When flabby upper arms persist despite your best efforts to lose weight, exercise and lift weights, Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, performed by Reno cosmetic surgeon Dr. Phillip E. Dahan may help you achieve a slimmer, more toned appearance.*
What Is An Upper Arm Lift?
Upper arm lift surgery is called Brachioplasty. This procedure is performed to tighten the backs of the upper arms so they appear slimmer and more toned. An arm lift is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. It incurs discreet incisions made on the underside of the arm. Incisions may range from a few inches to several inches long, depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed.
Brachioplasty follows general steps for sculpting the upper arms but is tailored to each patient depending on the nature of their anatomy. Sometimes, an arm lift is coupled with liposuction to remove stubborn fat before the overlying tissue is tightened to reveal a slimmer appearance.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting Upper Arm Lift Surgery?
Brachioplasty changes the physical shape of the backs of the arms, which creates harmony between the lower and upper arm, as well as across the torso. The benefits of an arm lift are not just physical, they are emotional, as well. Having slimmer, more toned arms that do not sag or wobble can make a person feel much happier with their appearance. Brachioplasty can make it more comfortable to wear long-sleeved or short-sleeved tops, and generally tends to improve a person’s confidence.
Candidates For An Upper Arm Lift
An arm lift can benefit women and men of any age who have loose, hanging skin and subcutaneous fat in the upper arm area. It is most commonly performed on patients who have experienced significant weight loss and are left with stretched, loose arm skin resulting in a batwing look. Occasionally, older lean patients with thin loose skin will also benefit from arm lift surgery.
It is important that patients do not smoke and healthy overall with no major medical conditions. Dr. Dahan will discuss your expectations during your initial consultation to be sure that this procedure aligns with your goals.
What Should I Expect At My Brachioplasty Consultation?
The consultation visit is our opportunity to get to know you, your concerns, and what you wish to accomplish through plastic surgery. At this visit, you can expect to be heard, to answer questions about your goals and health history, and also to receive information regarding what an arm lift can and cannot achieve. Dr. Dahan performs a careful examination of the backs of the arms and discusses the technique that would be appropriate for achieving better contours.
If you decide during your consultation to move forward with your arm lift, you will be given information to help you prepare for your procedure. You may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements and will be prescribed a pain medication to pick up from your pharmacy before the day of surgery. If you smoke, you will need to quit in the weeks before your procedure to minimize the risks that nicotine and tobacco present.
Arm Lift Surgery
The operation is usually performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient. The arms are dressed with compression Ace wraps and Dr. Dahan rarely requires drain placement during arm lift surgery.
Recovery After Arm Lift Surgery
There is minimal discomfort associated with this operation. Dr. Dahan recommends elevation of the hands when sleeping and sitting for the first couple of weeks. Compression sleeves should be worn to minimize swelling during the first few weeks of the recovery period and Dr. Dahan's brachioplasty postoperative instructions should be closely followed. Most patients return to sedentary work or school within the first week after surgery and may begin exercising and lifting at approximately 3 weeks postop. Over the next several weeks to months, scars will fade and should be protected from the sun to prevent darkening.*
Will There Be A Noticeable Scar?
In most cases, Dr. Dahan will make a well-hidden incision on the underside of the arms from the armpit to the elbow. In less severe cases, the incision may be shorter. Excess skin and fat is removed allowing him to sculpt the underlying tissues resulting in shapelier upper arms with better-defined muscle contours. Dr. Dahan very meticulously reapproximates the incision with a new type of suture significantly improving the outcome of the scar.
Arm Lift Before and After
Before & After*
Are There Any Risks Associated With Brachioplasty?
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with brachioplasty which Dr. Dahan will discuss with you during your initial consultation. Possible risks include a loss of sensation in the area, fluid accumulation and nerve, blood-vessel or muscle damage.
How Long After Upper Arm Lift Surgery Can I Start To Exercise Again?
Within 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, most of the swelling and bruising that have occurred will be gone. You may return to many of your normal activities at that time but need to be careful not to put stress on incisions for at least another week. Many patients are advised to wear their compression garments for 6 weeks and to resume exercise slowly, beginning with activities that do not require the arms to stretch very far or lift heavy objects. When resuming exercise, it is imperative to listen to the body and stop the activity if discomfort occurs.
Alternatives to Arm Lift Surgery
Surgical skin tightening is the only effective way to address excess skin in the upper arms. Although some nonsurgical treatments may help tighten mildly sagging skin, there are no arm lift alternatives that can address any significant amount of loose, hanging skin.
It is common for patients who desire an arm lift to seek liposuction to further improve upper arm contours by reducing excess fat deposits in the arm area in addition to addressing excess skin.
Combining Brachioplasty With Other Procedures
Arm lift patients may also benefit from the other procedures that address excess skin elsewhere on the body, including tummy tuck, and/or body sculpting. This is typically due to the fact that excess skin in the arms is often caused by significant weight loss, which can leave loose, stretched skin all over the body.
What Is The Average Cost Of An Arm Lift?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of an arm lift is $4,550. This is a nationwide average. Costs vary by region, the doctor’s training and experience, where the surgery is performed, anesthesia options, and other details. It is imperative to have a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your Brachioplasty. The outcome of surgery is the primary objective, not cost.
Are Upper Arm Lift Procedures Covered By Insurance?
Brachioplasty is typically not covered by insurance because, like many plastic surgeries, it is classified as a cosmetic procedure. There are some exceptions, however. If you have undergone weight loss surgery or have lost a substantial amount of weight and are experiencing adverse consequences of sagging skin, you may qualify for medical necessity. This is something that is handled between you and your insurance company before your consultation for an arm lift.