The Surgeon Minute

Life-changing arm lift removes excess skin

Life-changing arm lift removes excess skin

It’s a huggable body part, and no one likes the uneasy feeling they get when a friend, colleague or acquaintance notices loose skin on the arm. Even worse, how does one hide loose, excess arm skin when the weather warms and it’s time for short sleeves again? Diet and exercise only go so far when it comes to repairing loose skin, whether it’s caused by massive weight-loss or simply aging. To really fix it, plastic surgeons can perform a brachioplasty procedure, commonly known as an arm lift. By taking some skin from the arm and tightening the area up, patients can feel confident again in short sleeves.

By J. Peter Rubin, MD
and Beverly Brooks
The Plastic Surgery Channel

Good Candidates For Brachioplasty

“Good candidates for brachioplasty are patients who have excess skin; significant skin that won’t go away,” says Dr. Peter Rubin, a liaison between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. He promotes safety and quality standards in plastic surgery after weight loss.  “Perhaps you’ve had extensive weight loss, or even the aging may be candidates for this procedure”

You must be willing to accept a scar, which can be noticeable in exchange for the beautiful shape. Skin must be removed, and a scar will appear across your upper arm. In most people, the scarring will fade in time. It is a trade-off, one that patients seem to be willing to make after seeing incredible results from an accomplished surgeon.

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Why An Arm Lift Can Boost Self Esteem

Bingo arms, bat wings, flabby arms. A whole host of playful yet derogatory terms have originated to describe loose arm skin that plagues the aging and those who defeated obesity. People suffering from loose skin can also suffer from self-confidence, hesitant to show off their arms to others. Especially after having the drive and confidence to lose massive weight, patients whose bodies are now healthy on the inside want that to reflect on the outside.

“People are so bothered by their excess fat, no one wants others to feel our fat upon meeting someone, especially for the first time,” says Dr. Rubin. “What we’re noticing is that removing that skin flab you’ll have a wonderful body image and improved self-esteem, it’s really interesting how this surgery has such a huge impact on people!”

About Those Scars!

Let’s be honest — there will be a scar, (not a Frankenstein looking scar), but it can be noticeable in some patients. It is indeed a trade-off, one that patients are more willing to accept now that scar therapies have greatly improved outcomes. Within time, the obvious tell-tale signs are limited and within months you’ll be showing off those beautiful arm contours.

Limited scar operations are available, but surgeons are very selective about which patient will be offered that solution. They are typically those who have minimal fat and tissue to remove.

Recovery And When Can I Go Back To Work?

  • Limited activity for two or three weeks
  • Back to work ten to fifteen days
  • No lifting heavy objects for a month
  • Wait 10 days to drive

An arm lift may initially seem like a drastic option, but board certified plastic surgeons experienced in the procedure can ease the concerns of their patients. With the results that can be achieved and modern therapies to reduce scarring, the final result may seem completely worth it. For some, it could be the final step to getting their physical and mental image in the right place.

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