Upper Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty) – Leesburg, VA

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About Arm Lift Surgery

Does your arm skin waddle?

Introduction

Arm lift surgery is also called a brachioplasty.  The goal of an arm lift surgery is to tighten up a loose or sagging arm.  The skin of the arm is thin and tends to stretch easily with age and weight changes.  The scar for an arm lift can be hidden in the armpit if there is only minimal skin excess.  If there is a lot of skin excess, an incision down the length of the inside of the arm is required.  

Facts about arm lift surgery:

  • Scar in the armpit only if the skin excess is minimal
  • Scar down the length of the inside of the arm if skin excess is dramatic

Overview

Arm lift surgery is also called a brachioplasty.  The goal of an arm lift surgery is to tighten up a loose or sagging arm.  The skin of the arm is thin and tends to stretch easily with age and weight changes.  Stretching of this skin makes it floppy and irritating.  Patients complain that the arm skin flaps as they raise their arms.  The floppy skin can be tightened with an arm lift surgery.  The procedure is performed by removing any remaining fat excess with liposuction followed by removing the loose skin.  If there is only minimal skin excess, the extra skin can be removed as a horizontal crescent at the armpit.  If there is a lot of skin excess, the extra skin needs to be removed with an incision that runs the length of the arm from the armpit to the elbow.  This scar is hidden on the inside surface of the arm toward the body.  

Dr. Phillip Chang, a Leesburg, VA plastic surgeon, is very knowledgeable in fat removal and skin tightening methods. If you want to hear more information about how brachioplasty can enhance the physique of your upper arms, please contact us for an appointment at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center in Leesburg, VA today.

Ideal Candidates

You are a good candidate for a Arm Lift if :

  • You have loose or flabby arms
  • You have lost weight and you have loose sagging skin in the arms

An upper arm lift is a plastic surgery that features advanced methods to contour and eliminate unwanted skin. If you are tired of hiding your "bat wings" and would prefer them to appear taut and trim again, you are a great candidate for an arm lift. You need to be in overall good health so that you will recover properly. Some of the most common issues for potential arm lift patients are excess, loose skin on their upper arms, plus minimal tautness of the skin. It is critical that you are at or close to a healthy, stable weight before your surgery.

Surgical Technique

The goals of Arm Lift surgery to reduce the size of the arm will tightening the skin.  Most patients will benefit by first removing any fat.  This is followed by removing and redraping excess skin.  Skin removal technique depends on the amount of loose sagging skin.

  • Step 1 - Injection of the fat with numbing medicine
  • Step 2 - Injection of the arm with medicine to decrease bruising
  • Step 3 - Liposuction of any unwanted fat
  • Step 4 - Skin excision according the the descriptions blow
  • Step 5 - The incisions are closed in multiple layers to improve the ultimate appearance of the scar
  • Step 6 - Incisions are protected with surgical tape
  • Step 7 - Compression wraps are placed along both arms

No skin removal -  No skin is removed if there is no loose or sagging skin after removing the fat by liposuction.  The skin will shrink and redrape on its own if you have good skin elasticity.  Think of it as what happens naturally after weight loss.

Under-arm skin excision -   A small amount of skin needs to be removed if there is loose or sagging after removing the fat by liposuction.  If the amount of sag is little, the a horizontal crescent of skin can be made and hidden in the armpit.   

T- Skin excision -  A moderate amount of skin needs to be removed if there is loose or sagging after removing the fat by liposuction.  If the amount of sag is moderate, the a horizontal crescent of skin as well as a small vertical crescent of skin can be removed in the upper arm that can still be hidden by a short sleeve shirt.   

Vertical skin excision -  Patients with large amounts of residual skin after liposuction will need a vertical scar that extends from the underarm to the elbow.  The scar is long but can be hidden on the medial aspect of the arm as much as possible. The trade-off is replacing the skin waddle for a very acceptable vertical scar

In most cases, your upper arm surgery will be performed in an outpatient facility, except in cases where several cosmetic surgeries are to be performed at one time. An upper arm lift may be done with other surgeries (often completed at a facility with inpatient monitoring), including a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or mommy makeover — as long as Dr. Chang considers it appropriate. An upper arm lift is typically done with the patient under general anesthesia and can require a few hours to finish. The excess skin will be surgically removed starting at the elbow and continuing to the armpit. The incision will be placed to be as hidden as possible, although it will become a visible scar. In cases where liposuction is wanted to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat, this can be completed also. After the skin is pulled taut, it will be stitched together. You will have to care for the incisions by keeping them cleaned, covered, and supported with compression garments.

What to Expect

What is the pain like after an arm lift?

