The arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that is performed by our plastic surgeons to address contour problems in the upper arms. After significant weight loss, for example, there may be an accumulation of loose or excess skin hanging below the inside of the upper arms.
The arm lift involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the upper arms–often with a combined approach of liposuction and surgical excision. Liposuction is the technique used to dislodge and remove fat. In some cases, liposuction, alone, may be all that is necessary to correct the problem; however, if the amount of surplus skin is substantial, surgical removal of tissue will also be needed.
The arm lift may help those who are tired of the way in which the skin on their upper arms hangs–a condition also described as bat-wing arms. Candidates for this surgery should be non-smokers and should be generally healthy. They should also be willing to accept the scar that will result from arm lift surgery.
The course of action to be taken will be determined during a consultation with your plastic surgeon in North Carolina. During this time, your surgeon will gauge whether or not liposuction will be used alone or with excision to produce the desired results.
Your arm lift procedure will take place in an outpatient setting. Local or general anesthesia will be used, depending on your needs.
To access the arm area, incisions are made in the inner part of the arm, extending under the arm to the elbow. With liposuction surgery, a tumescent solution is used to aid in the removal process by hardening the fat. A dual-function cannula is then used to break up and vacuum the fat. The surgeon then removes the excess skin, tightens the underlying tissues, redrapes the skin and places sutures to close the incisions.
Following your medical team’s postoperative care instructions is imperative to a successful recovery. It is important, for example, that you keep your arms elevated during this time and limit movement. Swelling and bruising should subside within two weeks. You will be given pain medication to control these symptoms as well as instructions on how to care for the incisions. Arm lift recovery time is estimated to take two-to-four weeks.
If you are interested in learning more about the arm lift, we hope you will consider setting up a consultation at the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center in the Plastic Surgery Division at UNC in Chapel Hill. Our surgeons are board certified and are dedicated to offering only the best patient care. Our plastic surgery service area includes: Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Greenville, Wake Forest, Greensboro, Garner, Burlington, Apex, Sanford, Knightdale, Clayton, Fuquay Varina, Goldsboro, Fort Bragg, Jacksonville, and Pittsboro, North Carolina.