Arm Lift

Different factors, including aging, weight fluctuations and sun exposure, can lead to significant changes to the upper arm over time. As the skin becomes lax and begins to hang down underneath the upper arms, a “bat wing” look can start to develop. Particularly common in women, these changes can make them feel self-conscious in sleeveless garments and bathing suits. Surgical correction is usually needed to reverse the “bat wing” effect and restore a smoother, more sculpted contour to the upper arm.

From Dr. Barrett

“The most difficult part of a brachioplasty or arm lift procedure is concealing and minimizing the scar. It’s a very powerful operation that can improve the silhouette of the arms as well as allow a better fit to clothes. The precise closure of incisions and scar management are the most crucial parts of the operation and recovery. The surgeon must be very detailed and the patient must be very diligent in the postoperative scar management protocol.”

Arm lifts are popular choices among our female patients at Barrett Plastic Surgery. Loose, hanging skin can impact a woman’s appearance and her self-confidence when she looks in the mirror. Surgical correction boasts dramatic, long-lasting results, restoring a woman’s satisfaction with her body. Dr. Barrett understands the importance of tailoring the procedure to each of his patients, ensuring they achieve a natural, beautiful outcome.

What is an Arm Lift?

Brachioplasty procedures, known commonly as arm lifts, can help reshape the upper arm for a more cosmetically-pleasing appearance. The operation is particularly beneficial for loose and excess skin since exercise and even liposuction will not adequately correct the problem. Dr. Barrett performs brachioplasty on an outpatient basis, and while it does involve a rather lengthy incision, he takes care to place it in an inconspicuous area under the arm where noticeable scarring will be minimized as much as possible. Most women are happy to trade the scar for a smoother, sleeker upper arm profile.

Is an Arm Lift Right for You?

Dr. Barrett often recommends an arm lift for patients with one or more of the following concerns:

  • Excess skin hanging from the upper arm region
  • Arm skin that has lost tightness and elasticity over time
  • Flabby upper arms that make a woman self-conscious about her appearance
  • Uncomfortable clothing due to excess skin around the upper arm
  • Isolated fat on the upper arm that can’t be eliminated through exercise alone

It is helpful to achieve a stable weight before undergoing an arm lift since weight gain or loss can alter the results of the procedure. Liposuction may be performed during this procedure if fatty tissue is a problem in addition to the loose skin folds. Dr. Barrett will assess your situation to determine whether an arm lift or an arm lift combined with liposuction will be the best approach to meet your cosmetic goals.

Who is the Best Surgeon for You?

Dr. Barrett has considerable experience in all types of body contouring procedures, helping his patients turn back the clock, put the finishing touches on their weight loss program, or manage the side effects of substantial weight fluctuations. The upper arm is just one of the areas he addresses, taking the time to customize the procedure to the unique needs of each patient. Board-certified and highly qualified to perform these types of surgeries, you can rest assured you will receive excellent care and optimal results when you choose Dr. Barrett for your arm lift procedure.

Choices in an Arm Lift

The specific technique Dr. Barrett uses for your arm lift will depend on the amount of correction you need to create an optimal outcome. Choices might include:

Traditional Arm Lift

This procedure usually involves an incision that stretches down the underside of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. Loose skin is excised, and tissue can also be removed to create a naturally smooth contour.

Mini Arm Lift

This technique is restricted to patients that do not have as much skin that needs to be removed. A smaller incision is necessary to create the desired results, which are not as a dramatic as what you can expect with a traditional arm lift.

Liposuction and Radiofrequency Skin Tightening

Liposuction is a less invasive surgical procedure that removes stubborn fat deposits from the underside of the upper arm that have not reduced through exercise efforts. Liposuction eliminates fat cells in the area using a narrow tube called a cannula and gentle suction action. Liposuction can be used alone or at the same time as either of the two procedures above to optimize your final look. It can also be used with radiofrequency skin tightening devices such as venus legacy that will help tighten the skin after the fat is removed.

Preparing for Your Surgery

Dr. Barrett performs a comprehensive medical examination at your first visit to ensure surgery will be a safe option for you. You will need to be in good general health and a nonsmoker to be considered for the procedure. If you smoke, Dr. Barrett will advise you to stop for six weeks or more before surgery since nicotine poses unique risks during and after surgery.

At this initial appointment, Dr. Barrett will also give you a list of instructions to help you prepare for surgery. That list might include:

  • Stop taking medications that could create bleeding complications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and blood thinning drugs
  • Check with Dr. Barrett about supplements like vitamin E, fish oil and St. John’s wort since these substances can also cause potential bleeding problems during or after surgery
  • Have someone to take you home from your procedure and remain with you for a day or two as you begin your recovery process
  • Fill prescriptions ahead of time, so they are ready for you when you get home from surgery

Arm Lift Overview

Dr. Barrett performs an arm lift in approximately two hours, using either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the process. He will make the incisions in a discreet area to minimize both post-surgical pain and scarring. Through the incisions, Dr. Barrett will reduce pockets of fat, using liposuction if necessary to further enhance the effect. He will also tighten supportive tissues to create better muscle definition and remove excess skin for a smoother appearance. Incisions are closed using meticulous techniques that promote healing and create the most inconspicuous scarring possible.

After Your Arm Lift

You will experience some soreness for the first few days following surgery, with swelling and bruising that can last up to one month after your procedure. To ensure optimal results, Dr. Barrett recommends resting for at least one to two weeks to give the surgical site ample time to heal and avoid potential bleeding around the incisions. Movements will be limited due to compression dressings and elastic bandages used to cover your incisions. Dr. Barrett will provide more specific instructions on how to best care for yourself during the recovery period that will be tailored to your condition and procedure.

Restoring a Youthful Profile

The ability to reverse significant sagging in the upper arms can have a profound impact on your appearance and your confidence level. While an arm lift does require an investment of time to recover fully, the benefits will be both dramatic and long-lasting. If you would like to learn more about your options in brachioplasty, contact Barrett Plastic Surgery today at 310-598-2648.

Different factors, including aging, weight fluctuations and sun exposure, can lead to significant changes to the upper arm over time. As the skin becomes lax and begins to hang down underneath the upper arms, a “bat wing” look can start to develop. Particularly common in women, these changes can make them feel self-conscious in sleeveless garments and bathing suits. Surgical correction is usually needed to reverse the “bat wing” effect and restore a smoother, more sculpted contour to the upper arm.

From Dr. Barrett

“The most difficult part of a brachioplasty or arm lift procedure is concealing and minimizing the scar. It’s a very powerful operation that can improve the silhouette of the arms as well as allow a better fit to clothes. The precise closure of incisions and scar management are the most crucial parts of the operation and recovery. The surgeon must be very detailed and the patient must be very diligent in the postoperative scar management protocol.”

Arm lifts are popular choices among our female patients at Barrett Plastic Surgery. Loose, hanging skin can impact a woman’s appearance and her self-confidence when she looks in the mirror. Surgical correction boasts dramatic, long-lasting results, restoring a woman’s satisfaction with her body. Dr. Barrett understands the importance of tailoring the procedure to each of his patients, ensuring they achieve a natural, beautiful outcome.

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