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Sagging skin and excess tissue can alter the shape and appearance of your upper arms. Caused by fluctuations in weight, aging, and genetics, this condition is challenging to address through diet and exercise. Arm lift surgery can help you address the stubborn fat and loose skin on your upper arms. Find out if arm lift surgery is suitable for your condition. 

What is an Arm Lift? 

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure used to remove loose skin and excess fat in the upper arms. This procedure can give you the toned and firm look that you desire. 

Candidates for Arm Lifts

The arm lift procedure is best suited for women and men with loose upper arm skin that hangs in an unattractive appearance. Frequently, this is the result of a large amount of weight loss. Many call it “bat wings, ” but it can also occur when the skin 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) 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!

Arm Lift Procedure 

Before entering 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 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 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. 

Arm Lift Recovery and Results

  • Low activity
  • 4-6 weeks

Some of the results from your arm lift will be instantaneous. However, mild swelling and bruising may 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. 

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 vital that you take steps to maintain and stay within a healthy weight range. 

It may be four to six weeks before you can resume your regular 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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).

  • 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.

Schedule a Consultation 

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 on 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.