Restore the Body You Remember
from Years Gone By
A Brachioplasty, otherwise known as an arm lift, can remove the excess skin and fat deposits, leaving the upper arms with a more pleasing and youthful contour. As a person ages, upper arm skin can become loose and flabby. Dr. Carlin will consult with you about undergoing surgery for an arm lift if you wish to tighten your underarm skin for a fresher and more youthful look.
To accomplish this look, an incision will be made that extends from the elbow to the underarm, and sometimes onto the side of the chest. In some cases, Dr. Carlin may also recommend that liposuction be used alone or in conjunction with an arm lift to remove excess fat in the upper arms. Upper arm excess in a massive weight loss patient usually crosses the arm pit and involves loose skin that extends onto the chest region.
Benefits of a Arm Lift
As you get older, the skin on your upper arms changes.
It begins to sag and become loose. Additionally, weight loss also can cause
the undersides of your upper arms to droop.
Exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the upper arm, but it can’t address excess skin that has lost elasticity. By removing loos skin, an arm lift can give your upper arms a toned appearance and boost your body image. Arm lift results are typically long lasting and some benefits include:
- Excess fat and skin are removed
- Change in tone and shape
- Improved contours
- Better proportions
- Scars are hidden
- Confidence is restored
- More clothing options
- Better workout results
Am I good candidate for upper arm lift?
Arm Lift surgery can be performed on a large variety of patients including normal weight patients who simply need a little tightening. However the majority of patients are massive weight loss patients that have stabilized their weight loss and do not have out of control medical problems.
They present with excess skin and fat in their upper arms. Many of these patients complain that their arms feel and look like “bat wings”. Occasionally some older women have a lot of extra skin that is bothersome and would also be reasonable candidates.
Will there be scarring with
arm lift surgery?
Upper arm reduction involves the removal of skin and necessitates the creation of a scar that starts near the elbow, traverses to the arm pit, and often crosses onto the chest wall. Any scar goes through a maturation process, which takes a year to complete. Most scars are conspicuous, at least initially.
Some surgeons prefer to place the upper arm reduction scar on the inner arm aspect so that it is not visible when the patient’s arm is by their side. Other surgeons prefer to place the scar a bit more towards the back of the arm so that it is not visible from the front, especially when the patient is observed from the front while moving the arm.
Will arm lift surgery be painful?
Postoperative pain is subjective and will vary considerably from person to person. The average patient undergoing an upper arm reduction procedure will usually require a few days of oral pain medication to treat discomfort. Over a 7 to 10 day period most people resolve the majority of their acute postoperative pain.
The lower body lift surgical procedure tightens loose, sagging skin in the buttocks, posterior thighs, hips, outer thighs, and anterior thighs. It utilizes incisions which pass from the back around the hips to the front of the thighs. The loose skin, as well as underlying fat tissue, is removed from below the incision to allow suspension of the remaining tissues to stretch and smooth the lower body, especially the buttocks and thighs.
The surgery begins in the back and requires repositioning during the surgery to address the hips and outer thighs and front of the thighs. It can be combined with an abdominal skin tightening if needed. If a previous tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) has been performed or is not needed, the lower body lift can be extended to tighten the inner thighs.
The incisions are designed to be hidden by clothing and sportswear or to lie in normally occurring anatomic folds. Layered suture techniques are used to carefully close the area of incision in order to maintain the lift, tightening and smoothing the remaining skin.
Swelling, which is commonly seen after body lift surgery, is controlled by compression garments and the use of drains, sterile collection tubes used to evacuate excess fluid.
Weekly follow up visits help to achieve an optimal outcome by allowing adjustments based on visible progress which varies among patients. Full healing of the circumferential incisions may take four weeks or even longer.
Am I a good candidate for
lower body lift surgery?
Patients who benefit from lower body lift surgery have:
- Loose skin in their buttocks and back of their thighs
- Loose skin in their hips and side of their thighs
- Loose skin in the front of their thighs
- Loose abdominal skin or in their inner thighs
- Relatively thin layers of fat below the skin of these areas
- Acceptance of the thin scars around the waist
- Patients who have had massive weight loss
Each patient’s anatomy and proportions of loose skin vary from individual to individual. The decision to utilize lower body lifting techniques depends upon your goals and expectations as well as an examination by your surgeon. This will help determine whether the lower body lift will achieve a satisfactory outcome for you.
Women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat that is
concentrated in the abdomen can benefit from abdominoplasty.
Sometimes these conditions are inherited. In other instances, substantial weight loss may cause abdominal skin to become flaccid. Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy.
The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel. During the consultation, you will be asked about the results you would like to achieve from abdominoplasty. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.
How will my plastic surgeon evaluate
me for abdominoplasty?
Your plastic surgeon may examine your abdomen while you are standing
as well as lying down. Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin in
the abdominal region will be assessed.
Your surgeon also will evaluate the amount of excess fat in your abdomen and the condition of your abdominal muscles.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history.
This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, pregnancies, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
Am I a good candidate
You may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Excess or sagging abdominal skin
- An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body
- Abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened
- Excess fatty tissue that is concentrated in your abdomen
If you plan to become pregnant or lose weight in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon. Scarring from previous abdominal surgery may limit the results of your abdominoplasty.
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Dr. C. Brett Carlin, MD | Board Certified Plastic Surgeon