About Arm Lift Surgery
Tightening up your skin with an arm lift
Upper arm lift surgery gets rid of bat wings, or flabby arms, that develop after losing weight or with age and loss of skin elasticity in the upper arms.
If you have skin laxity in your upper arms and wish to restore smoother, more toned arm contours that can't be achieved with exercise alone, an upper arm lift may be recommended. An arm lift may also be recommended to correct extra skin that has developed in patients who are pursuing body contouring after massive weight loss.
The best candidates for arm lift surgery include adult patients who are non-smokers in good mental and physical health, have adequate skin elasticity and wish to correct flabby arms. The benefits of restoring arm proportions and contours should outweigh the fact that arm lift surgery requires a scar to develop on the inside of your upper arm.
What to expect during arm lift surgery
During upper arm lift surgery, patients may be placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. The choice of anesthesia depends largely on how extensive their arm lift surgery will be and the number of other surgical procedures being performed, such as thigh lift or tummy tuck, in conjunction with the arm lift.
Arm lift techniques, including the length and pattern of incisions, used during surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed and Dr. Motlagh's judgment in determining what will work best for you. Generally, the less skin you need removed, the more minimal the incisions may be. Incisions are typically placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow.
Arm lift incisions
Inner Arm Incision
Back of Arm Incision
Minimal Arm Incision
After incisions are made, underlying arm tissues are tightened and reshaped with internal sutures and the skin is smoothed and redraped over your arm. Most arm lift procedures include some upper arm liposuction to provide further smoothing and contouring.
The entire procedure takes about 2-3 hours, and absorbable sutures or stitches may be used to close your arm lift incisions. Absorbable sutures, as the name implies, absorb as you heal and unlike stitches, do not require removal.
Before your arm lift, Dr. Motlagh will discuss all potential arm lift risks and complications with you to ensure you are fully informed before proceeding with surgery.
Bruising, swelling, discomfort and temporary numbness are common arm lift side effects that will resolve completely within two weeks to a few months following surgery.
Arm lift complications may include many of the same risks other surgical procedures pose, such as:
Following arm lift surgery, your incisions will be dressed with surgical tape, and you will need to wear compression sleeves for at least two weeks in order to reduce swelling and avoid contour irregularities.
Arm lift surgery typically requires only 2-3 days of downtime, and most patients are back to work at desk jobs within one week. Complete arm lift recovery takes 2-4 weeks, and arm movement at the shoulder and vigorous exercise should not be resumed for at least 3-4 weeks. You can expect to see final results a few months after your upper arm lift.
Although most upper arm lift risks are unlikely to occur, it is important to follow all pre- and post-operative instructions and keep follow-up appointments so Dr. Motlagh can monitor your recovery and healing to ensure you have a great aesthetic outcome.
Tyler Plastic Surgery serves Tyler arm lift patients, as well as upper arm lift patients in northeastern Texas, including Tyler, Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth, and Shreveport, Louisiana.