Plastic Procedures > Cosmetic Procedures > Body
What is Arm Tuck, Brachioplasty or Rejuvenation of the
Droopy, sagging upper arms can make you feel self conscious in a short sleeve shirt, and you may as well forget about that red strapless dress you have been eyeing at the local boutique. Sound familiar? If so, you may be a candidate for an arm lift (brachioplasty). This popular plastic surgery procedure can help your arms go from "flabulous" to "fabulous."
An arm lift – with or without liposuction – can help create a well-defined, trim and toned upper arm that complements your figure as well as your wardrobe. Today's arm lift techniques are safer and the scars are much less conspicuous than they have been in the past.
With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, it is imperative that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and so on. When considering any form of cosmetic surgery, it is important to have a good understanding of the procedure before making a decision. Take some time to view the introductory information we have provided on arm tuck, lift or reduction or brachioplasty. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, it may not answer all of your questions. To get complete answers to the questions you are seeking, we recommend that you contact us.
Candidates for Arm Lift
An arm lift is one of the top four most popular plastic surgery procedures performed following massive weight loss. This is because people who lose massive amounts of weight tend to have significant amounts of fat hanging under their arms.
The soft tissue of the arm becomes lax, setting the stage for ptosis (sagging), otherwise referred to as the bat-wing appearance.
Thin people, too, may have sagging upper arms due to the effects of aging and genetics.
Even people who engage in regular exercise including Pilates and strength training cannot get rid of excess, sagging skin that develops in this area.
Fluctuations in weight, growing older and even heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits.
Appearance of reddish or whitish striae in the skin is a sign for stretching of the skin beyond its elastic capacity that lead to breakdown the collagen fibers and this damage is permanent and skin excision is the only reconstructive procedure that could be done.
In general, candidates for an arm lift include:
- Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity
- Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Types of Redundant arms:
There are 4 types or shapes for sagging of the arms according to fatty deposition and location of redundant skin:
Type I : Excess skin with minimal fatty depositions (e.g. Post-bariatric).
Type II : Excess in both skin and fat (e.g. obesity).
Type III: Excess skin in upper third of the arm (e.g. aging).
Type IV : Excess skin in lower third of the arm (e.g. aging, after massive weight loss).
What is before planning for Arm Lift?
You will be supplied with a list of pre-operative instructions to follow in the days and weeks leading up to your arm lift. These instructions may include quitting smoking as smoking can have deleterious effects on wound healing, stop taking certain medications such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and certain vitamins/homeopathic regimens that are known to increase the risk of bleeding.
A high protein diet may also enhance the healing process.
How is the Arm Tuck Performed?
- An arm lift typically takes one to three hours depending on the extent of the surgery.
- It may involve local anesthesia with intravenous sedation – leaving you awake, but not totally aware – or general anesthesia.
- Liposuction may be sufficient enough for people with smooth skin and just a small amount of flab.
- The more invasive total arm lift procedure may benefit people with larger areas of fat underneath the arms, poor skin quality and sun damaged skin.
- To perform an upper arm lift, incisions are made on the inside or back of your arm. Incisions may span from the underarm to just above the elbow. Some people may only require minimal incisions from the area where the inner, upper arm joins the armpit. This is known as a minimal incision arm lift.
- You may be a candidate for a minimal incision arm lift if you have a small amount of extra skin located near the armpit. Others, such as people who have lost massive amounts of weight following bariatric surgery, may have more excess skin and will need an incision that runs from the elbow, along the arm pit and onto the side of the chest. Your incision pattern will vary based on the type of arm redundancy, the extent of the surgery and preferred method of treatment. The incision pattern is the main factor that reflect post-arm lift scar appearance.
- After the incision is made, excess fat may be removed with liposuction or lipoplasty.
- Excessive skin is then trimmed, tightened and sutured in place with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within one or two weeks of the surgery. Your skin is then smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
What to Expect on recovery period after brachioplasty?
While there is some swelling and bruising, your new trim and toned arm will be apparent almost immediately after your arm lift. You may feel some mild discomfort right after the procedure. However, post operative medications, including pain-killers, help alleviate this pain.
Swelling peaks two to three days after arm lift, typically dissipating within two weeks. Elevating your arm with pillows can help reduce swelling and increase comfort during recovery.
Dressings are typically applied to the incision. Many of the stitches will dissolve, but those that are not self-absorbing are usually removed within a week.