  • Arm lift surgery is not particularly painful
  • Most patients will take a narcotic pain medication for only 2-3 days

Return to work after an arm lift surgery:  

Most patients will  :

  • Return to work in about 7-10 days ( but will still be sore )
  • Compression wrap must be worn for 4 weeks to decrease swelling
  • Return to light walking and 10 pound weights in 5 days
  • Return to aerobic exercise and 20 pound weights in 21 days
  • Drive in 7-10 days or have stopped narcotic medications for 48 hours

When will you see the final results of a Arm Lift:  

  • Swelling will persist for 3-6 months
  • Skin might feel numb for 3-6 months 
  • Scars will not whiten for 12-18 months ( use scar creams for silicone sheets for up to 3 months )
  • Final shape is not apparent for 6 months to a year 

A typical recovery time frame may take an estimated two weeks with lots of rest and arm elevation. Give your body time to heal. You use your arms for more than you think, so most patients should slowly make their way back to their daily activities. If needed, a suture removal appointment will be scheduled about ten days following surgery. Compression garments must be kept on until you receive permission from Dr. Chang to remove them. For at least one month, all exercise and strenuous activity needs to be eliminated, except for frequent, short walks. If you develop uncontrolled bleeding, excessive swelling, fluid buildup (hematoma), signs of infection, numbness in the hands and arms, or unusual scarring, please contact Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center as soon as possible.

What are the risks and complications of Arm Lift surgery?

As with any surgery, there are associated risks.  Only you can decide whether a Arm Lift can achieve your goals and whether the recovery and risk profile are acceptable to you.   The most common complications are problems with delayed healing, infection from the stitches, minor tissue loss in areas of delayed healing, and widened or thickened scars.

Although infrequent, the risks and complications of arm lift surgery can include

  • Blood collections or prolonged bruising
  • Infection particularly from the absorbable sutures
  • Changes in sensation
  • Widened or thickened scar
  • Asymmetry (unevenness between two sides)
  • Delayed wound healing with skin or tissue necrosis
  • Extra skin at the ends of the incisions
  • Undercorrection 
  • Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures.  Patients are responsible for any associated facility fees.  Revisions are not performed for at least 6 months

Why should you choose Dr. Chang to perform your Arm Lift surgery?

Arm Lift surgery is a technically demanding surgery that requires the highest levels of surgical skills.  Dr. Chang is considered an expert in cosmetic surgery in Northern Virginia for his work in body contouring procedures after tremendous weight loss and formerly worked with the bariatric surgical team at Fair Oaks Hospital.  

Dr. Chang is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has gained a national reputation for providing his patients with natural and sensually feminine results.  His work has been featured in national publications such as New Beauty magazine, his YouTube channel that has highlighted his surgical techniques has attracted thousands of followers, and he has been voted Top Plastic surgeon year after year.  


How much does a Arm Lift cost?

The cost of a Arm Lift depends on the type of Arm Lift that you require as well as the addition of any other procedures.  Cost should be only a small factor in choosing the plastic surgeon.  The prices listed below are subject to change.  Facility center fees are only estimates

Surgeon’s fee -  Arm Liposuction - $4,000. 
Surgeon’s fee -  Arm Liposuction plus Simple Arm Lift - $5,000
Surgeon’s fee -  Arm Liposuction plus T-Scar Arm Lift - $5,500
Surgeon’s fee -  Arm Liposuction plus Vertical Arm Lift - $6,500
VIP Members may have a discounted rate
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does arm lift surgery cost?
Your cost for arm lift surgery will depend on many factors. Before he can determine your costs, Dr. Chang will perform a consultation to listen to your needs and goals. After that, he can create your surgical plan and estimate your costs. To make it easier to afford a skilled surgeon like Dr. Chang and get your best results, Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest medical financing.

Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. This is sometimes referred to as an upper body lift and may include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), or breast surgery (breast lift). An arm lift is also commonly performed as part of an after weight loss surgery for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want full body contouring. During your consultation with Dr. Chang, each surgery will be discussed so your unique surgical plan can be developed.

Will there be scars?
Arm lift surgery requires incisions to remove excess skin, which means there will be stitches and scarring. However, Dr. Chang makes every effort to ensure that your incisions are small and placed in inconspicuous areas. After your surgery, topical ointments to assist in scar healing will be recommended along with other tips for scar care management. Dr. Chang also recommends you avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. Most patients believe the benefits of a more toned arm outweigh the appearance of scars.

What results can I expect from an arm lift?
An arm lift is performed to remove hanging skin and fat. Following your surgery, once your arms are fully healed and Dr. Chang has authorized it, you can begin weight training. This is a great way to add shape to your arms by toning and strengthening the muscles. You should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid a dramatic weight loss or gain, which could compromise your surgical results.

Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?
While there are many great nonsurgical skin tightening treatments, most will only provide mild improvements. To remove moderate to severe amounts of loose skin, an arm lift is your best option. Along with removing excess skin, Dr. Chang also removes small amounts of fat and smoothes the remaining skin and tissue for better results. If you are interested in nonsurgical options, Dr. Chang can explain all possible treatments during your consultation and help you decide which is best for your needs and goals.

Get Back Your Shape

No matter what you call your droopy skin or "bat wings" under your upper arms, plastic surgeon Dr. Chang sees it as a way to improve your appearance with cosmetic surgery. This innovative surgery provides physical and emotional benefits as well. If you're at or close to a healthy, stable weight but still can't get rid of the skin and flab that hang off your arms, please contact us to plan a consultation with Dr. Phillip Chang at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center. Look and feel fitter and younger with upper arm lift surgery.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.