Arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to correct deformities in the arms. Sagging and excessive fat deposits in the arms can be caused by aging, genetic factors, and significant weight loss, among other reasons, and can significantly affect a person’s daily life. The appearance of “bat wings” in which loose skin hangs from the arms when they are extended sideways can be particularly bothersome. Individuals may experience difficulty in arm movements, be unable to wear desired clothing, and feel unhappy with their appearance. Arm lift surgery aims to remove excess fat and tighten the skin, creating a more toned and aesthetic arm contour.
Who is a Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?
Arm lift surgery is suitable for individuals experiencing loose and sagging skin in the upper arm area, disproportional upper and lower arm regions, and those who are unable to get rid of stubborn upper arm fat even after weight loss. The following conditions are necessary for undergoing this surgery:
- Being 18 years of age or older
- Having no chronic illnesses or health conditions that prevent undergoing surgery or anesthesia
- Not being pregnant, having recently given birth, or being in the breastfeeding period
- Not being obese
- Having a body mass index (BMI) below 30
How is Arm Lift Surgery Performed?
Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room. If there are stubborn fat tissues in the arms, especially in cases of localized fat deposits, liposuction is performed first. Vaser liposuction, a technique that utilizes ultrasonic sound waves to liquefy fat, can be effective in these cases. The liquefied fat is then suctioned out.
During arm lift surgery, an incision is made along the underside of the arm, extending from the armpit to the elbow. If the sagging is limited to a smaller area, the incision may be shorter. The surgery involves tightening and removing excess skin from the arm. The incision is closed with sutures. Brachioplasty typically takes between 1 and 3 hours to complete.
What is the Recovery Process Like After Arm Lift Surgery?
After arm lift surgery, it may be necessary to stay in the hospital overnight, depending on the extent of the operation. In minor cases, the patient may be discharged on the same day. If there is a risk of bleeding or fluid accumulation at the surgical site, drains may be inserted to allow the fluid to drain externally. The drains are typically removed after 3 to 4 days. If there is discomfort, pain medication can be used in the initial days. Swelling, bruising, and edema are normal in the operated area. Applying cold compresses can help alleviate discomfort. Swelling, edema, and other effects typically subside within a few days. The person can return to their daily activities within 7 days after the surgery. It takes about 1.5 months for the complete healing process, during which the full effects of the arm lift surgery become visible.
What Precautions Should Be Taken After Arm Lift Surgery?
The following precautions should be taken after arm lift surgery:
- Wearing the compression garment as instructed by the doctor.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Protecting the arm area from impacts.
- Avoiding hot baths, saunas, steam rooms, swimming pools, and the beach.
- Avoiding lifting heavy objects and engaging in physically strenuous activities.
- Keeping the arms elevated.
- Using sunscreen to protect the incision area from sun exposure.
Is the Use of Compression Garments Necessary After Arm Lift Surgery?
The use of a compression garment is essential after arm lift surgery. The compression garment helps reduce swelling in the arm area. It helps maintain and shape the arm during the healing process. An arm-specific compression garment should be worn continuously for 3 weeks, and then only at night for an additional 3 weeks.
Will There Be Scarring After Arm Lift Surgery?
In arm lift surgery, the incision is made along the underside of the arm. The length of the incision depends on the size of the surgical area and can extend from the armpit to the elbow. In minor operations, the incision may be smaller. The visibility of the incision scar varies in each individual over time. In individuals who do not smoke, have a healthy diet, and have fair skin, the scar tends to fade. If the person is bothered by the scar, laser scar removal can be considered in the future.
How Long Does the Effect of Arm Lift Surgery Last?
Arm lift surgery is a long-lasting procedure if certain conditions are met. To maintain the long-term effects, it is important not to gain excessive weight and to maintain a stable weight. Therefore, adopting healthy eating and regular exercise habits as a lifestyle is crucial.
Can Sagging Arms be Corrected with Exercise Without Surgery?
It is not possible to correct arm sagging and the appearance of “bat wings” solely through exercise. Regular exercise can help prevent arm sagging in younger ages. However, if the sagging has already occurred, exercise alone cannot reverse the deformity. Non-surgical treatments for mild sagging may be considered, but for moderate to severe sagging, surgery is necessary.
When Can Exercise Be Resumed After Arm Lift Surgery?
Exercise can be resumed approximately 1.5 months after arm lift surgery, starting from the completion of the healing process. Specific exercises targeting the arm muscles can help maintain firmness and strengthen the muscles.
Is Arm Lift Surgery Risky?
The risks associated with arm lift surgery are determined during the preoperative examination and testing, and the surgery is planned accordingly. If there is a risk for the individual undergoing surgery, the procedure will not be performed. Arm lift surgery itself does not pose a significant risk for individuals who are suitable candidates.
Can Arm Lift Surgery Be Combined with Other Procedures?
Arm lift surgery can be combined with other procedures such as breast aesthetics, tummy tuck, and liposuction. Combined surgeries can provide a more convenient recovery process and can be more cost-effective since the individual will undergo anesthesia only once for multiple procedures, eliminating the need for separate anesthesia for each surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Arm Lift Surgery?
Arm lift surgery provides the following benefits:
- Correcting sagging, fatty appearance, asymmetry, and disproportion in the arms, resulting in a firm, toned, and aesthetic arm contour
- No need for suture removal as absorbable sutures are used
- It can be combined with various other aesthetic procedures, including liposuction
- The incision is made on the underside of the arm, making it less visible
- Improved self-confidence and ability to wear desired clothing
- Preventing friction between sagging arms and the body, promoting hygiene and preventing skin irritation
- A comfortable procedure with minimal risks
- Price-wise, combined surgeries can be more economical
Arm Lift Surgery Prices
Arm lift surgery prices vary for each individual. Factors influencing the cost include the extent of arm deformity, the need for liposuction, the quality of materials used in the surgery, the experience of the surgeon, and the facility where the surgery is performed. The most accurate price information can be obtained after a personal examination by a specialist.