Many people are embarrassed by flabby upper arms or “bat wings,” a term that describes loose, hanging skin on the upper arms. These are common cosmetic problems, but there is a procedure that can help patients resolve this issue and enjoy beautiful, younger-looking arms. Also known as a brachioplasty, a surgical arm lift can help patients who have sagging skin that is caused by aging, weight loss, or genetics. Rucker MD Plastic Surgery offers arm lift surgery to patients who are self-conscious about the appearance of their arms and would like to make them firmer and more youthful.
Most Common Causes of Flabby Arms
In most cases, weight gain or genetics cause fat to accumulate in the arms and create a flabby appearance. Some individuals, regardless of how much they diet and exercise, find that this arm fat is extremely stubborn. For these individuals, an arm lift paired with liposuction may be ideal.
Extra skin may also lead to flabby arms. This is particularly common in individuals who have gained and then lost a great deal of weight. As weight loss occurs, fat cells shrink back into a smaller size—but the skin may not. These individuals may find that the appearance of their thinner bodies is compromised by flabby arms that stand out.
A combination of excess fat and extra skin is often the cause of flabby arms. Aging can cause fat to accumulate in the arm area. This can be worsened with the skin in the arms becoming looser and losing elasticity over time.
Benefits of an Arm Lift
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of an arm lift is its ability to produce immediate results. Although it may take two to three months for a patient’s body to heal completely from the procedure, the results from an arm lift are visible almost right away. Even the first few weeks after the surgery, patients may feel confident enough to wear a shirt or dress they would have avoided in the past due to self-consciousness. The beautiful new contours of the arms often boost patients’ self-esteem shortly after surgery.
It is important for patients to understand that while an arm lift can modify their arms, it is not designed to prevent loose skin from developing later in life. Patients who are unhappy with fat pockets that they are unable to resolve through exercise should consider pairing an arm lift with liposuction or another body contouring procedure.
Good Candidates for Arm Lifts
Men and women who have loose, sagging arm skin are the ideal candidates for an arm lift. This procedure is usually recommended for patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight or simply have loose, sagging arm skin that impacts their confidence. Patients who have serious health issues, are unwilling to quit smoking, or have unrealistic expectations are not recommended for this procedure.
What to Expect During an Arm Lift Consultation
Rucker MD Plastic Surgery takes patient satisfaction very seriously. For this reason, we make the most out of each patient’s consultation. During a consultation for an arm lift, Dr. Rucker will determine if the procedure is right for that individual patient. He will ask a variety of questions to determine their goals, find out what their expectations are, and get up to speed on any allergies or health problems. Each procedure is carefully tailored to meet the individual patient’s needs.
Preparing for an Arm Lift
Prior to an arm lift, a patient will be required to undergo a comprehensive health exam and bloodwork to make sure there are no underlying conditions that can hinder the outcome of the procedure or compromise safety.
Patients will also be asked to refrain from taking certain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements that may increase bleeding risk. If they smoke, they will need to stop at least two weeks before and two weeks after the procedure. Smoking impairs healing and increases the risks for complications.
In addition, patients will be asked to arrange for a friend or family member to drive them home after the procedure and to monitor their initial recovery.
The Arm Lift Procedure
In most cases, arm lifts are outpatient procedures. The way an arm lift is performed is dependent on a patient’s individual needs. Usually, Dr. Rucker can remove excess skin near the armpit through an incision that is fully hidden in the armpit. Patients who have extensive upper arm skin may require an incision that runs from the elbow through the armpit and onto the side of the chest.
Liposuction may also be performed if the patient has fat deposits in the upper arms.
Once excess skin is removed from the arms, sutures will be used to close the incisions. Temporary drains may be placed to reduce fluid buildup. Since incisions are made on the undersides of the arms, scarring is generally well-concealed.
Recovering from an Arm Lift
The day following an arm lift, patients can expect to be sore. Their arms will be swollen and bruised and they may need to take prescription pain medication to reduce discomfort. Within one week, they will be required to see Dr. Rucker so that their drains can be removed. Once the drains have been removed, they will need to wear a compression garment full-time for the next month or so to assist in comfort and swelling reduction.
Right after surgery, patients may take a shower if they’d like as their incision will be covered with tape. Any heavy lifting or activities that involve extensive arm usage should be avoided for at least six weeks. Patients usually return to work 10 days after surgery, unless their profession requires them to lift or perform vigorous activity.
The majority of the swelling should resolve in six to twelve weeks. However, minor residual swelling may continue for up to six months.
Nothing but the best service and follow up care. The consultations were professional and I always felt like my concerns were being fully addressed. It was not uncommon for me to email a quick question and the staff was prompt and thorough in their replies. Dr. Rucker, while obviously very skilled, was also personable which I found to be refreshing. Highly recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions About Arm Lifts
What causes arm skin to sag?
The skin on the arms is very thin and fragile. Once it becomes stretched, it does not have enough elasticity to regain its previous shape. Since the arms are a visible part of the body and challenging to cover up, sagging arm skin often leads to self-esteem issues.
Are there any complications with arm lifts?
Since an arm lift is a surgical procedure, risks and complications may arise. Although they are rare, they include infection, bleeding, permanent swelling, loss of sensation, and anesthesia issues.
Can an arm lift be combined with another procedure?
It’s common for arm lift patients to combine an arm lift with another body contouring procedure. Dr. Rucker will get to know each patient’s aesthetic goals and let them know whether combining an arm lift with a breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, or another procedure is a good idea.
Will strength training enhance the results of an arm lift?
An arm lift is designed to remove any sagging skin in the upper arm. However, patients who would like their arms to be in optimal shape should strength train after the surgery. Strength training can allow them to build muscle and add shape to their arms. It is vital to note that strength training should only be performed after a patient has completely recovered from their arm lift.
What is necessary to maintain the results of an arm lift?
The ideal way for patients to maintain the results of an arm lift is to lead a healthy lifestyle. By sticking to a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet, patients can avoid excess fat accumulation and weight gain. Exercising the arms and entire body will also help strengthen muscle tone so that the new contours remain attractive and defined.
How soon can an arm lift be performed after weight loss surgery?
Patients who have undergone weight loss surgery must ensure that their weight has stabilized before scheduling an arm lift. Dr. Rucker typically requires that a patient’s weight stays about the same for three to six months before an arm lift. This way, he can make sure that they are eating enough to heal safely after the procedure.
Why Choose Rucker MD Plastic Surgery Clinic
If you’re searching for the perfect surgeon to perform an arm lift, you can’t go wrong with Rucker MD Plastic Surgery Clinic. Dr. Rucker is a board-certified plastic surgeon and an expert in body contouring procedures. He has the skills and experience to perform successful arm lifts for patients from all walks of life. If you trust Dr. Rucker with your arm lift, you can enjoy the individualized, compassionate attention you deserve and be left with the sculpted, attractive arms you’ve always dreamed of.
Schedule a Private Arm Lift Consultation Today
Rucker MD Plastic Surgery Clinic of Eau Claire, WI is pleased to offer arm lifts to men and women throughout the region. If you are bothered by the excess skin on your arms, we encourage you to schedule an arm lift consultation at your earliest convenience. Dr. Rucker may be able to help you achieve toned and rejuvenated arms so that you can look younger, wear any clothing items you’d like, and increase your confidence. Call us at 800-456-8222 or fill out our online contact form.