An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess loose skin from under the arms and re-shapes a portion of the upper arm – from the underarm region to the elbow – and restores a more youthful appearance to the arms.
An arm lift is a highly individualized procedure that may be a good option if you are bothered by excessive skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow and feel that your upper arms are sagging or appear loose with this excess skin.
Note: Success in arm lift surgery is greater if you are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight, you do not smoke, and you have realistic expectations for your surgery and potential outcomes.
The Initial Consultation
The success of your arm lift surgery depends on the quality of your participation in the initial consultation. You will need to be prepared to discuss why you want arm lift surgery, your personal medical history, drug allergies, use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and any family history of disease.
Dr. Cohn will perform a physical examination and take detailed measurements of your individual physical attributes. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. At that point, Dr. Cohn will be prepared to discuss your surgical options, recommend a course of treatment, and discuss the use of anesthesia during your arm lift procedure. The consultation consists of a thorough discussion of the procedural details, anticipated scar patterns, and expected recovery. Dr. Cohn is happy to assist with recommendations while using your personal goals to guide final decision making.
Preparing for Arm Lift Surgery
Before arm lift surgery, Dr. Cohn will discuss where your procedure will be performed – an accredited, office-based surgical center, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or in a hospital. Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, receive a prescription for certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Some special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery and post-operative care and follow-up.
The Arm Lift Procedure
Your arm lift surgery can be performed through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for your arm lift will be determined by Dr. Cohn during the initial consultation.
- I. The arm lift surgery begins with anesthesia, where intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be provided. Dr. Cohn will recommend the best choice for your surgery.
- II. After the anesthesia has taken effect, incisions are made. Depending on the amount and location of the excess skin to be removed in the arm lift procedure, Dr. Cohn will determine the length and the pattern of the initial incisions.
- III. As part of the arm lift closing procedures, absorbable sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions. Some types of sutures may require removed (within 1-2 weeks of your arm lift).
Risks and Complications
The decision to have arm lift surgery is extremely personal and not without risk. Dr. Cohn will fully review and explain the risks associated with your surgery. After you fully understand the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms.
Recovery for Arm Lift Surgery
Although many factors are involved in your recovery time, you will likely experience an initial post-surgical recovery period of a few days. You may also require a reduced-activity period of a few days. During recovery, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at Dr. Cohn’s direction.
Following all of Dr. Cohn’s post-surgery instructions is crucial to the success of your surgery. Surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during healing. Dr. Cohn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions following your surgery, which medications to take, how to reduce the risk of infection, and when to make a follow-up appointment.
Arm Lift Costs
As with any elective surgery, the cost of arm lift surgery is a consideration for many patients. Cost may include a surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medications, and any associated medical tests. Cohn Plastic Surgery proudly offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask if such a plan is of interest to you.
For more information about arm lift surgery here in Birmingham, we invite you to call us at (205) 930-1600 – Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – to schedule an appointment. You may also use the Contact Form page to send us a message.