Drastic weight loss or natural ageing can cause sagging skin in different parts of your body, including your arms. If you want to have more toned and defined upper arms, an arm lift might be the right procedure for you.
Below, we are giving you an overview of what an arm lift is, who it is for, how much it costs, and what you can expect after the procedure.
What is an arm lift?
An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a type of plastic surgery. This surgical procedure involves removing excess fat and skin in your upper arms to provide a more toned look.
Before the procedure, it is important that you inform your doctor about any medications you take or conditions you might have. You will be requested to take a few tests to make sure you’re in good physical conditions to undergo surgery.
During the consultation, you will discuss with your doctor what expectations you have and you will decide together on what contour and shape you want to achieve.
As for the procedure itself, here’s how an arm lift works step by step:
- You will be administered a local anaesthetic in your arms to numb the area that needs to be treated. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything at least 6 hours prior to the procedure.
- The surgeon makes a few 3-4 mm incisions around your arms. These will be the access points to remove the excess fat.
- The surgeon will insert a cannula and a head through the incisions in the fatty tissue. As the surgeon moves the cannula, the fatty tissue is separated from non-fatty tissue via infrasound. Excess fat is removed via liposuction and loose skin is cut to reach the desired contour. At the same time, vessels, nerves and other surrounding elements are left untouched. The average duration of the procedure with anaesthesia is 2 hours for both arms.
- Incisions are closed with stitches and any wounds are sealed and dressed. The doctor may insert a drainage tube for a short period of time to drain any excess fluid. You will stay at our clinic from 8 to 24 hours after surgery.
Please remember that it is very important to stop smoking and drinking alcohol before surgery as they might compromise or slow down your healing and recovery.
Is arm lift right for you?
An arm lift procedure is typically recommended for individuals who want to improve the appearance of their upper arms following massive weight loss (e.g. as a consequence of weight-loss surgery) or due to the natural process of ageing, which causes the skin to sag.
In order to assess whether you are eligible for an arm lift, make sure to inform the doctor during the consultation of any medical conditions, comorbidity, or health problems you currently have.
People suffering from cancer, blood coagulation disorder, cardiological diseases, diabetes and varicose veins may not be eligible for an arm lift procedure. Each individual is different and requires specific care and assessment, so please get in touch with us anytime for a first consultation!
How to Prepare for an Arm Lift Procedure
When preparing for an arm lift surgery, there are several crucial steps that should not be overlooked. The first step is to schedule a pre-check up appointment with the plastic surgeon. Additionally, there are other important tasks that need to be completed:
Completing Necessary Forms
The patient is often asked to diligently fill out specific forms, providing accurate information. This step assists the surgeon in prescribing appropriate medications for both pre and post-surgery. It also helps the doctor in evaluating the patient’s eligibility for an arm lift procedure.
Planning transportation to and from the surgical facility on the day of the arm lift surgery is often an overlooked, but important step. It is important to note that the patient may not be able to drive themselves home following the procedure. Ensuring reliable transportation is vital for the patient’s safety and convenience.
It is strongly advised for smokers to discontinue smoking for at least four weeks prior to the surgery. This proactive measure can significantly enhance the healing process of wounds and reduce the potential for complications. The patient’s overall health and successful recovery depend on their commitment to quitting smoking during this period.
Following Pre-Surgery Instructions
The surgeon provides specific instructions regarding pre-surgical practices such as showering, makeup removal, and other hygiene protocols. Diligently adhering to these instructions effectively mitigates potential risks and ensures a smooth and successful surgery.
By carefully following these steps, the patient can ensure they are fully prepared for their arm lift surgery. Their commitment to these preparations will contribute to a safe and successful procedure, as well as a smooth recovery process.
How Soon Can A Person Recover ?
The recovery timeline after an arm lift surgery can vary from person to person, but there are some general guidelines to consider. Here is an overview of the recovery timeline:-
Immediately After Surgery
In the first 1-3 days after the arm lift surgery, most patients may experience moderate pain, which can be effectively managed with medication.
First week: Within the initial week of recovery, most patients are able to mobilize and walk around comfortably. By ten days after the surgery, the majority of patients can safely resume driving.
