• 6 January 2021
  • Dr Masood Ansari

You may have noticed that as you age, the skin under your upper arms is beginning to sag. This could also be happening if you’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight and this skin is not conforming to your new body. Fortunately, there is a surgical procedure called an arm lift that can help you tighten your skin and regain your confidence. At My Cosmetic Clinic in Crow’s Nest and Sydney, you can undergo this procedure and improve your appearance.

How Does an Arm Lift Work?

Overview

This procedure, also known medically as a Brachioplasty, consists of removing the excess skin and fat between your elbow and armpit. Your remaining skin is then positioned back over the newly contoured area to create the appearance of toned underarm. Sometimes, a Brachioplasty is combined with a liposuction procedure in which larger amounts of fat under the arm are removed to improve the arm’s appearance. The incision is then stitched to keep the new contours in place.

The Procedure

The incision will be made under your arm in a place where scarring won’t be noticeable, and the length of your incision will depend on how much skin your surgeon removes. The underlying structures of your arm will be tightened and stitched in place, and if your procedure is combined with liposuction, excess fat will be removed. When the tissues under your arm are tightened and the fat is removed, there will be less skin needed to cover the area.

Your skin will then be draped over the newly-tightened structures and the skin that is not needed to cover the area will be removed. Finally, the reduced amount of skin will be stitched into place, taking care to create a smooth and defined surface under your arm. Your incision will be covered with a bandage and your arm will be wrapped loosely to protect the incision site. If necessary, drainage tubes may be placed to aid in draining excess fluids.

Recovery

The recovery time for a Brachioplasty is short, as you only need the incision to heal. You’ll be seen by your surgeon the day after your procedure to remove the bandage and drainage tube (if used). You may be advised to wear a compression sleeve for a time to improve circulation in the area.

You should avoid lifting your arm above your head for approximately a month following your procedure, and avoid activities that could cause your incision to stretch.

Results

Removing loose skin and excess fat from under your arms will give your upper arms a more defined appearance. These results are typically long-lasting, though as you continue to age, your skin will continue to sag. Keeping yourself at a healthy and stable weight will stave off the sagging for a longer period of time, though, so it’s recommended you do not undergo this procedure until you have lost all the weight you need to lose.

Ideal Candidate

The perfect candidate for a Brachioplasty is someone who has lost a significant amount of weight and is currently at a stable, healthy weight. You shouldn’t get this procedure if you’re obese or have a weight that constantly fluctuates.

You are also a good candidate if you have excess sagging skin under your upper arms due to age and you are at a stable, healthy weight. Smokers and people with medical conditions that interfere with wound healing are not candidates.

Preparation

To prepare for a Brachioplasty, you’ll want to get a consultation with your surgeon, who will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking, including any supplements or over-the-counter drugs. You should also tell them about any surgeries you’ve had and any complications you experienced from those surgeries. Your physical exam will consist of the doctor examining your upper arms and taking pictures.

Your surgeon will also talk to you about your results expectations to ensure they are realistic. You should expect to feel lighter in your arms, have improved confidence and self-esteem, and have more defined arms once you’re fully healed from the surgery. You’ll probably also be given non-surgical options to consider before undergoing this procedure, which may include exercise and weight loss. If you decide the procedure is right for you, and you smoke, now’s the time to quit.

Reasons to Get a Brachioplasty

Other than appearance, reasons to get this procedure done include having more freedom of movement to participate in activities you enjoy, avoiding skin irritation, and preventing fungal infections, which occur at higher rates in people who have excess skin under their arms. Most people elect to have this surgery, though, to boost their self-confidence. Exercise alone will not restore lost elasticity in the skin, so some patients get frustrated with their efforts and decide to solve the problem surgically.

Next Steps

If you have excess, sagging skin under your arms, you could be a great candidate for a Brachioplasty procedure. Contact My Cosmetic Clinic in Crow’s Nest and Sydney to schedule your consultation to speak with us about your options.

Dr Masood Ansari
About The Author

Dr Masood Ansari

Dr Ansari has undergone nine years of extensive surgical training around the globe. He received his initial surgical training under the auspices of the National Health Services (NHS) in the United Kingdom and obtained Membership in the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 2006. Due to his particularly keen interest in surgical research, Dr Ansari has been involved in multiple academic research projects and was awarded a Masters (MSc) in Advanced Surgical Practice from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

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