Loose upper arm skin is most often related to weight loss. If you were ever overweight, you more than likely developed heavy upper arms. To accommodate the increased volume of the upper arms, your skin stretched. After weight loss, the skin often fails to tighten, and so it sags. The only way to improve this problem is through an arm lift, also called brachioplasty.
Is Liposuction an Option?
Not if your problem is due to loose skin. The only time lipo is a better choice is when there is a lot of fat and the skin is tight. When the skin is loose, an arm lift is usually the best choice.
Incisions and Scars in Arm Lift
Scars are the greatest drawback of this operation. They will extend from the armpit to the elbow, along the inside of the arm. This operation exchanges one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). In general, those with very loose saggy skin are most likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will probably not want the scars.
Arm Lift: During and After Surgery
Anesthesia: General or sedation.
Location of operation: Hospital.
Length of surgery: 1-2 hours
Discomfort: Mild to moderate. Anticipate 2-5 days of prescription pain medication.
Swelling: Improves over 14 days.
Bruising: Is rare.
Bandages: Will be removed in 1-7 days.
Back to work: 3-7 days.
Exercise: May be resumed in 2 weeks.
Final result: Will be seen after the scars have matured, which will be about six months.
Tips and Traps of Arm Lift
- Realize that this operation involves the exchange of one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). If you are unwilling to accept scars, you should not have this operation, as no surgeon can predict how the scars will heal on you.
- Arm lift is for loose skin. If your main problem is heavy arms due to excess fat, then lipo may be a better option.
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.