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Age, genetics and significant weight loss can send once-shapely upper arms into hiding under long sleeves, or cause embarrassment when you do have to go sleeveless. You can tone your arm muscles but you can’t exercise away the loose, droopy skin that makes a batwing. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, removes sagging skin, tightens the underlying tissue and eliminates excess fat.*
With more than 20 years in practice, Dr. David Dellinger holds board certifications in plastic/reconstructive and general surgery, and has extensive experience performing body contouring plastic surgery procedures, including upper arm lifts. At Elysian Plastic Surgery, Dr. Dellinger works with men and women in the Austin area and throughout Texas who are interested in improving their appearance with body contouring surgery.
Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512-229-1978 to learn more your options for arm lift surgery.
An arm lift can be right for healthy men and women who have sagging or loose skin on the underside of their upper arms. You should also have realistic expectations and be at a healthy, stable weight.
During your consultation, Dr. Dellinger will examine your arms and recommend the best type of treatment. The best option for you may not be an arm lift. If you don’t have much extra skin, Dr. Dellinger may suggest liposuction alone to eliminate excess fat. If you have a mild to moderate amount of loose skin and some underlying fat, you may be a good candidate for minimally invasive BodyTite treatments. You should see less scarring from liposuction or BodyTite than a surgical arm lift.*
An arm lift can be performed with other body contouring procedures, especially if you are interested in post-bariatric plastic surgery, for more comprehensive results.
Dellinger will perform your arm lift under IV sedation or general anesthesia with a long incision running from your armpit to just above your elbow on the inner arm or the back of the arm. A shorter incision in the underarm area may be used depending on your needs. Extra fat can then be removed directly or with liposuction. Dr. Dellinger also tightens and shapes the underlying tissue and removes extra skin.*
After your arm lift, your incisions will be covered with dressings and elastic bandages or compression garments to hold your tissues together, reduce swelling and encourage healing.*
You should be able to go home the same day as your arm lift but you should rest and take it easy for a few days. You may have some bruising, swelling and discomfort initially. The bruising and swelling should subside over the next 2 weeks. You may be able to return to work after a week and resume your daily activities, though you shouldn’t lift anything heavy until your incisions have fully healed.*
You should see change in the contours of your arms right after surgery, though residual swelling may affect your results for a few weeks. Your arm lift results should be long-lasting if you avoid drastic weight fluctuations and lead a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise. Your arm contours will continue being affected by age-related changes, however.*
How much does an arm lift cost?
On average, an arm lift costs around $4,500, according to the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. This number includes only a portion of the total cost, however. Operating room facility fees, anesthesia costs, medical tests, and other additional costs can influence your procedure’s final cost.
Don’t hesitate to discuss financing options at your consultation if the cost of your arm lift might be a barrier to achieving your goals.
What should I look for in an arm lift plastic surgeon near me?
First, look for board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures that your plastic surgeon has completed rigorous medical schooling, training and residency programs. Secondly, you’ll want to ask about their specific experience with body contouring procedures like an arm lift. Ask to see before and after photos of previous arm lift clients to give you an idea of the quality of results you might expect from your own arm lift.
Finally, schedule a consultation to ensure that you feel comfortable working with this plastic surgeon and that he or she has taken the time to listen to your goals and create a customized surgical plan to meet your needs.
Is an arm lift the best solution for me?
An arm lift can be a good solution for you if you are bothered by loose or excess skin in the upper arm area. If you do not have much excess skin but want to get rid of stubborn fat in this area, an arm lift might not be right for you. Instead, consider liposuction to help you achieve a smoother, more toned physique. In some cases, an arm lift is combined with liposuction to achieve more comprehensive results.
Is an arm lift painful?
You shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during your arm lift procedure since it is performed under general anesthesia. During the first few days of recovery after your arm lift, you may experience mild discomfort, tenderness, swelling and bruising. These side effects are usually easily managed with appropriate pain medication that Dr. Dellinger will prescribe prior to your surgery day.
Will there be scars after an arm lift?
Yes — any surgical procedure that requires an incision will leave a scar. However, Dr. Dellinger takes great care to place arm lift scars in such a way that they can be easily hidden. Scarring should fade over the next several months after your arm lift, reaching full maturity around 18 months afterward. Avoid sun exposure while you recover, and always wear sunscreen when outside even after recovery. This will help scars to heal smoothly without complications.
What can I expect during my arm lift recovery?
Plan to take 1 to 2 weeks off work and other obligations to heal from your arm lift. At first, you will need to limit your physical activity, including heavy lifting. As you feel up to it, Dr. Dellinger recommends that you start by lightly walking around the house to promote healthy blood flow. Over the next weeks, you will be able to gradually reintroduce more physical activity into your regular routine. Most people can resume their normal workout schedule around 4 to 6 weeks after an arm lift.
To schedule your arm lift consultation, please call our Austin plastic surgery practice at 512-229-1978 or request a consultation online.
*This information is for education only, and is not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary.