Arm Lift

Kansas City Plastic Surgeon serving Overland Park, Leawood & Nearby Areas of Kansas & Missouri

Am I a Candidate for Brachioplasty?

disappointed woman examining excess under arm fat

The arm lift procedure is best suited for women and men who have loose upper arm skin that hangs in an unattractive appearance. Frequently this is the result of a large amount of weight loss. It is termed “bat wings” by many people, but it can also occur when the skin just loses its elasticity.

Liposuction alone can frequently take care of excess fat in the upper arm but will not address the loose skin. The procedure involves excising the excess skin and fat on the arm from the axilla (armpit) out to the elbow. The scar that remains in the area can be hard to hide. Some patients will have the excision extended down their side to excise loose skin in the case of a large amount of weight loss. Call 913-341-2188 today to learn more about the Arm Lift, or to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure!

How Long Will My Results Last?

Arm lift surgery results are permanent. Time, gravity, and genetics may allow the skin to gently sag again, but most patients can maintain results through general arm exercises and healthy eating habits. Weight gain will undo your results, however, making it important that you take steps to maintain stay within a healthy weight range.

What Are the Risks Associated With an Arm Lift?

General surgical risks include poor incision healing, infection, excessive bleeding, and seroma. These risks are reduced by following all pre and postoperative directions and choosing a surgeon who performs arm lift surgery in an accredited surgical center.

Risks specific to arm lift include nerve damage, compartment syndrome, lymphedema, and an inability to close the arm. While extremely rare, these complications should be fully considered before undergoing arm lift surgery.

Dr. Levi Young is a board-certified plastic surgeon who takes every care to minimize risks for our patients. During your initial consultation, he will listen carefully to your concerns and provide honest information about both the risks and benefits of this procedure.

Can I Combine an Arm Lift With Another Surgery?

Yes! Arm lift surgery is often part of larger procedures, such as the mommy makeover or post-weight-loss body contouring. If there are several areas of your body that you would like to address, we can provide information about all of the procedures that may be useful in helping you reach your goals during your initial consultation.

What Happens During an Arm Lift Consultation?

A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering brachioplasty surgery. During this meeting, Dr. Young will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific cosmetic goals for the procedure. The quality of your skin and the amount of excess fat will be assessed at your initial consultation.

This exam will allow us to determine if you just need liposuction alone, limited incision brachioplasty (axillary incision only), or a normal brachioplasty (incision out to the elbow).

Patient Testimonials 

"I had a great experience with the staff here and a great outcome after my surgery. Dr. Young understood my requests and did a phenomenal job. I also went to Delanie for facial aesthetics and she was wonderful! I’m in love with how everything turned out." - Monica P.

"I cannot say enough good things about the staff and Dr. Levi Young. From start to finish the whole process was seamless and I am beyond impressed with my results from my procedure. Everyone is so knowledgeable and professional and has exceptional bedside manner." - Hailey S.

Read more patient reviews here.

How is the Brachioplasty Procedure Performed?

Before going into the operating room, you will be marked for incisions and areas for liposuction in the standing position. You will then go to the operating room and be placed under a general anesthetic.

Incisions will then be made along the anterior markings made in the holding area. The area marked for excision will then be slowly freed from the underlying tissues and carefully checked for tension before the final excision to help ensure that the wound can be closed without stress.

The wound is usually closed with dissolving sutures; drains may also be in place. Dressings will be placed, and you will be taken to the recovery room.

Where Will the Incisions Be for This Procedure?

Incisions for arm lift surgery are typically placed on the inside or back of the arm. Depending on your specific needs and the amount of tissue and fat being removed, incisions may run from the underarm to the elbow.

It is important that you keep your incisions clean and dry, and that you use your compression garment during the healing process to help prevent significant scarring. You can further reduce your risk of scarring by avoiding blood-thinning medications, all products with nicotine, and activities that will irritate your incisions as you recover.

Dr. Young will provide you with specific instructions to help protect you from complications, including visible scars, during your time in our care.

What is Recovery Like After an Arm Lift?

Day of Surgery

After your surgery, you will spend approximately one hour in the recovery room. The Recovery Room nurse will show you how to strip and empty your drains. A friend or family member will need to drive you home. You can expect some swelling to occur initially. A compression sleeve will help minimize the swelling. Keep a daily output log if drains are placed.

Day 1 (After Surgery)

Take it easy and keep your arms propped up on pillows beside you when you are resting. It is not uncommon to have drainage on your garment. Take pain medication as directed.

Days 2 to 7 (After Surgery)

Shower today. If drains were placed, drape a shoelace or bungee cord around your neck and secure the ends to the loop on the drain bulb. This will keep tension off of the drains while showering. Your swelling and discomfort will slowly improve. A compression shirt such as Under Armour can be worn when laundering the surgical garment. You may gradually increase your activity. Continue to elevate your arms when resting. You will be asked to come to the office about seven days after your surgery. Bring your drain record to your appointment.

After First Week

Pain and swelling continue to improve. Drains will be removed at this time. Most people feel up to working and doing light activities. A long sleeved compression shirt may be worn.

After First Month

Most people are well healed at this time. There will be a small amount of swelling still present, however. After this visit, you will have no restrictions after 6 weeks.

When Will I See Results From My Arm Lift?

Some of the results from your arm lift will be instantaneous. Mild swelling and bruising may, however, obscure results during the initial stages of recovery. Using a compression garment and following our postoperative directions will help to reduce swelling and allow for a faster realization of your results.

When Can I Return to Exercising After My Arm Lift?

It may be four to six weeks before you can resume your normal exercise routine or begin to add more progressive workouts for your arms. During recovery, you will return to our office for routine follow-up visits where we can assess your progress and provide instructions on when it will be safe for you to resume all normal activities.

Schedule an Arm Lift Consultation in Leawood, KS!

Find out if arm lift surgery is right for you by calling 913-341-2188 today for a consultation. You can also fill out the form in our contact page, and our staff will help you set up your appointment with Dr. Levi J. Young. Advanced Cosmetic Surgery welcomes patients throughout the Kansas City area to our office in Leawood, including patients in nearby Missouri.

Schedule a Consultation Today