lift options?
There are different types of upper arm lifts that range from less invasive to more invasive. The type of upper arm lift you receive will depend on your skin quality, the extent of excess underarm fat and skin, and your desired results. Consult with your board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon to determine the best option for you.
Arm liposuction, the least invasive method, is an option for you if your skin has enough elasticity to shrink around the remaining tissues after removing fat. If your skin has poor elasticity, you will have even more pronounced tissue sagging after removing the fat. Some patients get liposuction in conjunction with a standard brachioplasty to optimize results.
If your excess hanging skin is close to your armpit, your surgeon may be able to pull up and tuck this excess skin into the armpit. This option is best if you only have loose skin in the lower inner arm area near the armpit and do not have much excess fatty tissue.
If your excess skin extends like a bat wing from the armpit to the elbow, the best option is to remove the arm flab with a standard arm lift.
An extended arm lift, the most invasive method, is similar to a standard brachioplasty, except your surgeon extends the incision along the arm and down to the body to remove loose skin and fatty tissue under the arm area and along the side of the chest wall. Surgeons commonly perform this technique on patients who have had massive weight loss.