- What It Is: Removes loose skin and fat pockets from the upper arm region
- Reasons Why: Loose, sagging skin in the upper arm creates “batwing” appearance
- Procedure: Outpatient
- Anesthesia: General
- Duration of Procedure: 1-3 hours
- Initial Recovery Phase: 2 weeks
- Results: 2-3 months
Excess or loose skin of the arms is frustrating and often develops with age, especially for women. It is also common for those who have lost a great deal of weight, for example, following gastric band or other bariatric weight loss surgery, or with the use of GLP-1 medications, such as Wegovy and Ozempic. Brachioplasty, or arm lift, removes excess, loose skin and reshapes the upper arms for a thinner, smoother upper arm shape. The procedure tightens the supportive tissues to improve upper arm definition and reduces fat of the arms.
Dr. Sean Maguire is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in body contouring procedures. During your consultation at Physician’s Center for Beauty in Louisville, Dr. Maguire can determine if arm lift is right for your needs. Some women may want a combination procedure with arm lift, tummy tuck, and thigh lift to address loose skin in multiple areas at once.
Why Have Brachioplasty?
Your skin quality decreases as you get older and changes with weight fluctuations. Your upper arms may droop and sag due to lost skin elasticity and fat accumulation. Unfortunately, exercise won’t address lax skin. Arm lift surgery removes the excess tissue and corrects a full upper arm appearance.
People who have lost significant weight may struggle with excess upper arm skin that causes discomfort and skin irritation or rashes. The loose tissue may pose a hygiene problem and lead to low self-confidence. Brachioplasty can provide a firmer upper arm contour after weight loss from lifestyle changes or obesity surgery. Men and women with loose skin in other areas may benefit from mommy makeover or body lift surgery to remove the excess tissue from several areas, such as the abdomen, breasts, back, and thighs.
Is Arm Lift Right for Me?
Brachioplasty reduces fat pockets, removes excess skin, and tightens supportive tissue. You may qualify for an arm lift if you have a batwing-like appearance with drooping upper arm skin. Adults of any age may have arm lift surgery if they have significant upper arm skin laxity, are at a stable weight, and are not significantly overweight or obese.
You must be in good health to have plastic surgery with no health concerns that may impair healing or increase surgical risks. You should not smoke or vape as these habits inhibit the recovery process and may cause complications. It’s best to have a positive outlook with realistic expectations for arm lift results.
You may combine arm lift with liposuction for optimal results.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
Brachioplasty begins with general anesthesia. The incision pattern and length depend on how much skin needs to be removed. The traditional approach is to make an incision on the inside or the back of the arm to hide the scarring. The incision may reach from the underarm to just above the elbow. A limited incision approach creates an incision in the underarm only.
If you have excess fat in the upper arm region, Dr. Maguire removes the deposits with liposuction or excision techniques. He tightens and reshapes the underlying supportive tissues with internal sutures, then smooths the skin over the new contour. Dr. Maguire closes the incisions with absorbable sutures.
What Is the Recovery Like?
The incisions are covered in bandages or gauze dressings, and your upper arms are wrapped in an elastic bandage to decrease swelling with compression. A drainage tube is sometimes necessary to drain excess blood or fluid temporarily. You will need someone to drive you home and help you for the first couple of days after brachioplasty. Make sure you get plenty of rest, eat well, and avoid strenuous exercise, lifting heavy objects or overhead use of your arms. You will need to take two weeks off work.
Dr. Maguire will give you post-operative instructions for caring for incisions and the surgical site. You will wear a compression sleeve garment and/or an Ace bandage for three to four weeks. Ice packs are helpful for the first several days following surgery. Initially, the incision lines will be visible in clothing that exposes your upper arms, but they will fade significantly over time.
You’ll notice a smoother, tighter upper arm contour right after your arm lift, but you will have some swelling for several weeks or months. You can enjoy your arm lift results long-term by maintaining a stable weight and exercise routine. However, it’s natural for your body and skin to lose firmness as you age, and you may need a follow-up procedure years later.
Learn More About Arm Lift
If you struggle with a batwing appearance from loose upper arm skin, contact Physician’s Center for Beauty to discuss brachioplasty. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Maguire in Louisville, Kentucky, at (502) 897-7546.