An arm lift is a procedure that offers the dramatic results for tightening and removing the loose skin on the upper arms. The arm lift is ideal for those who have lost significant weight and have excess skin on the upper arms. If you want to see a significant change in your upper arms, the arm lift may be right for you.
An arm lift is not a substitute for weight loss. The objective of the surgery is to improve the look of the upper arms by removing excess fat and skin.
The best candidate for an arm lift is the individual who has lost significant weight and has maintained a stable weight and exercises regularly. Candidates who have had gastric bypass, Lap-Band or other gastric restrictive procedures should wait at least one year after weight loss surgery. Age, obesity and smoking habits are some of the factors the cosmetic surgeon considers when evaluating a candidate for this procedure.
Before Arm Lift Surgery
Prior to arm lift surgery, a complete medical history is taken in order to evaluate the general health of the patient. A careful examination is also conducted. The cosmetic surgeon and patient discuss together what can realistically be expected. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed. Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs which contain aspirin in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection. The patient may also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.
The Arm Lift Procedure
An arm lift is usually performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia with the patient asleep. The procedure takes about 2-3 hours depending on the patient. Premedication may be administered to relax the patient. First the arms are liposuctioned to remove excess fat. An incision is made along the lower inside of the upper arm from the elbow to the arm pit. Excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures and adhesive skin closure strips.
Following Arm Lift Surgery
Patients may go home after the surgery. Pain or discomfort from the surgery is controlled with oral medication. Adhesive skin closure strips will fall off approximately one week after surgery and the sutures will dissolve by themselves in about six week. Special compression garments are worn for several weeks. During this time, patients must refrain from heavy lifting, straining or over-activity. Although patients are usually up and around the day of surgery, the cosmetic surgeon decides when normal activities may be resumed. This decision is based upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s progress. Bruising and swelling which occur around the treated area will disappear within a few weeks. Scars from the procedure remain but fade significantly in time.
Each year thousands of arm lifts are successfully performed. The amount of improvement is individual and depends upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s skin tone, body build and healing process. Complications connected with the procedure are rare; however there are inherent risks connected with every, surgical procedure. Possible risks and complications should be thoroughly discussed with the cosmetic surgeon prior to surgery. Patients can minimize complications by carefully following directions given by the cosmetic surgeon.
Most insurance companies do not pay for arm lifts if it is performed for cosmetic reasons. Each insurance carrier is different, and it is recommended that individuals check with their own agents to determine if there is coverage.
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Please note that plastic surgery results can vary for different patients. Every patient is a unique individual and every surgery has unique aspects. Therefore no two surgical procedures will get the exact same results - even if patients are fairly similar and even if the procedures are performed by the same Plastic Surgeon.