Do you have “bat wings”? Whether caused by the natural effects of aging or by substantial weight loss, loose, flapping skin on the upper arm might be cause for an upper arm lift (brachioplasty). Let’s get the facts on this fast growing procedure.
What is a Brachioplasty?
A brachioplasty or upper arm lift is a surgical body contouring procedure that reshapes the arm. This is accomplished by tightening loose skin and removing excess fat. The procedure can be performed on its own, but is often paired with other body contouring procedures or liposuction.
One of the Fastest Growing Procedures
The upper arm lift is one of the fastest growing plastic surgery of the past decade. In 2013, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that the number of brachioplasty procedures performed jumped more than 4300% over the decade previous.
Arm lifts are often needed after massive weight loss. Here at the Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville, we often include brachioplasty as a part of our post-bariatric surgery. An arm lift can tighten up and remove loose skin on the arms, restoring your body to its best possible shape.
Tighter, More Attractive Arms
Massive weight loss isn’t the only reason you might consider brachioplasty; many patients opt for the surgery to tighten sagging arm skin caused by aging or genetics. If you’ve got loose, flapping skin on the arms, brachioplasty might be just what you need. Not all of our patients that want to tighten up their arms need a lift. For some patients with good skin quality, liposuction is enough to achieve their goals.
The arm lift procedure involves making an incision along the front of the arm just below the belly of the biceps muscle. Excess fat, tissue, and skin are then removed. The incisions usually extend from the elbow up along the inner surface of the upper arm into the armpit. The incision is closed and the arm is placed into a compression sleeve to promote healing and minimize swelling. When all healed, the scar is well hidden when your arm is relaxed against your upper body. It is visible if you raise your arms up (like you were taking an oath) or if you raise them above your head.
Recovery After an Arm Lift
An upper arm lift is often performed in conjunction with other procedures as part of a post-bariatric surgery. Recovery times vary quite a bit depending on the procedures performed. For those receiving brachioplasty on its own, expect to take about a week off of work. You’ll also need to avoid strenuous activities for several weeks while you heal.
The bottom line on brachioplasty is this: A fairly lengthy and sometimes visible incision is required for this procedure. If the scar will bother you as much or more than the loose hanging skin, then it’s not worth it. Most people make fine white scars that are not terribly noticeable, but some people make thicker or red scars, especially if the arms are still pretty heavy. Even if the scars are not optimal, almost everyone feels more confident in short sleeves and almost all patients find it MUCH easier to fit in many shirts and jackets.
For the arms you’ve always wanted, come see us about an upper arm lift. Call our offices today at 615-467-6777 to schedule your consultation.