If you have loose, sagging skin on the arms that prevents you from wearing those sleeveless outfits, arm lift surgery can give you the shapely arms you desire. The vast majority of arm lift patients are women with droopy arms brought on by age, decreasing skin elasticity, or weight loss. But what is arm lift recovery like, and what should you expect.
Why has Arm Lift Surgery become so Popular?
Thanks to improved technology and surgical techniques, the demand for arm lift surgery or brachioplasty, has increased significantly in the last decade. Women, in particular, are paying more attention to their arms. They are becoming aware of advanced arm lift procedures that allow them to get better results, with less downtime.
Surgery and Arm Lift Recovery
Arm lift surgery is done to reshape and tighten the arms. The operation is usually recommended for patients that have significant sagging skin and fat on the upper arms.
Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 3 hours to complete. During surgery, incisions are made on the inside of the arm, and the excess skin and fat removed. The surgeon will also lift the tissue and contour the area under and above the arm, as well all the way up to the shoulder. Liposuction may also be done during surgery, but this will depend on the level of correction needed.
Preparing for Surgery
Patients are advised to weigh the benefits and risks of arm lift surgery, before undergoing the procedure. They should also be sure to find out how the operation will be performed, and the type of results to expect.
What to Expect During Recovery
Recovery time varies, so patients are advised to pay close attention to their surgeon’s postoperative instructions. However, the ability to move the arm at the shoulder will be severely restricted for at least 4 weeks.
How soon you can return to work after arm lift surgery depends on the type of job you do. Patients with a desk job can usually resume within 2-3 weeks of surgery. Most patients can restart their exercise regimen within 4-5 weeks.
Possible complications during arm lift recovery include swelling, bruising, healing issues, bleeding, and poor scarring. The incisions are often covered with bandages to avoid infections, and prevent the wound from becoming too dry.
Wearing a compression garment is usually recommended, as it helps to minimize swelling, and promote healing. The compression garment is worn during the initial days of recovery.
Depending on the extent of surgery, your surgeon may put a small drain in place for a few days. The drain will help to prevent fluid accumulation.
Arm lift surgery gets rid of excess skin, but it does leave a scar. The scar runs along the inner arm from the armpit and stops just above the crease of the elbow. However, if the amount of tissue that needs to be removed is only in the top part of the upper arm, the scar will be shorter.
The scar generally heals within 2 weeks. After that time your surgeon will recommend a scar management program to reduce its appearance. This usually involves a mix of scar massages and therapies to soften the scar, in addition to topical silicone preparations that help to fade it over time.
Who is the Average Arm Lift Patient?
Most arm lift patients are women that have either lost a lot of weight on their own or with the help of bariatric surgery. This has left them with a lot of loose skin on the arms and other parts of the body, and it can only be improved with surgery. Women whose arms are proportionately larger than the rest of their body, also regularly request arm lift surgery. The procedure is more popular in people over the age of 40.