What is a Brachioplasty?
A Brachioplasty, otherwise known as an Arm Lift, is a surgical procedure to reshape the soft, flabby, inner portion of the upper arm. From the axilla (underarm area) to the elbow, a Brachioplasty allows a doctor to remove the excess skin and fatty tissue that can form as we age or may occur after a large weight loss. By addressing the surplus skin that has lost its elasticity, a Brachioplasty can enhance and reshape the arms, providing a more toned appearance. Patients are left with sculpted, aesthetically pleasing upper arms.
Sometimes referred to a ‘Bat Wings’, the flabby skin of the upper arm can be irritating, unpleasant to look at, and eventually make tight sleeves extremely uncomfortable. There are several factors that may cause the upper arm to become loose and sag. Hereditary conditions, extreme fluctuations in weight, and the normal aging process will all contribute to the unsightly, shapeless tissue that accumulates under the arm. Unfortunately, once this skin has become lax and voluminous, exercise and a healthy diet will not do anything to alleviate the problem. Weights and other specific exercises may strengthen and improve muscle tone, but they cannot address the skin that has lost its elasticity and the localized fat deposits in this tissue.
To better sculpt the upper arm and shoulder area, a Brachioplasty can be combined with other procedures such as Liposuction. Permanently eliminating localized fatty deposits, Liposuction provides excellent results, although alone, it cannot address the loose, stretched tissue of the upper arm. A Brachioplasty will eliminate the hanging, excess skin patients may experience on the arms; by adding Liposuction these results can be greatly enhanced.
How is the Arm Lift Performed?
Dr. Vitenas performs his Arm Lift procedure under general anesthesia; always by a Board Certified anesthesiologist. First, Dr. Vitenas will make an incision in the inner portion of your upper arm, running laterally from the armpit to the elbow. The exact pattern and length of the incision will depend on the amount of tissue to be removed. If a patient has elected to include Liposuction with the Arm Lift procedure, once the incision is made, the suction cannula will be inserted and the excess fatty deposits removed. Dr. Vitenas will then excise unwanted skin, tighten the supportive tissues, and reshape the upper arm. Finally, the skin will be smoothed out and the self-dissolving sutures put in place.
Dr. Vitenas performs his Brachioplasty procedure as an outpatient surgery, at Houston Surgery Center, an outpatient facility conveniently located in the same building as Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. Once recovery from the anesthesia is complete, patients are discharged to rest and heal in the comfort of their own home. In 2-3 days after a Brachioplasty, patients are able to return to work; and get back to a normal exercise routine in 4-6 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a Brachioplasty?
A Brachioplasty, or Arm Lift, is a surgical procedure designed to dramatically improve the appearance of the upper arm by removing loose or lax skin and tissue. The upper arm is sculpted to an aesthetically pleasing look, correcting arm shape in a manner that cannot be achieved through exercise alone. Liposuction can be performed in addition to Brachioplasty, to further enhance the arm’s appearance.
Who is a good candidate for a Brachioplasty?
A patient in good health and who has realistic surgical expectations will make an excellent candidate for an Arm Lift. Patients should also be committed to following the appropriate recovery instructions.
What if I am a smoker?
As smoking interferes with circulation and can delay wound healing, patients should be non-smokers; or commit to quitting two weeks prior to surgery and not resuming smoking for at least eight weeks afterwards. Your Brachioplasty presents a good time to quit smoking for good.
How is the Brachioplasty performed?
To perform your Arm Lift, Dr. Vitenas will first make an incision on the inner side of the upper arm, between the elbow and the axilla (armpit area). The extent of the incisions may vary according each patient’s individual needs. After the incision is made, Liposuction (if included) will be used to remove excess fat deposits from the arm. The unneeded, unsightly extra skin will be excised, and then the remaining tissue will be tightened and sutured.
Where are the incisions made for an Arm Lift?
The incision for a Brachioplasty will run from the elbow to the axilla (armpit area).
Will my Arm Lift leave scars?
Yes, there is a scar from a Brachioplasty procedure. While this will fade over time, the scar can be noticeable. Few patients, however, are displeased with the scar once they see the remarkable sculpted arms that result from their Brachioplasty procedure.
What type of anesthesia is used during an Arm Lift?
Dr. Vitenas normally performs the Brachioplasty under local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia.
How long does a Brachioplasty procedure take?
An Arm Lift surgery will take between 1-2 hours, with additional time needed for the recovery from anesthesia.
Where will my Brachioplasty be performed?
Dr. Vitenas’ Arm Lift is an outpatient procedure, performed at Houston Surgery Center, an outpatient facility conveniently located in the same building as Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery.
Is the Brachioplasty a painful procedure?
During your procedure, an accredited anesthesiologist will be in the room, keeping you comfortable during surgery. Your recovery may include some mild discomfort, but Dr. Vitenas will prescribe appropriate prescription pain medications during this time – usually the first 2-5 days.
What can I expect from the recovery, after an Arm Lift?
You may experience some swelling for the first 7-14 days, but this will slowly dissolve on its own. A compression garment will need to be worn for the first few days after surgery, to aid in healing of the arm. Dr. Vitenas will remove your bandages at your follow-up visit. Bruising, if any, is usually minimal.
How long is the recovery after a Brachioplasty?
The recovery from an Arm Lift will take about a week; during this time most swelling should resolve, pain should significantly subside, and bandages come off. You will then be able to return to work and slowly return to all of your normal, daily activities.
When will I be able to return to work after my Arm Lift procedure?
After your Brachioplasty, you will be able to return to work in about 3-7 days.
When can I begin exercising after my Brachioplasty?
After your Arm Lift, light exercise can be resumed after 2 weeks; you should hold off on any vigorous exercise or strenuous lifting for about 4-6 weeks.
What are the risks or possible complications from a Brachioplasty?
A Brachioplasty is an extremely safe procedure but there is the rare occasion for complications. Unusual, but possible, risks include unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, asymmetry, skin discoloration, or loss of sensation in the arm.
How soon will I notice my Arm Lift results?
After your Brachioplasty, you will be able to immediately notice an improvement in the contour of your upper arm. The final results from your Arm Lift will take up to six months to appear, once all swelling diminishes and the scars heal.
How long will my Arm Lift results last?
The results from your Brachioplasty can last for many years to come if you are careful to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid any large fluctuations in weight. All of these things, plus the normal aging process, can affect tissue laxity and cause a recurrence of the loose upper arm skin over time.
Is Liposuction an alternative to Brachioplasty?
Liposuction is not an alternative to Brachioplasty if you are dealing with loose, droopy skin on the upper arm. Liposuction can remove localized fat deposits, but will not address lax tissue. At your consultation appointment, Dr. Vitenas will discuss all of your options for an upper arm contouring procedure.
How much does a Brachioplasty cost?
Depending on your individual situation, a Brachioplasty will cost between $9,000-$10,000. This includes the doctor’s fee, the cost of the surgical suite, anesthesiology, and all follow-up care. At your consultation appointment, Dr. Vitenas will go over the exact cost of your Arm Lift surgery.
What can I expect at my Brachioplasty consultation?
Your Brachioplasty consultation with Dr. Vitenas will provide an opportunity for you to discuss your aesthetic wishes and surgical goals. He will review your history, go over the Arm Lift procedure and recovery, and show you Before/After photos of his previous Brachioplasty surgeries.
Will it be possible to finance my Arm Lift procedure?
Yes, Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery accepts cash and major credit cards; to assist with the cost of your Brachioplasty, we also accept healthcare financing through CareCredit.