Upper Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Houston
An upper arm lift, also referred to as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the upper arms that often resembles “bat wings.” This procedure is common after extreme weight loss to provide a leaner, more attractive contour to the upper arm. Dr. Rappaport can perform an arm lift alone or in combination with liposuction to achieve even more dramatic results. This is a common cosmetic procedure that was performed on nearly 16,000 patients in the U.S. in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
An upper arm lift offers the following benefits:
- Removal of excess skin on the upper arm that creates an aged appearance
- A leaner upper arm that is more in line with weight loss efforts
- Greater confidence in wearing short-sleeved and sleeveless fashions
- An improved upper arm contour that is impossible to achieve with exercise alone
Brachioplasty / Upper Arm Lift Houston
Options in Arm Lifts
There are a number of techniques Dr. Rappaport might use to perform an upper arm lift:
Limited-Incision Brachioplasty – This technique may be recommended if the amount of skin under the arm is relatively small and confined to the upper part of the arm near the armpit. Using a small incision, Dr. Rappaport can move excess skin into the armpit, creating a smoother arm contour.
Standard Brachioplasty – The basic arm lift involves an incision that stretches from the elbow to the armpit. Through this incision, Dr. Rappaport removes excess skin and tissue before suturing the skin back together.
Extended Brachioplasty – This procedure, which addresses both skin and tissue in the upper arm and side of the chest wall, is sometimes recommended for weight loss patients.
Brachioplasty with Liposuction – Liposuction removes isolated pockets of fat that remain in the upper arm, interfering with the overall contour. In cases where skin elasticity is still good, liposuction alone may be sufficient to achieve desired results.
How is an Arm Lift Performed?
Dr. Rappaport performs arm lifts on an outpatient basis, using either local or general anesthesia. The duration of the procedure will depend on the amount of skin and tissue to be removed and the specific technique used. A long incision will likely be made on the underside of the arm to create the new arm contour. However, most patients find the residual scar is an acceptable exchange for achieving a slimmer upper arm contour.
What is the Recovery Like?
After surgery, your arm will be wrapped in a compression garment and tubes will be placed in the incision to help alleviate swelling. Any discomfort after surgery can be managed with oral pain medication. Most patients are able to return to work (depending on the required activities) within a few days of the procedure with compressive garments being maintained for several weeks.
Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about Arm Lifts
Who is a good candidate for an arm lift?
The best candidates for an arm lift are men and women in relatively good health and of average weight with excess skin on the upper arm.
I am a smoker. Can I still have an arm lift?
Smoking significantly impacts your ability to heal after surgery, especially when your procedure involves a long incision. I ask patients to stop smoking for at least one month before surgery to reduce the risks associated with nicotine. Better yet, use your arm lift as a reason to kick the habit for good.
How do I know if I need liposuction or an arm lift?
Liposuction is primarily used for areas with isolate pockets of tissue that need to be removed. It is important to have good skin elasticity if you are undergoing liposuction to ensure the skin conforms well to the new contour. If there is excess, hanging skin, an arm lift will be necessary to achieve the results you are hoping for.
How long will it take for the scar to heal?
The incision will go through the preliminary healing process in about six weeks. However, the scar will continue to fade and change in the months following the procedure. I will give you tips on how to minimize the appearance of the scar as it goes through this healing and fading process.
How long will my results last?
Results of an arm lift are considered permanent, although age and gravity can cause the skin to sag somewhat over time. I can suggest additional procedures in the future to help you keep your results if needed.
Dr. Rappaport has extensive experience performing upper arm lifts and will work with you to determine the specific technique that will give you the best possible results. To learn more about this procedure, contact the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 713-790-4500.