Do you have drooping or sagging upper arms? Are you conscious and unwilling to wear sleeveless dresses, even in summers? Have you lost or gained weight recently?
If your answers for the above questions are yes, then you have flabby upper arms. Changes in weight make the skin loose and lead to drooping or sagging underarms. Although exercise strengthens and improves the tone of the upper arm muscles, it cannot improve the skin elasticity. Therefore, surgical removal of excess skin and reshaping the arm is needed for well-toned arms.
An arm lift is a surgical procedure which involves removing excess skin and fat from the upper arms. This procedure is performed to give well balanced and toned looking arms.
- An arm lift is not an appropriate option for everyone. You can be a good candidate for arm lift if you:
- Have loose skin in the upper arm region
- Are physically fit
- Have a healthy body weight
- Do not smoke
- Have a positive approach and realistic expectations with the surgery
PREPARATION BEFORE PROCEDURE
- During the first visit, the surgeon will review your medical and medication history. A physical examination is done, in which the surgeon will examine the lower side of the upper arm. The doctor will take a few pictures of the arm and file it in your medical record for future comparisons. You would be prescribed few routine tests like blood tests and chest X-ray to find out if you are fit for surgery.
- Before the procedure, your need to follow these instructions:
- Avoid aspirin or any other medicines that increases bleeding risk during and after surgery
- Quit smoking
- Consult your doctor before taking any medicines
- Arrange someone who will drive you back home after the surgery.
An arm lift procedure can be performed by the following options:
- Traditional arm lift: In this procedure, an excess amount of skin and fatty tissue is removed from the armpit to the elbow.
- Extended arm lift: In this procedure, loose skin and fatty tissue are removed from underneath the arms.
- Hidden arm lift (limited incision brachioplasty): In this procedure, a small incision is made in the underarm crease to remove excess fat. In some cases, this procedure is performed with liposuction (a surgical procedure to remove fats from different parts of the body).
- Liposuction only: In this procedure, small incisions are made on the upper arms to remove excess fat deposits.
First, a general anaesthesia is administered to make you unconscious. Next, incisions are made on the underside of the arms to remove excess skin and fat. The underlying tissues are then tightened and stitched. The extra skin is draped over the newly developed contours, and the cuts are closed with stitches.
The arms are loosely wrapped with an elastic bandage to manage swelling. Small drainage tubes are placed temporarily under the skin to prevent the accumulation of fluid. During the first few weeks, you need to avoid shoulder movement or any other activity that stretches the incision. You would be prescribed certain medicines to manage pain and swelling.
Follow these instructions for quicker recovery:
- Take adequate rest
- Avoid lifting heavyweight or doing strenuous arm exercises at least for 1 month after surgery
- In case of bleeding, pain, or any other unusual symptoms, report to the surgeon.
FACTORS AFFECTING COST
The cost of an arm lift surgery varies depending upon the surgeon’s fee (based on his experience) and the type of procedure used. The cost of arm lift in India is very low when compared with other countries.
Like any other surgery, arm lift surgery also has certain risks, such as bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, scarring, damage to the nerves and muscles, or asymmetrical shape of the arms.
The results of arm lift surgery are expected to be long-lasting only when a stable weight is maintained by proper diet and exercise. However, as one gets older, the body may lose firmness naturally.
Depending on how much amount of skin and fat is removed, an arm lift surgery usually lasts for about 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
In most of the cases, the person can resume back to their normal activities within one to two weeks after the surgery.
Smoking interferes with recovery and delays wound healing. Hence, smoking should be avoided before and after an arm lift surgery.