At the Art of Plastic Surgery, the talented Dr. Gregory A. Wiener offers cutting-edge arm lift procedures to help individuals shed excessive fat and skin. Our expert plastic surgeon offers services for patients in Chicago and the surrounding areas of Illinois. Call 773.763.3990 today for your one-on-one consultation!
What is an arm lift?
For patients with loose, hanging skin of the upper arms, a Brachioplasty (or arm lift) can be the best option to tighten and reshape the skin. Incisions are kept on the inner aspect of the upper arms and arranged from longer incisions to shorter, more limited incisions within the underarm area to reduce mild amounts of laxity. Brachioplasty is often combined with Liposuction to enhance the shape and overall results.
How is an arm lift performed?
This procedure involves a lengthy incision; this is usually unavoidable. Dr. Wiener usually makes an incision that runs on the underside of the upper arm, running from the underarm to the elbow. Through this incision, he is able to remove excess fat pockets with liposuction. He then repositions and tightens the underlying muscle tissue, and trims away excess skin.
This incision may be avoided if the patient doesn’t have extensive sagging skin. Sometimes Dr. Wiener can use a minimal incision arm lift technique. In this technique, he makes a few small incisions near the underarm, in lieu of one long incision on each arm. This method, while creating much less scarring, doesn’t allow the same degree of overall tightening.
“Dr. Weiner and his staff are beyond amazing. His bedside manner and the way he makes you feel so at ease is impeccable. I have never met a doctor where are talent and kindness we both even. If you are looking for any type of surgery please consider him.”
How should I prepare for an arm lift?
There isn’t much you need to do to prepare for your arm lift with Dr. Wiener. You’ll need to stop taking any blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medication, and many supplements for one week prior to your surgery. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks before and after your surgery, as smoking can interfere with your healing.
The main aspect that may need attention to Is lifting. The key to a successful recovery is to avoid lifting much with your arms. As you would assume, lifting too much weight can strain your incisions and create complications. So, if you need to lift things around the house that is more than the weight of a gallon of milk, you’ll need help with that. The same is true if you need to lift items at work. It will be between 4 and 6 weeks before you can lift heavy objects once again.
How long does an arm lift take?
These procedures take from 1 to 3 hours with Dr. Wiener, depending upon the amount of loose skin and fat that needs to be removed. For instance, if the patient doesn’t have extensive loose skin, Dr. Wiener may use a minimal incision arm lift that uses a few small incisions that need the underarm rather than one long incision on each arm, and this makes the procedure simpler.
Does an arm lift require an overnight stay in the hospital?
No. These are outpatient procedures.
What are the risks involved with an arm lift?
These are safe procedures, but there are some risks involved. An arm lift is an open surgery, so it does involve the risks inherent with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor incision healing, infection, poor wound recovery, reaction anesthesia, and the like.
Specific to this procedure, these are the risks:
- Scarring — You will have visible scarring, but Dr. Wiener does his best to locate the incisions on the bottom of the arm where they are hardly noticed. There is a rare risk that your incisions can become keloid scars, where they are raised and red.
- The asymmetry between arms — The healing process can be somewhat unequal between arms, although this is not typical.
- Changes in skin sensation — Dr. Wiener repositions arm tissues and this can impact your superficial sensory nerves. This is typically only temporary numbness, as your nerves adapt.
How is Arm Lift Recovery?
Patients will feel sore after surgery and there will be some degree of bruising and swelling. A tight compression garment is worn post-operatively to reduce swelling and improve contour. Incisions are typically closed with a medical-grade adhesive to avoid stitch marks and improve scar quality. Oral pain medication is used postoperatively and most patients return to work within one week. More strenuous activities can be undertaken between 4 to 6 weeks.
How long will the results of my arm lift last?
The changes made by Dr. Wiener with your arm lift are permanent. The excess skin and fat removed are, obviously gone for good. Your new, tighter contoured arms will not sag to the same degree as predicated this surgery for the rest of your life. The only exception would be if you gain and then lose a significant amount of weight. But if you maintain a healthy weight, you’ll enjoy your new contoured, slimmer arms for the duration. Of course, you will have some additional slackening of your skin and muscles as you age, but this won’t be anything dramatic.
Will my arm lift scars fade?
Whenever human skin is cut, the collagen sent to repair the area creates a scar. That is simply the healing mechanisms at work. But as long as you limit sun exposure early in the healing process, your scars will fade dramatically over time. They will at first be red, but this will transition to white when they are fully healed. From there those will continue to become less and less visible.
When can I get back to my normal activities after an arm lift?
Patients can usually return to work in just a week or two. Obviously, this varies with the individual patient. If your work involves lifting, you’ll have to have others do that for you. It will be about 10 days before you can drive. For the first week, you should limit activity to just walking.