If you have excess skin and fat on your arms, you are not alone. Millions of others can relate to the feeling of insecurity that comes with loose, sagging skin. After significant weight loss, pregnancy, or with aging, the upper arm area is often left sagging and looking deflated. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, from the SixSurgery team, can help.
Upper arm skin is very delicate, thin and not very resilient, which is why it is common to see some amount of drooping skin as one ages. That is why no matter how hard you try it is often impossible to get rid of the excess sagging skin on your arms using exercise alone. Our arms are a visible part of the body that we use to express ourselves; An arm lift can be a very rewarding procedure improving confidence and comfort.
A brachioplasty is a relatively straightforward procedure that poses few risks and offers patients a relatively easy recovery. The best way to determine if you’re a candidate for an arm lift is to request a consultation.
If you have undergone significant weight loss, you may have excess sagging skin on your arms. A brachioplasty will remove excess skin and underlying fat from the upper arms, taking away the “batwing” appearance and resulting in a more youthful toned arm.
Often in the case of significant weight loss, an arm lift is used in conjunction with other body contouring surgeries including breast and abdominal surgery to create a complete transformation of the body contour. During your office consultation, our team can review the different procedures that are available to you in addition to an arm lift to address redundant skin.
Over time, your body’s elastic fibers weaken and gravity takes over leading to sagging skin. Smoking, genetics, sun exposure all speed up this process. Skin aging can be especially evident in the arms, leading to embarrassment and discomfort.
A brachioplasty is performed using a linear incision placed discretely either on the backside or the underside of the arm, extending from the armpit to the elbow. Using this incision, SixSurgery surgeons are able to remove all excess skin and create a new contour that follows your underlying musculature.
Excess fat in the arms may be removed, or in some cases, treated using liposuction. The underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped using internal sutures. Excess skin is tightened and trimmed, and the remaining skin is sutured in place using sutures that will be absorbed by the body.
In a traditional arm lift, the incision is made on the underside of the arm. This provides your surgeon access to removing larger areas of loose skin.
In an extended arm lift, the incision is extended along the arm and continued below the armpit in order to remove loose skin and fatty tissue along the chest wall area. This technique is most commonly used in patients who have lost large amounts of weight.
In both procedures, there are many different types of arm lifts that depend on your specific circumstances, where our team will discuss the various options with you.
If you have lost a significant amount of weight and you’re left with SIGNIFICANT sagging upper arms, you may be a good candidate for a brachioplasty.
If you have a mild amount of loose skin, and are most concerned with the fat and fullness of your arms, you may be a better candidate for an arm liposuction procedure. Your surgeon will help you to determine whether a brachioplasty surgery and the resultant scar is the right arm contouring procedure to achieve your goals.
Costs will be adjusted according to anesthetic used and potential customization to the procedure.
After the procedure, patients can expect swelling and bruising. The discomfort from the procedure will be managed by pain medication prescribed by the SixSurgery team. In some cases, the surgeon will place drainage tubes in order to help remove any excess fluid that forms over the first several days after surgery. For the first few nights after surgery you will be instructed to sleep with your arms in a raised position to reduce swelling and prevent the incisions from opening. Compression bandages are often worn to help promote healing.
While recovery time varies from patient to patient, most people return to work within a week, and resume all their activities within one month. Our surgeons will see you the day after your surgery and at specified intervals during the weeks that follow. This is so our team can personally monitor your recovery, and to ensure that you have the best results possible. Of course, if you combine a brachioplasty with other post weight loss procedures, your recovery time will increase.
In order to remove enough skin to create a significant change in the contour of your arms, a long scar is required. Because the upper arm skin is thin, scars tend to be more noticeable than on other parts of the body. The SixSurgery team will design your scars to be positioned discreetly, and your scars will be hidden when your arms are at your sides.
Although complications following Brachioplasty are infrequent; the following may occur:
Skin irregularities, lumpiness, hardness and dimpling, which may improve with massage over time
Infection is rare but may occur and treatment with antibiotics and/or drainage may be required. In rare instances surgery may be required for severe infection.
Wound dehiscence (wound opening) may occur and is generally allowed to heal with the help of wound care
Numbness of the skin over treated areas is common and can persist for months. In rare cases it may be permanent.
Abnormal scarring or scar position is rare but is possible.
Hematoma (blood clot under the skin)
Seroma (fluid collection under the skin)
Deep Venous Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism and Fat Embolism may occur. The risk of these specific complications is increased in patients with increased BMI and previous arms surgeries. If left untreated they may be fatal.
The most common reason for arm lift surgery is extensive weight loss. For patients who have undergone significant weight loss, the arms are not the only area of the body to be affected by loose, excess skin. An arm lift can be safely combined with other body contouring procedures designed to remove extra skin from other areas. A Brachioplasty can be combined with a breast rejuvenation procedure, a tummy tuck, a body lift, or a thigh lift to provide a more complete body transformation.
When women lose excessive amounts of weight, the breasts are affected by a loss of volume and sagging. There are different options available for helping to restore a more youthful, lifted appearance.
For women who experience small to moderate deflation and sagging, a breast lift may be all that is needed. Women with very large breasts may still require breast reduction even after significant weight loss. And if you find your breasts appear sagging or appearing “empty,” you may want to consider breast augmentation or augmentation with a breast lift.
Not surprisingly, after excessive weight loss the most excess skin is found around your midsection. Almost everyone who loses large amounts of weight will benefit from skin removal in this area.
By helping you understand the terminology, you will have a better understanding of what is available to you. Here are some terms to become familiar with:
There are two main types of abdominoplasty; standard abdominoplasty and extended abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is used to remove excess skin in the lower abdominal area. The extended abdominoplasty can address additional excess skin around the sides of the torso.
This procedure is done to remove excess skin and fat on the lower front of the abdomen. This is a simple ‘amputation’ of the skin and is not a cosmetic procedure. The goal is to address health concerns due to an excessively large abdominal skin flap. To create a cosmetically appropriate appearance, tighten the abdominal muscles, and liposuction additional fat, abdominoplasty is required.
This is a more extensive procedure that is designed to reshape the entire torso. In addition to helping reshape the midsection, it also has a lifting effect on the buttocks and outer thighs.
Depending on the types of medications you take, your surgeon may ask you to alter some of your medications. Specifically, you will need to stop any medication and supplements that may increase your risk of bleeding and bruising (such as aspirin, omega3 and others). Additionally, you are required to stop smoking completely to help minimize the risk of complications during the surgery.
During your procedure, your surgeon will make an incision from the elbow to the armpit, providing access to remove skin, fat and tissue. Once the excess skin is removed, along with excess fat and tissue, sutures are placed along the incision, providing a flattering contour to the arm. The procedure generally takes about 2 hours from start to finish.
Fortunately, recovery for arm lift surgery is relatively short, and most patients can return to their regular activities after 1-2 weeks. Many patients return to work one week following arm lift surgery. It will take up to three months for swelling to subside and for the new contour to be fully appreciated.
Yes, you will have a scar on the inside of your upper arm. As with all scars, it will heal and become much less noticeable over time. The scar will be placed in an inconspicuous location so that when your arms are at your sides, it won’t be seen at all.
There are a few risks associated with arm lift surgery. There is potential for delayed healing, abnormal scarring, asymmetry and small irregularities. During your consultation, we will review all the potential complications and the steps we take to minimize any risks.
$10,300 – 11,300+ (full)
$13,300 (with chest extension)