Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Brachioplasty, commonly known as an “arm lift,” is a form of body contouring surgery designed to improve the appearance of the arms by removal of excess skin and fatty tissue. Brachioplasty is often combined with other body contouring procedures to produce a balanced appearance.
Click here or on the photo to the left for before-and-after photos of this procedure. All patients shown have given expressed written permission for this purpose.
Can a brachioplasty help my appearance?
Over time or with sudden weight loss, both men and women can develop extra skin and fatty tissue of the upper arms. The purpose of an arm lift is to remove this to allow for a more natural and slim look. Patients who receive the most benefit from this procedure have more extra skin than extra fat and are not obese, however, a wide variety of patients can benefits from an arm lift.
Noticeable, or occasionally thick or widened, scars are the most common concern of arm lift surgery. However, Dr. McDaniel works with you to decide the optimal location and length of your scars to provide the best concealment possible. In addition, the improvement in arms shape, allowing you to wear short-sleeved or form-fitting clothing with confidence, is worth the trade-off to most patients.
What does an arm lift involve?
In an arm lift, extra skin and fatty tissue are removed as a “double ellipse.”This technique minimizes the risk of wound healing problems and poor scarring. You incision is closed with dissolving sutures. Not only do they not need to be removed, but and they will not cause undesirable “train track” scarring on either side of the incision.
What other procedures can be done with a brachioplasty?
An arm lift is commonly done at the same time as a tummy tuck, breast lift, or thigh lift. Liposuction is another frequently combined procedure, and is sometimes used as part of an arm lift to enhance contour. At your complimentary consultation, Dr. McDaniel will discuss your concerns and help you create your optimal, individualized treatment plan.
What can I expect with my recovery?
Brachioplasty and any combined procedures may be done in our private AAAASF-certified operating room. This is an outpatient procedure, and does not require any time in the hospital. The following day, Dr. McDaniel will see you in the office to ensure you are beginning your healing process well. He will also review your recovery and activity instructions, and go over any other questions you may have. Our office will help you schedule follow up appointments throughout the year as Dr. McDaniel walks you through to your full recovery (you will not be charged for any of these office visits).
Our office will fit you with post-surgical compression sleeves the day after your procedure. These need to be worn for four weeks. The purpose of these sleeves is to lessen swelling and discomfort. You should also plan to elevate your arms while at rest and minimize the use of your arms in general (see Dr. McDaniel’s Rapid Recovery Rules).
The importance of allowing your body the time and rest it needs to heal should not be overlooked. Planning your recovery time with this in mind is extremely helpful. Generally, patients return to work within a week of their procedure. It is important to note, however, that cardiovascular exercise or activities that elevate your heart rate or blood pressure must be avoided for three weeks. You need to plan to avoid strength-intense, forceful and repetitive activities of the arms and upper body for six weeks.
How sore will I be after my procedure?
After an arm lift, discomfort is generally moderate and is related to sensation of tightness. This tightness is related to the amount of swelling present, and can be positively impacted by resting your upper body, wearing compression sleeves, and elevating your arms while at rest. During your procedure Dr. McDaniel will give you a long-lasting numbing injection at the surgical site that lasts up to three days and will significantly lessen immediate postoperative discomfort. Oral pain medication is typically only needed for a week, and thereafter we will help you transition to to over-the-counter medications.
In many instances, pain in the first stage of your recovery, and even up to a few months after your procedure, can be attributed to an increase in your activity level. Following activity restrictions is still important, even if you feel like you are ready for more.
Where will my scars be?
For the majority of patients, a brachioplasty scar will extend from the armpit to the elbow. Brachioplasty scars may be placed along the inner arm (most common) or the back of the arm (less common). Both approaches have advantages. While scars tend to be a common concern among arm lift patients, most scars will flatten and fade. Once these scars have “matured,” most patients agree that they are well worth the trade-off for the improvement in arm shape.
To care for these scars while they mature, Dr. McDaniel recommends Biocorneum, which is available at our office. After about a year, your scars will have optimized to their best appearance and least visibility.
What does an arm lift cost? Do you offer payment plans?
Our goal at Gallatin Plasltic Surgery is to provide excellence in every aspect of your care, and keeping costs reasonable is part of that commitment. A brachioplasty costs between $6,000 and $7,000, which includes the cost of CosmetAssure coverage as well as the surgical, facility, and anesthesia fees. Gallatin Plastic Surgery also offer a multi-procedure discount.
We understand that sometimes financing options allow you to have the care you need when you need it. We offer a variety of financing plans through Care Credit. You can apply for Care Credit at our office or online, and our friendly staff will gladly answer any questions.