Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation
Please reach out and schedule a complimentary consultation, or click the button below to ask a question. We can't wait to see you in our office!
Excess skin on the arms can get in the way of everyday activities and lower a person’s confidence. It can ripple and sway with your every movement and bulge out of clothing. While poor skin elasticity due to aging is often the cause of sagging skin in this area, significant weight fluctuations are the most common culprit. Once the skin is stretched by weight gain, the skin may not “bounce back” to its original tone once the weight is lost. No amount of body firming techniques can tighten this excess skin; an arm lift procedure is the only solution. I offer several techniques for the arm lift procedure, including a nonsurgical option, and the right technique for you will depend on your goals and the degree of correction you need.
The arm lift procedure is very satisfying for patients, especially for those who have lost a significant amount of weight. This procedure is the final step for many who want to achieve their ultimate goal of firm, toned arms. The arm lift also provides more options for exercise, clothing, and day-to-day activities, as it gives patients free range of movement and increased confidence in their own skin.
Patients who only have a small amount of loose skin and extra fat can benefit most from non-surgical treatments.
Smartlipo™ is for those who are more concerned with excess fat than they are with loose skin. This procedure tightens the skin and removes fat at the same time.
A surgical arm lift is the best solution for a significant amount of sagging skin that hangs from the arms.
For patients with a combination of moderate loose skin and fat, I can combine the Smartlipo™ procedure with a short scar brachioplasty (arm tuck). This technique places the incision within the armpit, thus giving the patient the benefit of a brachioplasty without a more visible scar.
If you desire minimal improvement to the appearance of your arms and excess fat is your main concern, SmartlipoTM is the solution.
With fat reduction and subtle tightening of the skin, patients can have slender arms that will likely reveal the muscle tone beneath the fat that was there.
Those who have significant sagging skin that moves when you wave your arms are candidates for surgical skin removal with the arm lift.
If only slight correction of sagging skin is needed, non-surgical skin tightening may be the best treatment option.
If sagging skin gets in the way of routine activities like jogging or if it restricts your movement in clothing, any of the arm lift procedures may be best for you depending on the degree of correction you desire.
Men and women alike choose the arm lift procedure for the confidence they know it will bring.
Clothing fits better, and the arms appear naturally firmer and free of excess skin and fat.
Since a surgical arm lift requires a long incision beneath the arm, many patients are concerned about the resulting scar.
My practice was the first in Colorado to implement an innovative solution to visible scarring: Embrace®. This treatment delivers a consistent force along the scar line, which shields the scar from the tensions created during the skin’s natural healing process and from normal body movement. As a result, the scar heals quickly and without visibility. It also minimizes discomfort along the scar line that typically occurs a couple of weeks after surgery.
General anesthesia is not required for pain management during non-surgical treatment or Smartlipo™; it is required for a surgical arm lift.
The patient will not feel any pain during the procedure. Any discomfort the patient experiences after surgery can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
Recovery from a non-surgical arm lift or Smartlipo™ is about one week; recovery from the surgical arm lift takes between one and two weeks.
The non-surgical recovery process can be shortened significantly with the addition of SmoothShapes™. The technology involves a combination of dynamic light, laser energy, and vacuum and rolling massage to lower the risk of complications and lessen discomfort and recovery time.
The cost of the arm lift procedure will depend on which procedure you choose and the degree of correction you need.
The cost for the surgical arm lift procedure will vary greatly from region to region and from surgeon to surgeon; a higher cost does not necessarily guarantee higher quality work. The procedure is well worth the investment at the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). According to the most recent statistics, the average cost of an arm lift is $3,936. This statistic does not include the cost of anesthesia, operating room fees, or related expenses.
Any adult can choose to have this procedure, but most patients are between the ages of 30 and 60 years and are in good mental and physical health. Patients have either excess skin, excess fat, or both, and each patient's condition will be treated with my customized approach.
After surgery, your arms will be wrapped in bandages or a compression garment to minimize swelling, and a small tube may be placed to drain excess fluids. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and assist you for the first 24 hours or longer if you think you may need the help. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the incisions and what to look for regarding signs of infection. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled a couple of weeks after surgery to ensure you are healing correctly and that you are satisfied with your results.
The non-surgical arm lift is best for those who have more excess fat than excess skin. In my experience, devices that tighten the skin externally only offer a 10 to 20 percent total improvement. Although this seems low, it is sizable when you consider that it is a non-invasive treatment. Most patients are very satisfied with their results and are happy they did not choose surgery when excess fat in the arms was the main concern. Some patients desire multiple treatments in order to achieve the results they desire.
The technologies for non-surgical treatments differ, and there are numerous devices on the market. These include but are not limited to devices that utilize ultrasound (VASERshape®, Ulthera®), radiofrequency (Thermage®, truSculpt™), cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting®) and laser (Titan™). Contrary to the wild marketing claims for these different technologies, the outcomes are fairly similar. Therefore, the device chosen should be based on a patient’s issues and the FDA’s approved treatment area criterion for a specific device. As no device is at the front of the pack, I advise patients to do their research, examine the financial cost closely, and seek multiple consults.
There are no scars with a non-surgical arm lift, short scars (about ¼ inch) with Smartlipo™, and a scar that starts beneath the arm and ends near the elbow with a surgical arm lift. The scar with surgical arm lift may be shorter depending on the amount of skin that needs to be removed. I treat all patients with the Smartlipo™ device at the same time as the brachioplasty procedure. This increases the degree of skin contraction and reduces the amount of tension required for skin closure.
Copyright © 2013 Aspen Institute of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery