A brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a procedure to remove excess skin and soft tissue, as well as fat from the upper arm, providing a definition to your arms.
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Arm Lift Before and After
A Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, removes excess skin and soft tissue, as well as fat from the upper arm which some refer to as “bingo wings” or “bat wings”. The upper arm is defined as beginning from the elbow to the axilla or armpit.
Dr. Mulholland’s utlizes skin tightening techniques and wrinkle reduction fractional technology to improve the outcome of the arm lift surgery. In addition, the use of modern, high-energy systems such as SmartLipo and BodyTite, facilitate additional skin contraction over and above the excision itself.
Once local anesthesia is infiltrated into the area the procedure is painless. The fat and excess skin hiding in the upper inner arm can be removed with modern liposuction techniques. The whole arm lift procedure takes approximately 45 minutes per arm and with the use of local anesthesia, it is very comfortable.
Brachioplasty surgery, whether mini axillary arm lifts or full upper arm excisions can easily be performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation. This avoids the risks of general anesthesia or IV sedation. For those patients who are quite anxious or would like a general anesthetic, that is also available.
The area of excess skin, fat, wrinkles and cellulitic deformity are outlined in conjunction with the patient prior to the procedure. The skin incision, either a “mini” arm lift confined to the upper armpit or more standard arm lift, which is performed on the upper inner arm between the bicep muscle and the tricep muscle in a defined groove that will hide the scar, is marked out.
The scar and excision can be minimized by the use of these newer technologies.
Patients can go home following the procedure.
After Care Instructions and expectations
After the arm lift procedure, you are placed in a compression garment (similar to a long-line elastic support girdle) at the end of surgery to reduce swelling and assist in the natural shrinking and tightening of the skin. Initial discomfort is usually easily controlled with prescription pain medication. Bruising and swelling usually subside within a month.
Strenuous activities are usually possible in 6 weeks and almost all symptoms are gone in 4-6 months.
Risks and Complications
As a surgical procedure, brachioplasty (arm lift) does carry a possibility or risks and complications such as:
- Hematoma (pooling of blood outside a blood vessel)
- Nerve damage resulting in permanent numbness
- Wound dehiscence (rupture along an incision)
- Reaction to anesthesia
To limit your chances or risks and complications, find a reputable surgeon who will guide you through the process of surgery and provide you guidelines leading up to the procedure.
The benefit of the brachioplasty for patients are more youthful looking arms, increased confidence, typically it is easier to find clothing for the warmer months that you feel comfortable in.
Patients can expect:
- Tighter, more attractive upper arm skin.
- Improved contours.
- Decreased irregularities in the skin surface.
- Is the Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Procedure Painful?
Once the local anesthetic is infiltrated, the area is frozen during the procedure and there is no pain.
Post-operatively there is often a little bruising, some discomfort and a “paper cut” type of discomfort to the arm excision, but generally the pain is quite tolerable and classified as discomfort and can be controlled with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
- How long is the recovery following a Brachioplasty (Arm Lift0 Procedure?
Arm lift and brachioplasty patients who undergo the procedure generally require between 7 and 10 days off work.
If they have a sedentary office type job they can be back to work in 5-7 days following the arm lift, but longer if the job entails a lot of heavy lifting and arm work.
- How will I look after surgery?
As the arm lift scar is hidden in the upper inner arm and there is very little bruising, generally patients can hide the surgical site quite easily in long sleeved clothing. The scar generally remodels over time and is treated in a complementary fashion for one year after the procedure.
Generally, once the scar has healed, it can be treated with laser work to take the redness out. Topical silicone gel strips are used to flatten a raised scar and a compression garment is required to compress the area and allows adequate wound healing. This garment can be worn down to the middle of the forearm and like liposuction, garmenting is used to facilitate a “shrink wrapping” of the skin.
Cost and Payment Options
An arm lift generally costs starting from $4,000.00 depending on the extent of loose tissue, the degree of excess fat of the upper arm and any ancillary techniques needed for fine lines, wrinkles or cellulite.
There is financing available for the procedure and many patients will finance arm lift or brachioplasty over 5-6 years.
Submit our form and include 3 photos for Dr. Mulholland to review, prior to your arm lift consultation at SpaMedica in Toronto. A consultation with Dr. M will help you identify your goals and expected outcomes and create a surgical plan.