Our skin stays as tight as it can for as long as it can. However, age, significant weight fluctuation, and genetics can together reduce the skin’s elasticity. In addition to the upper thigh, the upper arm is one area most susceptible to this problem of skin excess.
Patients jokingly refer to the upper arm area as their “bat wings” and commonly seek improvement when extra upper arm skin makes it difficult to look good in the clothes they like to wear.
An upper arm lift, or brachioplasty, corrects this problem by tightening and removing excess skin from the upper arm area. The underside of the upper arm is reshaped, from the underarm region to the elbow. Depending on your goals, an upper arm lift can be combined with liposuction to reduce excess fat in addition to excess skin.
Upper Arm Lift Basics
An upper arm lift is designed for individuals with excess skin in the upper arm area, and whose arm shape cannot be changed by diet or exercise alone. Patients may be dissatisfied with their arm shape in general, or have just completed a large amount of weight loss.
The procedure may also be combined with liposuction to remove any excess fat. The result is an arm with a firmer, more youthful appearance. With a brachioplasty, the procedure involves removing excess skin located in the upper arm area.
In this section, you will discover:
- What you can realistically expect from an upper arm lift.
- Whether you’re a candidate for an upper arm lift.
- How an upper arm lift is performed.
Once you’ve reviewed the benefits and details associated with an upper arm lift, you’ll want to set up a consultation visit with Dr. Mosser in his San Francisco plastic surgery office to discuss your specific goals.
In this relaxed environment, he will be able to explain to you:
- Whether or not an arm lift makes sense for you.
- The alternatives for meeting your specific goals.
- The step-by-step procedure that you will undergo.
- The outcome you can reasonably expect along with risks and possible complications of an upper arm lift.
The Best Candidates for an Upper Arm Lift
An upper arm lift can be performed conveniently for anyone in the Bay area. An arm lift is best suited to those who are healthy and possess excess amounts of skin. In arriving at realistic goals for your upper arm lift surgery, you should also take into account several key questions:
- Is your weight stable?
- Are you committed to a healthy lifestyle?
- Have you recently had dental surgery?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you suffer from cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure?
- Do you have an under-active or over-active thyroid?
- Do you suffer from Graves’ disease?
- Are you a nonsmoker?
- Do you have any medical conditions that could impair healing from surgery?
- Are you committed to proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, including moderate amounts of physical exercise?
- Can you fully disclose your health history to Dr. Mosser, including current medications, your use of vitamin and herbal supplements, as well as your use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs?
Surgery Specifics—What You Can Expect from an Upper Arm Lift
Dr. Mosser performs arm lifts in several locations in San Francisco. Plastic surgery procedures may be scheduled for his office at 450 Sutter in Union Square, as well as California Pacific Medical Center, and St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco.
The specific surgery you will undergo depends on the unique characteristics of your body, realistic goals that you and Dr. Mosser have agreed on, and the specific conditions you want to correct.
For those undergoing an arm lift, Dr. Mosser reduces the amount of skin and fat in the upper arms using a safe and reliable technique. Incisions are well hidden within the armpit and sometimes along the inner arm to remove excess skin and tighten the surrounding area.
The incision design and length both depend on the amount and location of skin excess and the extent of surgery. After making the incisions, Dr. Mosser removes the excess skin, producing a tighter, firmer appearance and arms that are proportionate to the rest of the body. Some patients may combine liposuction with an arm lift as to remove excess fat in addition to excess skin to produce the most pleasing contour possible.
Post Arm Lift Recuperation
Immediately following arm lift surgery, you will be wrapped in bandages and compression garments to reduce swelling. Before you are released, Dr. Mosser will explain:
- How to care for your arms.
- Medications to take orally in order to reduce pain and the risk of infection.
- How to monitor the surgical site for specific problems.
You may be groggy for the first day or two from the anesthetic and/or pain medications, and may feel tightness as the arm swells after surgery. You should lightly walk around as soon as possible to reduce the risk of blood clots. You may also be asked to keep your arms elevated above your heart for a few days.
Your stitches are generally removed within two weeks of surgery. Post-operative patients should refrain from heavy lifting or even fully extending the arms for two weeks. You may be required to partake in a light stretching and exercise regimen to preserve the range of motion of your arms.
Your arms will become swollen immediately after your procedure, with most swelling gone in a few weeks, although a slight amount may remain for several months. Expect to take antibiotics to prevent infection.
You can return to work within two weeks after approval by Dr. Mosser. You should not participate in any strenuous physical activity for at least one month and should always first be cleared by Dr. Mosser.