An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty surgery, is not recommended for morbidly obese individuals or patients suffering from any serious illness or any significant medical conditions that impair healing or increase the risk of surgery. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also wait before having this procedure. Other contraindications include heavy smokers, a medical history of blood clotting, and suffering from an active infection in the body that may increase the risk of the surgery.
How long should you stay in the hospital after the surgery?
The patient is required to stay 1 night in the hospital.
1 to 3 hours
It's important that patients quit smoking for a month before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of complications. Blood thinners such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory, herbal teas, herbal supplements, omega 3 capsules need to be avoided for at least 2 weeks before the brachioplasty surgery is set to begin. Patients need to have a stable weight before they undergo surgery.
During the arm lift surgery, patients usually are operated under general anesthesia. However, intravenous sedation is enough to perform the operation, in particular cases.
There are three main types of incisions used in brachioplasty surgeries. The type and length of the incision to be used during the surgery depends on the amount of excess sagging skin to be removed and the amount of fat tissue in the arm region. The main incision types are:
- An inner arm incision
- Back of the arm incision
- Minimal incision
Once the appropriate incision is created, the surgeon will begin to tighten the supportive tissue from beneath the skin and reshape it with internal sutures. Excess fatty tissue may also be removed at this point, either through a direct excision or liposuction. Finally, the excess droopy skin tissue is removed, and then the incision is closed with sutures.Incisions will be closed either with absorbable sutures or stitches that will be removed within one to two weeks after the surgery.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of incision. Arm lift scars can be extensive or minimal, but it depends on the patient's condition. Generally speaking, arm lift scars are more hidden when using the inner arm incision technique.
The average arm lift recovery period lasts around 2-3 weeks. Bandages, dressings or compression garments will be applied on the incision site. Most patients can return to work after around a week. It is normal to have a mild to moderate amount of pain and discomfort after surgery. This should be easily controlled with oral medications. The discomfort and pain should begin to decrease within 48 hours after surgery. If the patient has a significant increase in pain after this period, he or she should inform the plastic surgeon.
Exercise, sports, or physically draining activities need to be avoided for at least 4 weeks, giving the body ample time to heal. Arm movement at the shoulder should be avoided in the first 4 weeks, as it can have a negative effect on the healing process.
Arm lift surgery risks and complications can include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Unappealing scars
- Fat necrosis
- Arm lift surgery revision
- Extensive bleeding
Arm lift operation side effects can include:
- Temporary loss of sensation
- Irritation, drainage, and redness around sutures
Arm lift surgery reviews set the average success rate at 90%.
Patients need to maintain a stable weight before and after brachioplasty surgery. Even though the skin and fatty tissue has been removed, it can grow back if the patient gains weight.
How Long Before I Can Resume Exercise or Sports?
Patients can return to sports in around 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the extent of the arm lift surgery.
Is Arm Lift Surgery Painful?
All plastic surgery procedures cause some discomfort and pain. Arm lift surgery is not painful, especially since patients are given painkillers.
How Long Before The Scar Is Fully Healed?
The scar will heal in around 2-3 weeks. Without the scar, this surgical procedure cannot be done, but the scar mostly becomes almost invisible after this period.
How many days should I travel/stay abroad to do the treatment?
You can expect to get back to work within 1 week after the surgery.
When can I get back to sports after the surgery?
after 4 to 6 weeks
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in February 2022