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ARM LIFT

What is arm lift surgery?

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. Fluctuations in weight, growing older and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arm is sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat. Liposuction is sometimes used in combination to achieve the best results. Other procedures that might be performed in conjunction with an arm lift surgery are breast lift, upper body lift, and body contouring.

“Arm lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image, especially those coming from social media. Choosing a procedure based on “what’s new” is never a medically sound decision. Hearing about a procedure on television, through an advertisement or online does not necessarily mean it is the best procedure for you.”

Who is a good candidate for arm lift surgery?

In general, you may be a good candidate for arm lift surgery if you have lost the weight you desire, but are left with flabby or redundant underarm skin that does not improve with exercises, you are an adult with significant upper arm skin laxity due to ageing, you want to tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm, you have localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region, you are physically healthy, nonsmoker or have stopped smoking recently and if you have realistic expectations.

What should I expect during a consultation for arm lift surgery?

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Dr Ricardo will evaluate you as a candidate for arm lift surgery and clarify what approach is best for you. Alternative and additional treatments may be considered, once he understands your goals and medical condition. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation and be prepared to discuss your surgical goals, medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use and previous surgeries.

Dr Ricardo will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, evaluate the elasticity of your skin, take photographs, discuss the approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures and tell you whether your expectations are in line with typical results, discuss any risks or potential complications and share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours.

The success and safety of your arm lift surgery depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. It's very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr Ricardo.

How should I prepare for an arm lift surgery?

In preparing for arm lift surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking in advance of surgery and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Your surgery will be performed in an accredited hospital and is usually performed on an outpatient basis unless you and Dr Ricardo have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. You must arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you the first night following surgery.

Dr Ricardo and the entire staff will provide thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have. The goal is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your surgical experience as easy, comfortable, and safe as possible.

What are the steps of an arm lift procedure?

Step 1 – Anaesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia. Dr Ricardo will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – Surgical procedure

Incision length and pattern during arm lift surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the best judgment of Dr Ricardo. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm, or the back of the arm, and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow. Excess fat may be directly excised or treated with liposuction.

Depending on your specific condition, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures to provide a firmer and smoother arm contour.  Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Skin incisions are closed either with absorbable and non-absorbable sutures that are removed within two weeks following the surgery.

Step 4 – See the results

The smoother, tighter contours that result from a brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising. The new appearance may take as long as a year to fully appear.

What should I expect during my arm lift recovery?

During your recovery from arm lift surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling following surgery. Wear this exactly as directed. Remove it only as directed for cleansing incisions or showering.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr Ricardo. Remember to always follow his instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

The surgical incisions mustn't be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Initial wound healing may take 10 to 14 days. Sutures will be removed when it is appropriate. You should be ready to return to work and normal activity after 7-10 days. However, you must realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

What results should I expect after my arm lift surgery?

The smoother, tighter contours that result from your arm lift surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure. Initial results will be obscured by swelling and bruising, and a scar will remain where the incision was made.

Upper arm lift scars vary depending on the amount of excess tissue you have and the elasticity of your skin. Everyone’s body is different and many factors contribute to scar healing. However, even patients who undergo a standard brachioplasty, which results in larger scars, are usually quite satisfied with the results. You will look much better in form-fitting clothes and will be able to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless clothing without feeling self-conscious.

The results of arm lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.

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