When we see summer in our near future, many of us are thinking about how we can work off that little belly pooch or firm up the thighs. Rarely do we hear much about the embarrassment a person may feel about droopy upper arms. We call this condition “bat wings,” and see it when we lift an arm to wave. Excess skin may develop as a result of weight loss or aging and, regardless of the reason, cause a person to hide their arms by wearing long-sleeved clothing. If you are tired of covering up, join the thousands of people who have had arm lift surgery and say goodbye to your bat wings for good.
Statistics indicate that, between 2000 and 2013, the number of arm lift surgeries performed increased by 4000%. The procedure, called Brachioplasty, continues to be popular as patients realize the lifelong benefits of a lift like this are well worth the investment of time and money.
What Is an Arm Lift?
Brachioplasty is the surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the upper arm. This is a customized procedure that may incur incisions from the underarm area to the elbow, or it may need only limited incisions. In either situation, surgeons place incisions on the underside of the arm where scars cannot be seen when the arms are at the sides.
What Happens During Surgery?
Arm lifts are performed in an outpatient surgery center. Patients are given general anesthesia to put them into an unconscious state for the two to three-hour procedure. During the surgery, an incision is made on the underside of the arm. If there is excess fat in the upper arm, liposuction may be performed. This procedure suctions fat through a small tube. After fat removal, the skin and superficial tissue are pulled tight. Excess is trimmed and the two new edges of tissue are stitched together. A small drainage tube may be inserted to prevent fluid buildup. The arms are bandaged and dressed to protect the incisions as they close.
Arm Lift Recovery
A compression garment may be applied to each arm after surgery to minimize swelling. For a few days, patients rely on prescription pain medication to maintain comfort. Many are able to stop taking medication after three to four days. While walking and light activities can resume right away, patients can expect to have limitations that prevent stretching the upper arm area. Regular activities can usually resume in three to four weeks.