Arm lift (Brachioplasty) can remove the excess skin and fat deposits, leaving the upper arms with a more pleasing and youthful appearance.
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Dr. Jerry Darm is the medical director of Aesthetic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Aesthetic Medicine is federally-accredited facility by the Institute for Medical Qualityand BBB accredited business with A+ rating.
Arm lift (Brachioplasty)
Excess skin and fat of the upper arm is most commonly seen following weight loss or from heredity. It is frequently worse with some skin types, excessive sun exposure, smoking, etc. For some individuals, clothing styles which avoid bare skin of the upper arms are the only choices. If the problem is excessive fat deposits, lipolysis may be the best treatment, but loose skin correction requires surgery.
Brachioplasty ( surgical arm lift) removes this skin and accompanying fat of the upper arm. Under “twilight” anesthesia, the procedure is completed in about 2 hours.
Following recovery, the patient returns home. Pain is minimal, it is more of a tight bruised feeling instead. The incision is hidden on the inside of the arm and its appearance improves over time. Minimal activity over the first week is important, but by 2 weeks, most patients have returned to normal daily activities.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
In your initial consultation, Dr. Ciano will evaluate your arms, including the skin and underlying muscle. It is important to discuss what goals you wish to achieve from surgery.
Certain medical conditions may cause problems during or after surgery. Uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars are some examples. Be sure to tell Dr. Ciano if you smoke, take any drugs or medications, especially aspirin, or other drugs that affect clotting.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Dr. Ciano will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery and to stop or avoid certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help surgery go smoothly. If you smoke, it’s especially helpful to stop at least a week or two before and after surgery, if possible. Smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas.
A Brachioplasty usually takes 2 hours under conscious sedation anesthesia although it can be longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. General anesthesia is not necessary.
Incisions usually begins under the axillary (armpit), then extends under the arm to the elbow.
In the vast majority of cases it is not necessary to use a general anesthesia. We use a conscious sedation ( a type of twilight sedation) whereby you are up and ready to go home after your procedure.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
There usually isn’t significant discomfort after surgery. If there is, it can be lessened with the pain medication prescribed by Dr. Ciano. Severe or persistent pain or sudden swelling of your face should be reported to Dr. Ciano immediately. Some numbness of the skin is quite normal and it should disappear within a few weeks or months.
You will be instructed to keep your arms elevated and decrease your activity level for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling to a minimum.
Bandages will be removed after two days and showering is possible.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. The risk of bleeding under the skin, requiring a return visit to the operating room to treat the hematoma (blood collection) is at the highest during the first week. Since there is little pain and boredom sets in, you must resist the temptation to be too active!
Dr. Ciano will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions: avoid driving a car for 1 week and strenuous activity, including sex and heavy housework, for at least two weeks. Avoid steam baths and saunas for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing.
At the beginning, the incision area may be distorted from the swelling. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily.
By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back to work within ten days to two weeks after surgery.