Wave Goodbye (Confidently) to Sagging Arm Skin

The Facts About Brachioplasty

So-long Sagging Arm Skin!. Getty Images

Although it occurs mostly to people who have lost a substantial amount of weight, loose, saggy arm skin can happen to just about anyone. No matter how many push-ups you do, or how many weights you lift, that stubborn skin can still flap around as you wave “hello” and “goodbye." Do you know that feeling?

As people age, it’s perfectly normal for the skin underneath the upper portion of the arms to droop or sag.

Perhaps you’re dealing with this issue because it simply runs in your family or maybe you’ve lost a significant amount of weight. You can do hours and hours of exercises to strengthen and tone the upper arm muscles, but there’s nothing you can do to improve excess skin that has lost elasticity, or weakened tissues and localized fat deposits. Or is there?

Brachioplasty to the rescue! Also referred to as an arm lift, a brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that tightens, reshapes and improves contour to the upper arms and connecting area of the chest wall. The result: noticeably fuller, more youthful looking upper arms.

During the procedure, which is performed in an outpatient setting and typically under anesthesia, excess skin and fat deposits are removed. Liposuction is used in conjunction with brachioplasty to minimize the overall thickness of the upper arm.

If the skin’s elasticity is good and there is minimal excess skin, a small incision can be made under the arm, making it easy to conceal a scar.

Traditional brachioplasty will leave a significant scar along the bottom of the upper arms. An extended brachioplasty is usually necessary when there is a significant amount of loose skin that continues along the chest wall. The incision continues along the upper arm and onto the area under the arm along the chest wall.

Typically, patients who undergo a brachioplasty can return to work in approximately three to four days. Recovery is relatively quick, and it’s recommended someone is available to help the patient out around the home for a day or two after the procedure. Patients can generally resume light activities around two weeks, and more strenuous activities approximately three weeks post-procedure. Expect presentable results around two weeks post-surgery. These results will continue to improve over the next three to six months, and will generally last forever.

As I always mention, arm lifts are considered safe, yet all surgical procedures carry certain risks and complications. Possible risks include: unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, numbness or other changes in skin sensation, fluid accumulation and anesthesia risks.

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