Loose skin that hangs from the upper arms is most commonly the result of large weight loss. As a result of significant weight gain, the skin is greatly stretched, which causes it to lose its ability to retract and conform to the body’s new contours when weight is lost. This hanging skin is frequently a source of embarrassment that makes it difficult to wear sleeveless clothing and swimsuits with confidence.
An additional factor which can cause the upper arms to have a flabby appearance is the accumulation of fatty deposits in this area. In arm lift surgery, a firmer, slimmer appearance is restored to the arms through the removal of excess skin and fat and tightening of the underlying supportive tissues.
The surgery achieves the following goals:
- Eliminates the appearance of “bat wings,” the loose skin which hangs from the upper arms.
- Reduces the excess accumulation of fat which can give the arms a flabby appearance.
- Restores a firmer, slimmer appearance to the arms through techniques to tighten the skin and underlying supportive tissues.
- Allows you to wear sleeveless styles and swimwear with greater confidence.
The Arm Lift Procedure
The incision length for an arm lift largely depends on the amount of excess skin that is to be removed. In general, the incision stretches from the axilla (underarm) to the elbow. In cases where less skin removal is required, a semi-circular incision may be made in the underarms.
If there is excess fat, this will be removed using liposuction. Excess skin is trimmed away, and the underlying tissues are tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. The incisions are closed with absorbable stitches or stitches that will be removed in 1-2 weeks. An arm lift procedure is completed in 1-3 hours.
Arm Lift Recovery
Following your surgery, Dr. Laufer may recommend an overnight stay in one of his SurgiCentre’s recovery suites, where you will be cared for by our highly-trained registered nursing staff. If you live within 30 miles of our facility, Dr. Laufer will offer a visit to your home by a plastic surgery nurse who is trained to assist you with your recovery. The nurse will monitor your recovery, change any dressings, assist you with your medication, and provide Dr. Laufer with an update on your condition.
To reduce swelling and help your body conform to its new contours, you may be fitted with a compression garment which will be worn for approximately four weeks. Bruising and swelling diminishes within 1-2 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work in a week and resume exercise in about four weeks.
The results of an arm lift are typically long-lasting provided that you maintain a stable weight.