Is it any surprise that Beyonce, the singer who coined a word (bootylicious) to describe her backside, has a body that women around the world want to have? While Queen Bey stays in shape and keeps her arms toned by occasionally following a plant-based diet, working out with interval training, and generally living the life of a busy pop star on the go, there are less intense ways for you to get arms like B’s.
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, removes the extra skin and fat from the upper arm area, creating a slimmer, more toned appearance. There are a few reasons why an arm lift might be the right call for you, whether you want sculpted looking arms like Beyonce’s or just want to wear a tank top again without feeling self-conscious.
Women and Their Arms
Blame it on the increase in sleeveless tops and dresses, but it seems as though a lot more women these days feel some level of self consciousness about the way their arms look. Just like other parts of the body, the arms start to show signs of aging as people get older. For some women, the skin in the upper arm area becomes crepey, wrinkled and thin. Many women develop so-called “bat wings,” meaning the combination of looser or sagging skin and a loss of muscle tone creates a flap beneath their upper arm.
Increased concern about the upper arm area has led to a dramatic increase in the number of arm lifts that surgeons perform each year. For many women, no amount of arm exercises, plank poses or a healthy diet is sufficient for getting rid of those bat wings. Surgery is often the most effective option, particularly if sagging skin and fatty deposits are the main thing causing flappy arms.
What Happens During Brachioplasty
Brachioplasty is a full surgical procedure, which means patients are under general anesthesia for it. The process involves trimming away extra skin from the upper arm area, as well as suctioning out excess fat. The supportive tissues beneath the skin are also tightened during an arm lift to help create a smooth, toned look.
At the start of an arm lift, the surgeon makes a long incision along the upper arm. Although the incision is on the back of the arm and is often under the armpit, part of it might be visible after the procedure is over. Usually, though, the scar from the incision is faint and barely noticeable. For many people looking to improve the appearance of their arms, the faint scar is a small price to pay.
Are You a Candidate?
As with any plastic surgery, not everyone is a good fit for an arm lift. Some habits, such as smoking, can rule out an arm lift for you. Smoking or using tobacco interferes with the healing process and can make scarring worse. If you currently smoke, your surgeon will recommend quitting several weeks before the surgery and to continue to not smoke for several weeks afterwards.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations about what an arm lift can and can’t do. While it’s fine to want arms like Beyonce’s, it’s important to understand that having an arm lift won’t turn you into Beyonce. Your arms will look trimmer and more toned, but you won’t end up a famous singer. In some cases, people get enough of a boost in self esteem after getting an arm lift that they do start chasing their dreams. But, it’s important to remember that you need to pursue you dreams, having plastic surgery won’t just make them come true.
Although some patients consider an arm lift to minimize the results of aging on their arms, others consider the surgery because a dramatic weight loss has left them with a fair amount of excess, sagging skin in their upper arms and elsewhere. If you have lost a lot of weight and are considering brachioplasty, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve reached or are near your goal weight. Losing more weight after surgery can mean that you’ll need a second procedure at a later date.
What Happens After Brachioplasty
After you have an arm lift, you can expect to make some changes to your regular routine for a few weeks. Typically, the initial recovery takes about a week. During that time, you’ll want to stay home from work or school and limit physical activity. You might have some discomfort and swelling in your arms. Keeping your arms elevated (by propping them up with pillows) can help bring the swelling down. Talk to your surgeon about pain relievers to reduce discomfort and avoid lifting or straining with your arms. You should also wear a compression garment on the arms to help them settle during the first few days of recovery.
Your best bet is to steer clear of strenuous exercise for about a month after your surgery, although you might feel well enough to do light activity after a week or two. Light activity might include going for a walk or grocery shopping.
Although you’ll see some improvement in the shape of your arms right after surgery, it can take months before you have significant improvement. Typically, you can expect to see final results after about six months, when the swelling has fully had time to subside and your scars time to heal.
If leaner, more toned arms are one of your goals but exercise and diet don’t seem to help, talk to a plastic surgeon about an arm lift today. In Houston, Texas, Dr. Paul Vitenas, a board certified plastic surgeon and one of the area’s top doctors, regularly performs brachioplasty. To learn more, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation today.