After 2-3 weeks: The complete recovery process for arm lift surgery typically spans around two to three weeks. During this period, it is crucial to adhere to the post-operative care instructions provided by the surgeon, which may include avoiding strenuous activities and wearing compression garments.
After 4-6 weeks: After a month, the arms will have completed their initial recovery phase. However, it is important to note that the surgical scar will continue to heal and gradually fade over time.
It is essential to bear in mind that the recovery timeline can vary depending on individual factors such as skin health and overall well-being.
Recovery Tips After an Arm Lift Surgery
For a speedy recovery after an arm lift surgery, the following tips are invaluable:
Rest and Sleep
After arm lift surgery, the patient’s body needs ample time to heal. Prioritizing rest and getting sufficient sleep is highly recommended. Sleeping on the back during the initial days following the surgery helps alleviate pressure on the arms, facilitating a smoother recovery.
Embrace compression garments
Compression garments play a pivotal role in reducing swelling and providing essential support to the treated area. It is crucial to wear these garments as instructed by the surgeon, as it can expedite the healing process and enhance overall comfort.
Harness the Power of Ice
Applying ice packs to the treated area helps combat swelling. This simple yet effective technique significantly reduces swelling. However, it is crucial to avoid using heating pads, as heat can exacerbate swelling and hinder the recovery progress.
Proper wound care is paramount for a seamless recovery. Following the surgeon’s instructions diligently on how to clean and dress the incision site prevents potential infections. Adhering to these guidelines ensures a hygienic environment for healing.
Utilize an Anti-Scar Cream
Applying an anti-scar cream or ointment as recommended by the surgeon minimizes the appearance of scars and promotes healing. This proactive approach significantly contributes to a smoother and more aesthetically pleasing outcome.
By implementing these top tips, patients can expedite their recovery after an arm lift procedure. It is important to remember that a well-planned and executed recovery plan is crucial for achieving the best possible results. Patients should always consult with their surgeon for personalized advice and guidance throughout their healing journey.
Can One Experience Scarring After Surgery
Scarring is indeed associated with arm lift surgery. The extent and visibility of these scars may vary depending on the specific procedure and individual factors. Although scarring is an inevitable outcome of significant arm lift surgery, there are steps that can be taken to minimize their appearance and facilitate healing. It is important to have a thorough discussion regarding potential scarring and available scar care options with a qualified plastic surgeon prior to undergoing an arm lift surgery.
How much does an arm lift cost?
An arm lift procedure with liposuction for both arms starts at €3300 at KCM Clinic. This is a package offer. Here’s what’s included in the price:
- Arm lift procedure performed by one of our plastic surgery specialists
- Comprehensive diagnostics and all pre-op consultations
- Hospitalisation in a comfortable single room with Wi-Fi and Netflix
- Specialist post-op dressings or compression garments
- Personal Coordinator at the clinic and post-op treatment plan
- Access to our support group – KCM Clinic Plastic Surgery Poland
Accommodation at a nearby hotel and pick-up to/from Wroclaw airport or train station are available at an extra charge.
For a more detailed overview of our plastic surgery prices have a look here.
What should you expect after an arm lift?
Patients usually stay at our clinic for up to 24 hours after surgery. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and side effects that may occur, although they happen very rarely. These include: infection, bruises, visible scarring, or change in the skin sensation.
We recommend patients to avoid exercising or lifting heavy weights for the first few weeks to give their body time to recover and heal. In order to ensure a smooth recovery and healing it is also important that patients avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for as long as possible.
After surgery, you will be covered in bandages and dressings and you might need to use compression garments to ease your recovery. Our specialists will give you clear instructions on all the do’s and don’ts for your post-op time. Also during your recovery period, we are available to answer any questions you might have.
Results of arm lift procedures are typically visible right after the surgery has ended, although you might notice some swelling in the treated area. This should subside in the next few days. You will immediately notice the refined contour and shape of your upper arms. We’ve had many patients boasting impressive results!
If you’re looking for additional procedures that can help you achieve a more toned look, many patients who have lost large amounts of weight and have sagging skin as a result choose to undergo a body lift or a back lift. For more information, get in touch with us anytime via the form below.
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