As you get older, the skin on the upper part of your arms will lose elasticity, making it sag and become loose. Unfortunately, the upper arms are one of the most challenging areas to tone and are often unable to be transformed even with upper-body exercises.

Arm lift surgery (brachioplasty) addresses sagging upper arms by removing excess fat, smoothing and tightening underlying tissues, and trimming excess skin. Following an arm lift, your arms will have a smaller circumference and look more toned and defined.

Am I a Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?

Arm lift surgery is common for women and men hoping to restore youthful, toned arms after weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. This procedure may be right for you if you are displeased with the hanging skin or “bat wing” appearance on your upper arms.

Candidates for arm lift surgery do not smoke, are in good overall health, and have realistic expectations of their results. Fluctuations in weight can influence the shape of your body and the amount of fat or skin present; therefore, it is best to be at a stable and healthy weight.

How Is Arm Lift Surgery Performed?

Arm lift surgery is performed to reduce the circumference of the arm and restore tone. This can be achieved using several techniques with the assistance of anesthesia.

Traditionally, the incision is made on the inside of the arm that extends downward from the armpit to the elbow. The length of this incision depends on the amount of laxity present.

A limited incision arm lift may be appropriate for patients with a lesser degree of loose skin and excess fat. The incision for this technique is isolated to the armpit, allowing for less post-operative scarring.

Excision and liposuction techniques are utilized to trim excess skin and remove unwanted fat from the upper arms. Once this has been done, the tissues are sutured, and the incisions are closed.

While this procedure does not create muscles, it highlights the musculature that you already have, making your arms appear more toned and fit.

What Should I Expect From My Arm Lift Recovery?

Arm lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, and you can return home to recover shortly after the anesthesia wears off.

After the surgery, you will be required to take some time for your recovery. It is common to develop bruising, swelling, numbness, and tenderness in the arms as well as the hands. A temporary drainage tube is usually not required but may be inserted to eliminate any fluid build-up. Compression garments are sometimes not beneficial, as the elastic rolls can form a harmful tourniquet around your upper arms. Fortunately, the arms do not swell like the legs, and garments are seldom very helpful.

Most arm lift patients return to work and day-to-day activities after one week, but strenuous exercise, including lifting, pushing, or pulling anything over ten pounds, is restricted for up to four weeks.

Dr. Hiatt will provide you with post-arm lift recovery instructions while at home. These instructions will include a timeline for follow-up appointments, warning signs to be on the lookout for, medications you can take, and how to take care of the wounds.

Are there risks associated with arm lift surgery?

Like all surgical procedures, arm lift surgery carries some risk, including adverse reactions to the anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and changes in skin sensation. You can reduce your chances of these risks by not smoking or rushing your recovery and by following all of Dr. Hiatt’s pre-and post-operative instructions.

When Will I See the Results of My Arm Lift?

Results after arm lift surgery start to become noticeable soon after the procedure; however, as there is some bruising and swelling, it can take several weeks for the final results to develop.

After your arm lift, you will notice increased firmness and tone in your upper arms. These results are long lasting, barring significant weight gain. Arm lift surgery does not stop the natural aging process, and you may lose some firmness as you age. You can prolong the quality of your results by maintaining a stable weight with a healthy lifestyle.

Interested in Arm Lift Surgery in Mesa, AZ?

If you would like to learn more about arm lift surgery, including the cost of your procedure, contact Dr. Hiatt at his Mesa, Arizona, office by calling (480) 844-1410 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Hiatt is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which ensures that he has the training and experience to provide a safe and effective procedure. He is also a member of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Aesthetic Society (ASAPS).