If time has not been kind to your arms, or you’ve experienced drastic weight loss, then you might be dealing with loose, sagging skin under your arms. Diet and exercise can be very effective ways to tone your arms, but they don’t work for everyone, nor do they work in every situation. If you haven’t gotten the results you want, consider an arm lift.
Brachioplasty is a type of plastic surgery that removes extra skin and fat from the upper arm region. It’s commonly referred to as an arm lift because it lifts and tightens sagging skin. The results are completely reshaped upper arms that look great in sleeveless tops and dresses, plus boosted self-confidence.If you’re interested in learning more about an Arm Lift, check out our before-and-after gallery here.
Who’s Eligible for Brachioplasty?
An arm lift procedure may be a good fit if you’re uncomfortable with the shape of your arms and have excess skin and fat under your upper arms. Dr. Ver Halen can provide a full evaluation, but the best candidates for brachioplasty:
- DO NOT smoke
- DO NOT drink heavily
- DO NOT have a serious medical condition that could increase the risk of surgery
- DO have loose skin in the upper arm region
- DO lead a generally healthy lifestyle and can maintain a healthy weight
Brachioplasty can vary based on the location and extent of the incision. Depending on your unique needs, your plastic surgeon will either perform:
- A minimally invasive arm lift
- Or use an extended incision
This arm lift technique only places an incision in your underarm. It is often combined with liposuction to achieve optimal results.
If you have extreme skin laxity, you may need an extended incision. Dr. Ver Halen will make one that runs along your inner arm or the back of your arm. This approach is often also combined with liposuction to obtain the best results.
Does Brachioplasty Cause Scars?
Like all plastic surgery that requires an incision and skin restructuring, brachioplasty can cause scarring. Many people minimize the appearance of scars with proper post-surgery skin care.
The type of brachioplasty you have will also influence the extent of your scarring. The minimal incision arm lift is a smaller, inconspicuous incision that remains hidden in the crease of your armpit. The extended incision isn’t as easily hidden but is necessary in cases of extreme loose skin.
Brachioplasty: The Consultation
As a Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ver Halen is a highly skilled professional. Patient care and safety is his top priority, and that of his team! He will spend ample time with you during your consultation, so you can learn about the surgical procedure and your options and ask any questions you have.
You two will also discuss:
- Your desired outcome and expectations
- Your family medical history and any existing medical conditions
- Your current use of alcohol, tobacco products, supplements, and/or prescription medications
- Any known allergies
- The use of anesthesia during your arm lift surgery
- Any potential risks of the procedure
Brachioplasty: The Procedure
Brachioplasty is an arm lift procedure that involves reshaping the underside of your upper arm. Dr. Ver Halen performs arm lift surgery at our Colleyville office or at our surgery center in Plano. Before your arm lift procedure, you may be asked to adjust your current medications, stop smoking, and avoid taking aspirin and other over-the-counter drugs or supplements.
Plan to have a friend or family member drive you to and from surgery. Though this procedure is less intensive than other plastic surgeries, expect brachioplasty on both arms to last about three hours.
An arm lift can be explained in four basic steps:
Step 1: Anesthesia is administered either locally or generally. During your consultation, Dr. Ver Halen will discuss the best option for you.
Step 2: If he thinks an inner arm incision is best, he will make a small incision in your armpit and run it along the inner arm to the elbow. Otherwise, he’ll start below your armpit and draw an incision from there up to your elbow along the back of your arm. For a minimally invasive arm lift, a small crescent incision will be made at the bottom of your armpit.
Step 3: If there is excess fat to remove, Dr. Ver Halen may follow the incision with liposuction.
Step 4: He’ll close the incision with sutures, skin adhesives, or clips.
Post-Surgery Care & Recovery
Most arm lift patients are cleared to go home the same day as their brachioplasty procedures, although you may be asked to stay overnight, depending on Dr. Ver Halen’s professional recommendation.
Once you return home, proper care of the incision is key to your recovery and scarring outcome. You may have a small tube temporarily situated under the skin to drain excess blood and fluid. Be sure to clean these open areas and change dressings or bandages regularly, as directed by Dr. Ver Halen. You may also be fitted with a compression sleeve to help minimize swelling.
Even with the compression garment, it’s normal to experience swelling and bruising at first. This can make daily activities difficult, so ask for assistance with the day-to-day tasks from a loved one or caretaker during the first week or two. This will allow your body adequate time to recover and heal.
About one week post-surgery, you will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Ver Halen. Depending on your progress, he may remove your sutures and drainage tubes. Within four to six weeks, you should be able to resume your normal exercise routine.
Risks of Arm Lift Surgery
It’s important that your plastic surgeon’s explanation of the arm lift surgery align with your goals. You will be asked to sign consent forms before your brachioplasty to ensure you fully understand the surgical procedure and any of its risks. Brachioplasty risks include:
- Fluid accumulation
- Unfavorable scarring
- Issues with wound healing, which may lead to infection
- Numbness, tingling, or other changes in sensation
- Death of fatty tissue deep in the skin (fat necrosis)
- Persistent discomfort
- Anesthesia complications
These risks will be discussed during your consultation and prior to consent. Dr. Ver Halen will gladly answer your questions!If you are not completely satisfied with your arm lift results, Dr. Ver Halen will openly discuss revisional surgery or another cosmetic procedure he thinks is appropriate for your situation.
How to Pay for Arm Lift Surgery
Arm lift surgery can be an affordable procedure, which many may be able to pay for using cash or a credit card. We also accept healthcare credit cards issued by Synchrony Bank (CareCredit®) and Comenity® Capital Bank (Alphaeon Credit®), as well as secured loans from United Medical Credit or Enhance Patient Finance. United Medical Credit is suitable for prime and subprime lenders and has multiple plan options with flexible terms.
These payment methods are always accepted:
- Cashier’s check
- In-house financing
- Other types of loans
Your sleeveless shirts are calling! They’re ready for you to enjoy them once and for all. The trained and experienced medical professionals at Ver Halen Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery are waiting for your call, so we can help you regain the self-esteem you’ve lost. Book your consultation today, and you’ll be one step closer to smooth, shapely arms you love—and deserve.