An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to reshape the upper arm area or ‘bingo wings’, by removing any excess fat and skin,
Am I a suitable candidate for an arm lift?
As we age, loss of elasticity can mean sagging skin appearing on all areas of the body. The arms are particularly prone to this problem and many men and women find it impossible to tone up the upper arms, even if they are very slim elsewhere.
Scarring is an important consideration when deciding to undergo an arm lift procedure as the incision may extend all the way to elbow and it can be a difficult area to hide. If you are prone to keloid scarring, where scars appear red and very swollen beyond the initial incision or cut, you may be unsuitable for an arm lift procedure.
If skin tone is good then liposuction might be the preferred option as the incisions made during a liposuction procedure are much smaller and can be sited in the creases of the skin.
What happens during an arm lift procedure?
An arm lift is usually performed under a general anaesthetic and typically takes from one to two hours. The length of the incision is determined by how far excess fat and skin extend down the arm. I tend to use a combination of liposuction and skin/fat excision to improve the contour of the arms if you have an excess of skin. You will usually return home after a one night stay in hospital.
Are there any possible risks or complications associated with an arm lift procedure?
Initial recovery after an arm lift can take a couple of weeks. In that time, you will notice bruising and swelling that will gradually disappear. Discomfort and pain in the initial period after an arm lift are usually controllable with oral painkillers. You will need to wear a compression garment to help control the swelling for about 6 weeks after the surgery. It can take up to 3 months for the swelling to go completely so that you can then see the final results. You can usually get back to the gym after 2 weeks to do cardiovascular work and 4 weeks to do weights and upper body work. You can usually drive between 2 and 4 weeks post-surgery, but only as long as you feel you can safely control your car, particularly if you have to make an emergency stop.
Any surgical procedure can entail a number of potential complications such as nerve damage leading to numbness, blood clots or a collection of fluid and/or blood under the surface of the skin.
What results can I expect from my arm lift procedure?
I always take the time to explain the possible downsides to any surgery so that you are fully prepared for what to expect after your arm lift procedure, including the extent of the scarring. Patients are generally pleased with the results, despite the long scars that are often required to get the maximum arm reduction.