What is an Arm Lift ?
Despite hours of working out, loose skin cannot be tightened through one’s own efforts. Because of this, the upper arm may have an undesirable contour. Excess skin can bulge or droop between the armpit to the elbow. This can develop due to age, as skin loses elasticity, or after significant weight loss. This part of the body is especially hard to define despite the presence of strength or underlying muscle tone.
An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure that lifts and tightens the skin of the upper arm to create a more trim and contoured arm shape.
By making an incision underneath the arm, running from the armpit to the elbow, the surgeon can reposition muscles and ligaments, removing excess fat when necessary, and excise lax skin that gives the arm its sagging appearance. The positioning of the incision leaves the patients with a seldom noticeable scar that continues to fade over time and the confidence to show off their arms in sleeveless tops.
During the patient’s consultation, Dr Mohamed EL Assal will ask about the patient’s concerns and what they hope to achieve from brachioplasty. The surgeon will conduct an examination to determine whether or not brachioplasty would be a good choice given their case. In some instances, the surgeon may recommend an alternate or additional procedure to achieve the best results.
At the time of the consultation, the surgeon and skilled staff will work with the patient to develop a detailed plan for their treatment. This will include how to prepare for the surgery, what to expect during the procedure, and how to ensure recovery is as seamless as possible. At M-E CLINIC, we pride ourselves on the attentive and welcoming nature of our surgeons, staff, and facilities. Please feel free to ask any and all questions.
ARM LIFT TECHNIQUES
Depending on the severity of a patient’s condition and what they hope to achieve, Dr Mohamed EL Assal will utilize one of three arm lift techniques. The main differences between the techniques are the size of the incisions and “problem areas” that can be addressed.
The traditional arm lift utilizes an incision running from the armpit to the elbow. The incision will be made so that it is hidden from as many angles as possible. Then, tissue is removed or repositioned, and excess fat can be suctioned via liposuction if necessary. The skin is then redraped to remove excess skin, giving taut and trim appearance. This is the most commonly performed arm lift procedure, although it is by no means “one size fits all.”
A mini arm lift will not offer the comprehensive results of a traditional arm lift, but is a very good option for candidates with a minimal amount of sagging skin. In this procedure, a smaller incision is made along the base of the arm near the armpit. Through the smaller incision, excess skin is removed, fat is sometimes removed as well, and then the incision is closed and sutured. This leaves more inconspicuous scars than in a traditional arm lift.
An extended arm lift uses the same incision as the traditional arm lift, but the incision continues along the armpit and ends just below it. The incision is shaped somewhat like the letter L, which is why it can also be referred to as L-shaped brachioplasty. This extended incision allows the surgeon to also remove fat and excess skin from the underarm and the sides of the chest, adding more shape and definition in this area. This procedure is generally reserved for those who have gone through extreme weight fluctuations, but offers the most comprehensive results.
Arm Lift vs Arm Liposuction
Liposuction on the arms can sometimes be considered as an alternative to to an arm lift, especially with the use of Vaser,Liposound, Liposaver technology which can use Ultrasound liposuction to stimulate skin contraction. Liposuction would be a better option for candidates who have localized fat depositsin their arms that are not responding to diet and exercise. However, liposuction may not be sufficient for candidates with moderate to poor skin elasticity. An arm lift and liposuction can be performed together to achieve optimal results if both lax skin and fat deposits are a concern.
Neither procedure is superior to the other, as it depends completely on the current state of the patient’s arms and the look they hope to achieve. The appropriate procedure plan will be outlined at the time of the consultation.
Arm Lift Recovery
Prior to surgery, patients will be provided with detailed information about the recovery plan for their specific case. In general, the patient will be equipped with a compression garment that should be worn for the prescribed amount of time. The compression garment will decrease swelling and help ensure that the operated areas settle in the desired contour long after the procedure. It will also aid in reducing bruising and promoting good blood flow.
There may be some discomfort in the days following surgery. Patients will be provided with a prescription medication that they should fill in advance of the operation. However, any discomfort should reduce greatly over the course of first week. Patients are free to return to their normal routines in one to two weeks. However, they should avoid heavy lifting until the recommended time; this is generally in a month.