Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
What is a Brachioplasty?
A brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, removes sagging skin and fat from the upper arm area to create a tighter and slimmer appearance. While exercise can strengthen the muscle, it can’t address loose skin that happens with age and extreme weight loss. A brachioplasty often depends on the shape and amount of excess skin a patient has around their arms. Generally, the incisions are on the inner backside of the arm and continue from the underarm to the elbow, but we tailor every brachioplasty to meet each patient’s unique needs.
Why Do Arms Sag?
Decrease in Collagen
As we get older, it’s natural for collagen levels to decline which results in thinner skin. That is because collagen is a protein that gives our skin structure and preserves its firmness. While collagen naturally decreases as we age, other factors could influence it. For example, smoking, excessive drinking, lots of sun exposure, and some medical conditions can all affect your levels of collagen. You can boost the amount of collagen with injectables, but to fix the appearance of looser skin in the arms, a brachioplasty is your best option.
Lacking in Elastin
Another protein that keeps the skin tight and firm is elastin. Named after its elastic-like quality, this protein allows our skin to bounce back. It’s the reason why our skin stretches, our lungs contract, and our blood vessels dilate. As we get older, it’s also natural for elastin levels to decline, much like collagen. While nothing can replace the unique properties of elastin, a brachioplasty can help restore a tighter appearance to your arms.
Gained or Lost Weight
Your arms may also lose definition if you’ve lost or gained significant weight. While our skin is elastic, like a rubber band, it has a stretching point. If you had a large amount of weight, your skin accommodated for it. When you lose the fat rapidly, it doesn’t give your skin enough time to adjust and remold itself. This rapid change is another reason your skin might be looser than it once was.
Your Brachioplasty Consultation
Before your brachioplasty, we need to know where your health is at now so you can have a safe surgery and a smooth recovery. During your consultation, you and your provider will discuss your health history, medication list, and surgical history. For your safety, it’s important to answer your provider honestly, as any unknown health issues could impair your recovery. Then, we will walk you through your procedure and recovery process, and address any questions or concerns you may have. You and your provider will also discuss your expectations and goals you hope to achieve from your brachioplasty. A positive outlook and realistic expectations can make an impact on how you feel about your final results. We understand you might feel hesitant or nervous, but we are here every step of the way to provide you with a positive experience for your surgery.
What to Expect for Your Brachioplasty Procedure
After your schedule your surgery, you’re next step is to attend your first pre-op with one of our nurses two to four weeks before your procedure. At this appointment, we’ll go over your current health and health history to make sure there aren’t any complications for your brachioplasty. As mentioned, we want to make your surgery and recovery as smooth as possible. At your first pre-op, the nurse will also give you your pre and post-op care instructions while answering any questions you might have.
Your second pre-op is with your surgeon. They will walk you through your procedure again and answer any additional questions you might have. On the day of your brachioplasty, you will meet with OR nurses to prepare you for surgery. Your surgeon will make any markings if necessary and any last-minute concerns or questions. Before surgery, you’ll also talk to the anesthesiologist and discuss any previous anesthesia issues.
Brachioplasties are outpatient procedures, so you will need someone to drive you to and from the surgery and spend at least one night with you afterward.
Though we take every precaution to put your safety first, no surgery comes without its risks. At your consultation, you and your provider will discuss the risks associated with your brachioplasty. We want you to be aware of every aspect of the surgery so you can make an informed decision about your body. If any of these risks concern you, your provider will be happy to tell you how we put your safety first so you can feel comfortable and confident when taking the next step.
Recovery After Your Brachioplasty
Everyone recovers at their own pace. After your brachioplasty, you and your provider will discuss aftercare such as when you can return to work and resume physical activities. Your provider will also send you home in a compression garment to help the incision heal. For the best results, you will need to wear the garment for about a month.
About 48 to 72 hours after your procedure, you will have your first post-op with the nurse. At this appointment, we will remove bandages, check incisions and provide you with an additional garment and foam as needed. The nurse will review your post-op care and answer any follow-up questions you may have. It is also important to note that there your scars will be visible after an arm lift. If you want to treat the scars, your provider can inform you of your options including medical-grade, silicone-based scar cream that can be used 3-4 weeks post-surgery.
After your brachioplasty, you may experience swelling for up to six months before you are completely healed. Once you are fully recovered, you should see a tighter and slimmer appearance in your arms. For long-lasting results, you should maintain a healthy diet and exercise. After the six-month mark, you will have your after photos taken, so you can see the more defined appearance of your arms.
Welcoming You With Open Arms
At Gayoso Plastic Surgery and MedSpa, our mission is to help our patients feel confident inside and out. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons welcomes you to a space where you will be listened to and understood. We don’t “sell” plastic surgery; we offer our guidance and expertise so you can make a safe and educated decision for yourself. Every step of the way, we will be there to inform you of all your options and answer any questions you may have. Choose surgeons that you trust for your brachioplasty and contact us for your consultation today.