What’s the Best Treatment for Flabby Arms?
Published on February 12, 2020 by Andrew Barnett
Brachioplasty, commonly known as an arm lift, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the underside of your upper arms. The procedure focuses on removing excess fat, and, if necessary, reducing excess skin to create a more toned appearance. Underlying supportive tissue, which helps define the shape of the upper arm, may also be tightened and smoothed. Arm lifts are a great option to address flabby arms because the results are typically long-lasting.
What Causes Flabby Arms?
Wrinkling and sagging of the upper arm skin, between the armpit and elbow, can be the result of fluctuations in weight, growing older, and genetics. Skin loses its elasticity as we age, and no amount of diet or exercise can bring it back. If you’ve developed sagging skin under your arms, you may be interested in an arm lift.
Why Do People Get Arm Lifts?
The most popular reason patients pursue arm lift surgery is to address excess or saggy skin in the upper arms. Sleeveless clothing exposes the arms, and sagging excess skin spoils the look. This often occurs in patients who have an otherwise toned appearance. Other patients have experienced massive weight loss and need arm lift surgery to remove excess skin. No matter what your individual needs are, an arm lift can boost your body image.
Why is an Arm Lift the Best Option?
Brachioplasty gives you smoother, tighter contours almost immediately following your procedure. Initial results may be slightly obscured by swelling and bruising, but your skin will appear firmer and more toned as your body continues to heal. An arm lift produces superior results with little downtime.
When is an Arm Lift Not a Good Solution?
If your issue is the texture of the skin, or if the excess skin is minimal, then a brachioplasty is not a good idea as the results will be short lived, and will not offset the risk of an unattractive scar. If excess fat is an issue, you do not have excess skin, and your skin tone is good, liposuction alone is often a better alternative.
What’s Involved in the Procedure?
Arm lifts are performed on an outpatient basis and can be completed within 2-3 hours. This time varies depending on your overall health and the extent of your procedure. Some patients only require liposuction to remove excess fat. Others may need excess skin removed in addition to liposuction. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night, regardless of the extent of your surgery.
Arm Lift Consultations Available
Are There Any Downsides?
One major downside of arm lift surgery is the incision scar, which is permanent. I do my best to place these in areas that are easily hidden, but clothes that show off the upper arm may also reveal the scar. Most patients feel the scar is worth the benefits of their improved, more toned upper arms. This is an important consideration and will be discussed in detail at your consultation.
Patients may experience a change in skin sensation. The repositioning of your arm tissues during surgery can affect superficial sensory nerves, leaving you with temporary numbness. Prolonged swelling occasionally occurs, but is almost always self-limited. While brachioplasty is a safe procedure with very high patient satisfaction, like every other surgical procedure, there are risks. These will be discussed in detail at your consultation.
Is It the Right Choice for Me?
An arm lift can benefit most healthy adults with a clear understanding of what this procedure involves. If you are significantly overweight or your weight fluctuates frequently, I may caution against undergoing this procedure. The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for Brachioplasty is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified surgeon such as myself. I will listen to your aesthetic goals, review your available options, and explain all aspects of the procedure, including possible risks and optimal outcomes.
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Take the Next Step
Ready to look and feel your best? Schedule a consultation with Andrew Barnett M.D. to discuss your options today. Consultations are available in both our San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices. You may schedule for either location by calling (415) 879-8735. Renee or Laurie will help you and answer any pre-consultation questions you may have!