Am I a candidate for an arm lift?
Excess skin and stubborn fat tissue in the upper arm area is a very common problem after significant weight loss. If you are medically healthy, but:
- Are bothered by the appearance of your upper arms
- Have difficulty in finding a good fit in your clothing
- Would like to reduce the circumference of your arm
…then consider a consult with Dr. Abolmaali for brachioplasty.
(Smoking and the use of nicotine products may increase the risk of complications after arm lift surgery. We strongly advise you to quit before committing to surgery.)
Can liposuction (VASERlipo® or SmartLipo®) replace a brachioplasty?
As with other parts of the body, it depends on the skin quality and elasticity. If there is any relaxed or loose skin present, liposuction alone worsens the appearance of the upper arms. This is often the case after significant weight loss.
However, if your skin is elastic and able to tighten itself after fat removal, you might benefit from liposuction alone. Dr. Abolmaali helps you make the right decision.
Where will my scar be after arm lift surgery?
If the excess skin is limited to the uppermost part of the arm, then a minimal incision arm lift may be appropriate for you. In this technique, the scar is hidden in the armpit crease. If the skin to be excised extends to the elbow, then the incision involves the entire length of the upper arm to achieve the smoothest result. Dr. Abolmaali discusses with you the positioning of the incision either on the inside of your arms or the back of your arms. Your propensity to heal is a factor in the outcome of this surgery. On your consult day, Dr. Abolmaali asks you many questions to determine how well you will heal and which scar improvement techniques and products may improve your outcome.
What can I expect for recovery after arm lift surgery?
Arm lift surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. At the pre-op visit, Dr. Abolmaali reviews the steps of surgery and recovery as well as the risks. You are asked to sign an informed consent. You receive a copy of the consent and prescriptions for pain and nausea relief as well as antibiotics, so they are ready for you after surgery.
On the day of surgery, Dr. Abolmaali reviews the consent form once more and answers any lingering questions you may have.
Upon completion of surgery, you have dressings and bandages over your incisions. Your entire arm is wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling and pain. There is a drain on each arm to remove excess fluid and accelerate the healing process. The drains are very easy to take care of. You receive instructions to manage them at your pre-op visit as well as before you are discharged. The drains are removed on the first or second post-op visit.
You are able to perform light daily activities at home after surgery and can walk immediately; however, we strongly recommend you keep your arms elevated for the first few days at home to keep the swelling down. Dr. Abolmaali sees you on a weekly basis until the drains are removed then every two to four weeks up to three months, and every three to six months afterwards until you are sufficiently healed.