With age and weight fluctuations, the upper arms may become loose and fatty, resulting in what some refer to as “flags” or “bat wings”. For many, the appearance of the arms can cause embarrassment when wearing even a basic t-shirt. The arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure which can help to recontour the upper arms for a firmer, more pleasing appearance.
There are several different incisions and techniques which may be used for the arm lift. Dr. Roland will be happy to meet with you for a consultation at his Manhattan office to evaluate your condition and explain which procedure can best help you to meet your desired results. Dr. Roland may perform the surgery in one of the desirable hospitals or surgicenters in the New York City area under either general anesthesia or deep sedation.
The incision for brachioplasty is placed as inconspicuously as possible. While it is located on the inner arm toward the back, typically running from the armpit to near the elbow, there is almost always some visible scarring that results. Through this incision, excess skin and fat are removed. For patients whose condition is less extensive, the incision may be limited to the armpit and then liposuction alone will be performed on the remainder of the upper arm.
Some discomfort, swelling and bruising may result after your arm lift. Medication may be taken to help ease discomfort. You will need to wear a compression garment for a period of time to help the skin of the arms contract to its new, leaner size. Most patients find that they are able to return to work within about one week following their arm lift surgery.
Arm lifts, also known as brachioplasty, can rejuvenate and recounter the upper arms by removing excess skin and fat. Arm lifts improve the appearance of loose or fatty upper arms which are often referred to as “flags” or “bat wings”. After surgery, the arms will have a firmer, more pleasing appearance.
The best candidates for the arm lift are in good physical condition with fat or loose skin of the upper arms that has not responded well to diet and exercise. Arm lifts can be particularly helpful for individuals who have lost significant weight but are left with excess loose or sagging skin.
The arm lift is performed under general anesthesia or deep sedation. Dr. Roland will make an incision on the inner arm toward the back. For patients with more severe sagging, the incision may run from the armpit to near the elbow, while patients with minimal sagging may be able to have the surgery performed through an incision limited to the armpit. Excess skin and fat are then removed and the incisions are closed.
The recovery following the arm lift may involve some amount of swelling, bruising and discomfort. A compression garment will need to be worn for a period of time as this will help the skin to contract to the new, smaller size.
Dr. Roland will advise you when you can resume activities after your arm lift as he monitors your recovery during your visits in his Manhattan office. However, most patients feel well enough to return to work after one week.
The arm lift almost always results in some visible scarring, though ever effort is made to place it as inconspicuously as possible. In most cases, the scar is located on the inner arm toward the back. The length of the scar will vary according to the degree of correction needed but it may run from the armpit to near the elbow.
Although rare, post-operative complications from arm lift surgery are possible and may include infection, bleeding, and poor healing. During consultation in his Manhattan office, Dr. Roland will review your options and explain the potential risks.
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Donald Roland, MD
BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON