Upper Arm Contouring: Your Guide to Getting an Arm Lift

Conveniently located to serve Pensacola, FL.

Front desk photo of Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery office

If you want to have toned, slim arms and you’re struggling to get rid of stubborn fat and hanging skin, then having an arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, can improve your appearance. This procedure is also suitable for people who are left with an excess of unwanted skin on their upper arms after losing a large amount of weight. 

Before you decide if a brachioplasty is right for you, here are a few things to know about the surgery.

What Can an Arm Lift Do for You?

Even fit, healthy people can have "batwing" arms, a term that alludes to unwanted fat and loose skin above the elbow that makes your limbs look jiggly and out of proportion to the rest of your body. An arm lift can smooth out your skin, tighten the tissues that rest above your triceps, and remove resistant fat deposits to give your limbs a sleeker shape.

The Arm Lift Procedure

Arm lifts are outpatient procedures involving anesthesia, incisions, reshaping, and suturing that usually take one or two hours to complete. A typical procedure goes like this:

Step 1: Anesthesia

During the surgery, you will be placed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. These will be discussed with you with our plastic surgery team during your initial consultation.

Step 2: Making the Incisions

We will make an incision on the inside or back of your arm. These cuts may extend from below your armpit to just above your elbow, but their placement, shape, and length may vary depending on your particular needs.

Step 3: Reshaping Your Tissues

Once the inner tissues of your arm are exposed, we will surgically excise or suction out excess fat, then tighten and reshape the contours of your arms. We will also remove excess skin and pull the remaining skin together in a manner that will minimize scarring.

Step 4: Closing Your Incisions

After we finish reshaping your arms, we will close your incisions with absorbable sutures or with traditional stitches that can be removed within two weeks after your procedure.

Following your surgery, you will immediately notice an improvement in the shape of your arms, and you’ll also experience bruising and swelling. Although you will develop incision scars, your surgeon can help minimize their appearance. You’re likely to experience pain or discomfort after your surgery, but it will subside over time. 

Be sure to follow our aftercare instructions and wear a compression garment to help with healing, which typically takes about two weeks.

Who Can Get an Arm Lift?

The best candidates for arm lift surgery will:

  • Be able to maintain a healthy, stable weight
  • Have an excessive amount of lax upper arm skin
  • Have no serious medical issues
  • Be realistic about the procedure’s potential outcomes

Individuals who are not ideal candidates for an arm lift will:

  • Have tight upper arm skin
  • Be extremely overweight
  • Be unable to commit to a healthy lifestyle
  • Be unable to maintain a stable weight
  • Be unable to stop smoking for six weeks leading up to the surgery and six weeks after the procedure is complete.
  • Have health conditions including 
    • Lymphoedema
    • Heart and lung conditions
    • Anemia
    • Poor kidney function
    • Advanced diabetes mellitus
    • Nutritional deficiencies

What to Expect During a Consultation

Before you schedule an arm lift, you will meet with a specialist in Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery to discuss your surgical options, aesthetic goals, and feelings about the potential for scarring. We will evaluate your health and ask you about your medical history, allergies, and current use of medications, vitamins, supplements, and other substances. 

Additionally, we will also take photographs of your arms as a preparatory measure. It’s important that we discuss the risks and likely results of your surgery before proceeding.

A personalized consultation is a great opportunity to establish clear communication with your medical team and ensure that you’ll have the best possible chance of attaining the results you desire.

Recovery Tips

After arm lift surgery, it takes time for your body to heal properly. Here are some tips for speeding up your recovery.

  1. Refrain from taking on strenuous exercises and activities that involve lifting heavy weights until your arms have fully recovered.
  2. To reduce inflammation and encourage your wounds to drain, elevate your arms with pillows and sleep on your back.
  3. Use ice packs to help reduce swelling in your arms, connecting tissues, and back.
  4. Apply an anti-scar gel or cream to your incision site to help your skin heal and minimize the appearance of your scars.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Team

If excess fat and skin on your upper arms are affecting your self-image, an arm lift can help improve your appearance. 

To learn more about how this surgery can be tailored to your needs, schedule a consultation with one of our expert surgeons Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery in Pensacola, FL. Our experienced team will be delighted to help you get the slimmer, more attractive limbs you desire so that you can feel confident in your skin.

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