What is it?

No procedure has grown faster over the last 15 years than the “arm lift” or brachioplasty. There has been a nearly 5000% increase in this procedure since 2000 according to the American Society for Plastic Surgery. This surgery addresses extra tissue in the upper arms. Unfortunately diet and exercise are often ineffective at targeting the upper arm. Patients who experience dramatic weight loss are a particular group of patients who often find themselves with difficult-to-address areas of excess skin on the upper arms. The common denominator is patients displeased with the appearance of their arms due to excess skin and/or fat. For many patients, arm lift surgery is the best option.

Who is a candidate?

  • A healthy patient with stable weight over a period of at least 6 months
  • A patient displeased with excess skin and/or fat in the upper arm

Technique

The procedure is performed using IV/conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Depending on the patient’s anatomy, improvements to the upper arm can be made with either direct surgical excision or liposuction alone:

  • In cases of excess skin, an incision is made in the inside of the upper arm to best conceal its appearance. The incision size depends on the amount of skin which needs to be excised
  • In cases where liposuction alone can address the patient’s concerns, smaller incisions yield nearly imperceptible scars.

Recovery

  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Result: immediate in cases of direct excision; if liposuction alone may take up to 3 months to fully appreciate effect
  • Pain: Variable. Oral pain medicine may be needed for 4-7 days
  • Special garment: A compression garment will be placed at time of surgery and should be worn for at least 4 weeks.
  • Drain removal: Rarely placed; if placed, removed by 1 week
  • Suture removal: All sutures are dissolvable
  • Activity/Shower/Driving restriction: Encouraged to walk immediately. May shower 2 days after surgery. May drive when no longer requiring narcotic pain medication. No strenuous activity/heavy lifting for 6 weeks.
  • Time off work: Expect to require up to 1 week off of work depending on job demands.
  • Follow-up: You will be seen in office following surgery at 1 week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months, and 6 months or as needed

If you would like to learn more about arm lift surgery, please fill out our contact form and we will be happy to assist you! Alternatively, you can call to schedule a consultation to see Dr. Galanis in Beverly Hills at 310-858-8930 or in Chicago at 844-GALANIS (844-425-2647).