Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a cosmetic plastic surgery to remove excess fat from the underarm. The procedure focuses on reshaping and firming the upper underarm region through the elbow. As we age, our skin naturally and gradually begins to lose its elasticity, resulting in droopy or sagging skin. While weight lifting can help to tone underarm muscles, it cannot improve the appearance of excess fatty tissue and skin.
Ideal candidates for brachioplasty are healthy individuals with realistic expectations for improving their underarm skin laxity. Those with minor excess skin amounts can opt for a mini brachioplasty. Those with moderate to extreme excess skin amounts should choose a full brachioplasty where the surgical incision runs the full length of the underarm.
Brachioplasty is generally performed in an outpatient hospital setting or surgical office suite under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The length of surgery is between one and two hours, and patients will remain at Dr. Kessler’s Newport Beach plastic surgery office during that time, and after. The incision length and technique will vary according to each patient’s needs.
However, the incision is typically applied along the underarm, from just below the armpit to just above the elbow. If a limited incision line is preferable, then a minimal incision can be utilized while the underlying skin tissue is reshaped with internal sutures. Liposuction is commonly used when reducing underarm fat.
Following surgery, hospital dressings are applied to the incisions and a compression garment may be ordered to minimize swelling. A temporary drainage tube may be placed at the surgery site to drain any excess fluids.
Mild to moderate discomfort should only last a few days and is treated with prescription pain medication. In most cases, absorbable sutures are used, but any conventional stitches used are removed one to two weeks post procedure. Swelling should resolve within two weeks. Most patients can return to work within three days and begin exercising within two weeks.
What is an Arm Lift?
An Arm Lift, also referred to as a Brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the contour of the upper arm; an area that is often hard to correct through diet and exercise. The lax skin and tissue is removed, sculpting the upper arm to a pleasing appearance.
How is Brachioplasty performed?
Dr. Kessler will begin the Brachioplasty procedure by making a thin incision from the axilla (arm pit) down to the elbow. From here, he will excise excess skin and muscle. This is the time when Liposuction, if added to the procedure, will be performed. The upper arm will be sculpted to a healthy, proportionate contour; the tissues are then sutured in place for proper healing.
Who is a good candidate for the procedure?
Ideal candidates for the Brachioplasty include both men and women. Patients should be in overall good health, be nonsmokers, frustrated with sagging/loose tissues of the upper arm, and have realistic surgical expectations.
Where is an Arm Lift performed?
Dr. Kessler performs the Arm Lift procedure at the Starpoint Surgery Center. The Brachioplasty is an outpatient surgery.
What type of anesthesia is used during a Brachioplasty?
General anesthesia is used during the Brachioplasty procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
A Brachioplasty will take Dr. Kessler between one and three hours to perform.
What can I expect during the recovery from an Arm Lift?
Patients should expect the recover period after an Arm Lift to take from five to seven days. Initially, mild to moderate pain may be experienced; Dr. Kessler will provide the appropriate pain medications to keep patients comfortable at home. Swelling and bruising are normal. A compression garment will need to be worn over the first few weeks after surgery. Strenuous lifting and exercise should wait for four to six weeks after the Brachioplasty procedure.
How long until I can be back to work?
Patients need to take between three and seven days off work, after their Brachioplasty. After this time, they will normally feel well enough to return to work or school.
Will there be scarring after my Arm Lift?
Yes, an Arm Lift will result in a visible scar, running from underneath the armpit down to the elbow. While this scar will fade over time, it will remain noticeable. Patients are generally pleased with their surgical results, however, and are rarely frustrated by the scar.
Are the results permanent?
The results from a Brachioplasty will be long lasting. In order to keep the contour of the arm, patients will need to maintain a proper weight through a healthy lifestyle.
What are the risks involved?
The Arm Lift procedure is considered extremely safe. There is always a rare chance that a complication may arise, however. These can include scarring, bleeding, skin discoloration, asymmetry, lymphedema and a loss of sensation in the arm.
Can I finance my Arm Lift procedure?
Patients are welcome to pay with cash, all major credit cards, or to finance their Arm Lift procedures. Through CareCredit, Kessler Plastic Surgery patients can apply for financing online, and obtain immediate approval.