A compression garment will also be applied after the surgery to minimize swelling and burses and to allow the skin to adhere to underlying tissues.
You can shower one week after the procedure, and most people can go back to work two to three days after the procedure. You should avoid any strenuous exercise for one month, and to avoid heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Individual instructions vary.
What Are The Risks and Limitations of Arms Tuck?
With every medical procedure there is a possibility of complications, which can cause a longer recovery period. Arm lift risks include infection, hematoma, anesthesia risks, loss of sensation, scarring and swelling of the hands. However, careful surgery by a qualified surgeon with good post operative medication minimize the incidence of these risks.
What is The Long-Term Effect of Brachioplasty?
For most arm tuck patients, the long-term results associated with the procedure are excellent. Issues such as keeping one's weight relatively constant, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and carefully following our instructions regarding physical activity, etc., determine the overall effect associated with arms reduction procedures. However, the results are permanent.
What Are The Typical Costs Associated With a Brachioplasty?
Often the price says nothing about the quality of the work. Most multicenter clinics charge much more than private doctors — their advertising budget is more and the owner of the clinic has to take his 20% or 30% off the top. In my opinion, you are less likely to get a quality procedures at these multi-center locations.
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
Arm Reduction procedure costs are variable according to the used technique and type of arm redundancy. Usually the cost is ranging from 1000 to 1500 U.S. dollars. Most medical insurance providers do not cover the procedure.
Frequently asked questions from patients when considering undergoing Arms Tuck?!
Q - Is Liposuction an Option?
A - Yes But Not if your problem is due to loose skin. The only time lipo is a better choice is when there is a lot of fat and the skin is tight. When the skin is loose, brachioplasty surgery is usually the best choice.
Q - What about Scars?
A - Incisions and Scars in Arm Lift Scars are the greatest drawback of this operation. They will extend from the armpit to the elbow, along the inside of the arm. This operation exchanges one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). In general, those with very loose saggy skin are most likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will probably not want the scars. Minimal incision is a new and modern approach to the age-old problem of the sagging upper arm. Patient satisfaction is very high with the hidden scar technique
Q - What is the type of anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
A - According to your preference and the procedure. General anesthesia is the formal. However, Local anesthesia with sedation usually could be used, and you can practice your normal life within 2 to 3 days up to few weeks.
Q - What are the symptoms that may occur in the first five days after brachioplasty procedures?
A - Soreness which could be managed by pain killer’s medications and there may be edema or swelling.
Q - What are the guarantees that the success of the process?
A - There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure. If not, the process to achieve the agreed outcomes before, the process repeats at reduced cost. The procedure may needs refine touch after 8 months.
Q - When can we get the final results?
A - The final results is achieved within the first three months.
Q - If I gain weight again, may fat accumulate again?
A - No. But other non-treated areas could be.
Q - What is ideal age for Brachioplasty?
A - It could be done at any age above 18 years old.
Q - If you are not Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
A - 2 weeks.
Q - What are the contraindications of Arm reduction procedures?
A - There are no absolute contraindications but the patients should inform their surgeons about any allergies, serious medical conditions, medications they may be taking, previous operations and family history of any medical problems. Smokers should stop smoking 2 weeks before surgical procedures to promote the healing process.
Q - Where will the Arm Tuck procedures be performed?
A - In a hospital.
Q - In my case, what is most appropriate procedure in helping me achieve my cosmetic goal? liposuction technique or Arm tuck? In my case, would a "minimal incision" work as well or better than a "full brachioplasty"?
A - It depend on the your age, skin redundancy, distribution of body fat and your preference.
Q - How much does Brachioplasty procedure cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees, anesthesia, and so on?
A - Ranging from 1000 to 1500 U.S. dollars per area. Medical insurance dose not cover these procedures.
Q - What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing Arm tuck procedures?
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic surgery.
Q - What percentage of patients experience complications with Arm tuck?
A - 6 - 11%
Summary of Arm Tuck (Brachioplasty) Procedures:
The time of the procedure:
from two to three hours.
Type of anesthesia: General anesthesia or local anesthesia +/- sedation.
Location: hospital with postoperative one day hospital stay.
Expected Side effects: Temporary swelling, ecchymosis and pain.
Recovery time: return to work after one week and the final outcome within 3 months.
Cost: according to procedure and treated area: 1000 to 1500 U.S. dollars, or 5500 to 8,500 Egyptian pounds.
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