in Norwalk, CT
While losing a dramatic amount of weight can leave you feeling amazing and can correct some major medical problems, it may also leave you with laxity in the arms that creates an undesirable appearance. Hanging skin and fat in this area has been called “batwings” at times. Excess skin along your arms may prevent you from feeling comfortable and confident with your body. However, arm lift surgery can fix these concerns by restoring a slimmer, more toned shape to your arms while revitalizing the look of your upper body.
Am I a Candidate for an Arm Lift?
If you are considering arm lift surgery, you should be in good health and have realistic expectations about your results. If you have recently undergone significant weight loss, you should reach and maintain your weight loss goal before considering surgery. Men and women choose arm lift surgery for one or more of the following reasons:
- Unattractive folds of excess skin
- “Batwing” arm appearance
- Discomfort caused by arm chafing
- Excess fat accumulation around the arms
How Is Arm Lift Surgery Performed?
Arm lift surgery is an outpatient procedure typically performed using either sedation or a light general anesthetic. We create an incision along the upper inner arm from the armpit to the elbow; we then trim away excess skin and fat along this incision. The remaining tissue is carefully draped to highlight the new, toned contour of your arm. The incisions are closed and bandaged. The wraps are removed in a few days, and you are placed in a removable sleeve and are able to shower. All the sutures are self-dissolving to minimize scarring.
Limited-Incision Arm Lift
The traditional arm lift technique can result in visible scarring that runs the length of the upper arm. However, if you have mild arm laxity, this long incision may not be necessary. Qualifying patients can consider a limited-incision arm lift, where the incision is made only in the armpit and may not be as visible.
Extended-Incision Arm Lift
If you have lost a significant amount of weight, then you might have sagging skin along the upper chest and under the armpit in addition to on your arms. With an extended incision, we can remove the skin from below the armpit to improve the overall contour of your upper body.
If you have stubborn deposits of fat on your arm, we can consider using liposuction. This gentle vacuum suction technique contours the arm and enhances definition. Liposuction may also be used across your chest and back to further complement your arm lift results. If you have good skin tone but just too much fat, liposuction alone may be used to remove the excess fat, and some tightening will occur.
Arm lift surgery is commonly combined with other body contouring techniques in post-weight loss patients. A mix of tummy tuck, breast lift, and neck lift surgeries may be considered to achieve the fit and defined body contour you desire. This approach has financial advantages as well as one recovery period due to all of the procedures being performed in one setting. Usually, a team approach is used and an additional plastic surgeon will be called in to assist in the operation to minimize the time under anesthesia. Keeping the procedure under six and a half hours does not increase complications when compared to a shorter procedure.
What Is the Recovery After an Arm Lift Like?
Postoperative bruising and swelling are likely to occur, which may cause some discomfort. The discomfort is usually not high. You will be placed in ace wraps for a few days and then changed to a compression arm sleeve that is to be worn to reduce swelling and promote better healing. You should rest for the first 48 hours after your procedure. You should be able to return to work within two weeks after surgery unless your job requires heavy lifting. With surgeon approval, you should be able to resume your regular exercise routine after four weeks, but you should slowly introduce lifting workouts. Swelling will subside around six weeks after your surgery.
When Will I See My Arm Lift Results?
After six weeks, your final results should be noticeable, other than the scars. The scars take up to a year to fade. Arm lift surgery provides long-lasting improvement to the tone and definition of your arms. However, arm lift surgery cannot prevent natural changes from occurring, which can be accelerated by additional weight gain or loss.
Will There Be Scars After My Arm Lift?
Arm lift surgery can result in a visible scar that runs along the inside of your arm. There are other techniques that leave the scar on the back of your arm, but this may be more evident. Since this scar is likely to fade, most people feel it is worth the improvement in their appearance. During your consultation, you can discuss scar minimizing techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions About Arm Lift Surgery?
How much does arm lift surgery cost?
Your arm lift is personalized to you. Therefore, we cannot provide you with an accurate cost estimate until after you consult with Dr. Rosen. During your consultation, Dr. Rosen will determine the appropriate technique and whether any other treatments are going to be performed in combination with your arm lift. Your price estimate will include the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, anesthesia fee, pre-surgical tests, and post-surgical appointments. Dr. Rosen offers financing through CareCredit® to assist you in paying for your surgery.
Should I combine other surgical procedures with my arm lift?
Arm lift surgery can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with additional body contouring, such as liposuction, body lift surgery, or breast lift surgery. The right combination of techniques will depend on your aesthetic goals and body contours. During your consultation with Dr. Rosen, he will examine you to determine which procedures will meet your needs.
How do I know if I need an arm lift or just liposuction?
Liposuction is often performed as an alternative to traditional arm lift surgery or in combination with an arm lift. While liposuction does wonders in reducing excess fat and, therefore, the circumference of the upper arm, it does not tighten or remove sagging skin. Women with significant tissue laxity will require an arm lift to optimize their results. Failure to perform an arm lift when necessary may increase the look of sagging skin since liposuction will reduce the volume of fat in the arm.
Does arm lift surgery build muscle?
Arm lift surgery does not increase muscle mass; however, since this procedure tightens the arm by removing excess skin and fat, the muscle that you do have is more exposed and defined.
When can I start lifting weights after an arm lift?
Arm lift surgery requires you to resist lifting anything over 10 pounds for at least four to six weeks. Fitness-minded women and men will have to hold off on all strenuous exercises, including weight lifting, for that amount of time. After Dr. Rosen has cleared you, you can begin introducing weights back into your fitness program. You should start slowly, especially if you were not a weightlifter prior to your surgery. Men and women who were already weightlifters can often resume faster because their muscles are already toned and used to the pressure of it.