An arm lift is popular procedure that typically involves using a combination of liposuction and surgery to remove excess fat and loose skin and restore a firm, toned, youthful appearance to the upper arms.
This area of the body can be difficult to target with weight loss and exercise alone and, indeed, if you lose a lot of weight, it often makes the problem of loose skin worse.
If you are self-conscious about your upper arms because of loose skin and/or stubborn fat deposits, you may benefit from an arm lift. This procedure is particularly beneficial for women or men who have lost a lot of weight and/or have lost elasticity due to aging and who want to restore the firmness and overall appearance of their upper arms.
An arm lift is not a substitute for proper diet and exercise, and a significant fluctuation in weight after surgery can reduce its benefits. If you are planning further weight loss, it's best to wait to have an arm lift.
You should have no major medical problems. You must be emotionally mature, understand your motivations for having this procedure, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve. Ideally you do not smoke as nonsmokers heal faster and have less risks in any surgery.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your concerns and goals and advise you on what procedure(s) will lead to results that best fit your expectations.
Day surgery time approx 2 hours
Recovery room up to 2 hours
May resume simple activities within a couple days.
Return to work 1-2 weeks
The surgery is done under general anaesthetic and is performed as a day-care surgery, which means you can go home the same day.
You will have a preoperative visit with a nurse to review the details of what to expect during your surgery and recovery. You may need to get some baseline blood tests and sometimes meet with an anesthesiologist prior to surgery. You will be asked to stop taking all over-the-counter pain or fever medicines (except Tylenol) and blood thinners for two weeks prior to your procedure. Many herbal medicines can also cause bleeding and so need to be stopped before surgery, including ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and high doses of fish oil, flax seed oil, or vitamin E.
After surgery, you will notice a difference in your arm's shape. However, the final result for most patients is evident after about 1-6 months. The results are permanent with sensible diet and exercise. Simple activities are possible within a few days but heavy lifting should be avoided for a few weeks, so parents of young children may want extra help during this time. You should discuss returning to work with your surgeon before your surgery. Depending on your work and your particular surgery, you may need to take from a few days to a couple of weeks off work.
As in any surgery, risks include infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bruising or bleeding, and reaction to anaesthetic. Issues specific to this surgery include asymmetry, numb skin, and contour irregularities. Complications are very rare if an arm lift is done by a board-certified plastic surgeon in conjunction with a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist.