An arm lift is a popular body contouring procedure designed to address hanging skin in the upper arms for improved definition and contour. Whether as a result of gravity, the natural aging process, or significant weight loss, excess skin usually congregates in the region from the underarm to the inner elbow. This accumulation of loose skin and fat is often resistant to diet and exercise and can compromise a toned upper arm appearance. An arm lift, also referred to as a brachioplasty, can be utilized to minimize laxity in the area and reduce excess skin for a sleeker silhouette and tighter look in the upper arms.
What Can an Arm Lift Address?
An arm lift performed by Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz or Dr. Karan Chopra, our plastic surgeons, can help resolve a number of aesthetic concerns in the upper arms. While primarily used to target excess skin, individuals who are also affected by a significant amount of stubborn fat in the area can combine an arm lift with a liposuction procedure for more comprehensive body contouring. Generally speaking, an arm lift can:
- Remove loose skin in the upper arms
- Tighten the underlying structures that define the arm shape for improved contour
During the consultation process, your plastic surgeon will assess your medical history and ask you about your cosmetic desires. Good candidates for an arm lift include individuals who are at or near their ideal weight and are seeking to enhance the appearance of their upper arms. After examining your areas of concern, Dr. Joe or Dr. Chopra will help you determine whether an arm lift can provide the desired improvement, or suggest alternative treatments that can fulfill your aesthetic goals more effectively.
How is the Arm Lift Procedure Performed?
Depending on the quality of your skin, your unique treatment plan, and the amount of skin planned for excision, the way in which the arm lift procedure is performed will vary by patient. An incision will be made in either the inner arm, back of the arm, or a natural crease of the underarm. Dr. Joe or Dr. Chopra will utilize the approach that can yield the most natural-looking results for your unique situation. In general, the procedure involves removing the appropriate amount of excess skin while your remaining skin is redraped for a smoother and more defined upper arm appearance. According to your unique needs, liposuction may also be utilized to remove excess fat and make the area appear firmer and more toned. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and utilizes general anesthesia.
What is Recovery for an Arm Lift Like?
After surgery, the cosmetic result from an arm lift should be immediately apparent and generally improves as swelling dissipates. A compression garment or ACE™ bandage may be temporarily worn over the area to facilitate proper healing and the natural contraction of your skin. Mild bruising may occur, but usually fades within a few days. Many patients can return to their normal daily routines within one week, although strenuous activity and aerobic exercise should be avoided for two additional weeks. While an arm lift can provide exceptional results that are long-lasting, men and women can prolong the aesthetic outcome of surgery by maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising regularly.
How Long Do Arm Lift Results Last?
Those who undergo an arm lift typically enjoy their body contouring results for decades and do not seek out future treatment. The final outcome of brachioplasty can last for a lifetime if you preserve your results with healthy lifestyle choices. The aging process does not stop, but the vast majority of patients who commit to nutritious eating habits and regular exercise do not experience the same loss of contour in their upper arms after surgery. Our plastic surgeons recommend avoiding smoking and unprotected sun exposure following the procedure, as these factors can deteriorate the quality of the skin and lead to additional laxity. In cases wherein fatty deposits return to the upper arms due to weight gain, patients often successfully resolve their concerns with non-surgical CoolSculpting® treatment.
Will I Have Brachioplasty Scarring?
Some amount of scarring after any surgery is inevitable, but Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra take great care to achieve the most inconspicuous arm lift scars possible. The shape and size of your scars should follow the length of your incisions, and your plastic surgeon will show you where they are likely to appear during your consultation. The most common incisions are placed either on the inside of the arm, within a natural fold in the underarm, or along the back of the arm. The technique utilized during your procedure will depend on your needs and the amount of skin laxity experienced.
With all three types of incisions, patients often find that their scars heal very well and can even fade to some degree over time. This is more likely if you closely follow your plastic surgeon’s after-care instructions to promote optimal wound healing.
How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?
The cost of an arm lift is estimated to range between $4,000 and $6,000 according to nationwide statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This figure is purely an average and does not include other procedural costs, such as fees for anesthesia, the surgical facility, and similar associated expenses. While an in-person consultation is necessary to assess your needs and provide an accurate cost estimate, rest assured that our patient care coordinator will give you a breakdown of the total costs during your initial appointment.
Our practice offers different plastic surgery financing options so qualified patients can easily find a manageable payment plan for their unique budget. If you wish to pay for your arm lift through smaller installments, CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit have many flexible arrangements available to accommodate your needs. Please contact Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery if you would like to learn more about the cost of brachioplasty.
For more information about our body plastic surgery procedures, or to schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeons, please contact our practice today.