Loose Arm Skin
Loose upper arm skin is most often related to weight loss. If you were ever overweight, you more than likely developed heavy upper arms. To accommodate the increased volume of the upper arms, your skin stretched. After weight loss, skin often fails to tighten, and so it sags. The only way to improve this problem is through an arm lift, also called brachioplasty.
Incisions and scars are the greatest drawback of this operation. They will extend from the armpit to the elbow, along the inside of the arm. Some patients are candidates for a minimal scar that is hidden in the armpit.
Arm Lift: During and After Surgery
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia usually in an outpatient surgery center. The surgery takes about 3-4 hours. Most patients are swollen and sore for 5-7 days and need prescription pain medication. The initial swelling and bruising usually lasts about 14 days and all sutures are dissolvable. You will likely need drains for a few days after surgery. Most patients can return to work in 2 weeks. I advise my patients to wait a full 6-8 weeks before exercising the arms. Scars will take about a year to fade.
Important things to remember!
- Realize that this operation involves the exchange of one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). If you are unwilling to accept scars, you should not have this operation, as no surgeon can predict how the scars will heal on you.
- Arm lift is for loose skin. If your main problem is heavy arms due to excess fat, then lipo may be a better option. However, we often use a combination of liposuction and arm lift to create the desired cosmetic result.
These are photos of a patient 2 months after brachioplasty.