Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Especially in Dallas, where the sun shines for most of the year, your arms can be one of the body’s most visible (and anxiety-provoking) features. No one wants to have to cover their arms under layers of clothes on a beautiful Texas day. But, countless men and women embarrassed by the appearance of their upper arms feel the need to keep their arms hidden year-round.
Even with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you might still be struggling to tighten and tone the stubborn upper arm area. Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, allows Dr. Armijo to remove sagging skin and unwanted excess fat from the area around the triceps and biceps to achieve sculpted, younger-looking arms. He also often performs this procedure on post-weight loss patients who have lost a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time.
As each one of our patients requires a personalized approach to achieving their unique goals, Dr. Armijo begins building your treatment plan with a no-obligation consultation. During this first meeting, you and Dr. Armijo will establish your aesthetic taste, desired outcomes, and cover any pertinent medical history.
Dr. Armijo will evaluate and record your arm measurements and discuss the full range of options available to make your aesthetic dreams a reality. From there, we’ll assess what procedures you are a good candidate for and begin crafting your personalized treatment plan. This in-person meeting is a valuable chance to ask any questions or address concerns and to get to know our team.
During the arm lift procedure, Dr. Armijo makes an incision beneath each arm that may extend from the elbow to the armpit, depending on how much skin he needs to remove. He then cuts this excess skin away from the rest of the arm, pulls the remaining skin taut, and closes the incisions. Dr. Armijo may also pair this procedure with minor liposuction to further improve the contour of the arms.
A brachioplasty procedure is likely to leave a more noticeable scar than other types of cosmetic surgeries. Like most doctors, Dr. Armijo can adjust where he makes the incisions so they run either underneath or inside the arms. These are less visible in normal resting poses and can improve over time as the scar fades. However, most patients need to be fully aware that they are essentially trading “skin for scars” with this procedure.
The initial recovery time for this procedure is relatively short, as the patient may return to light activity within a week or two. However, exercise must remain off-limits for four to six weeks. The results will be immediate and will show apparent improvement over the next few weeks as swelling subsides. The scars will continue to heal and fade over the next six months to a year.
Where Will My Arm Lift Scars Be?
As with every plastic surgery procedure Dr. Armijo performs, he will do his best to choose the ideal incision sites – meaning using minimal incision size to reduce scarring, and selecting locations that will be relatively easy for you to cover up. However, no matter how careful your surgeon is, arm lift patients should expect some scarring. The majority of our patients say they prefer having scars to the fat and sagging skin that initially prompted them to seek treatment.
Brachioplasty incisions tend to be on the underside of the upper arms. Depending on the location and amount of skin Dr. Armijo removes, scarring can extend toward the elbow area. Initially, scars appear raised and red, but they should fade over the first year following your procedure. Having said that, your arm skin can take longer than the rest of your body to heal scars, so the full process can take a couple of years. Using daily SPF and scar treatments can help significantly.
Will I Have Toned Arms After an Arm Lift?
Brachioplasty will improve your arms’ overall contour and appearance. However, the procedure does not affect the muscles of the arms themselves. To achieve a “toned” look, you will need to do arm exercises such as bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep kickbacks.
Keep in mind that for the first few weeks following the procedure, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise as part of your healing process. No matter what the state of your arm tone is now, an arm lift will help showcase current and future muscle gain that your unwanted fat and skin would have obscured.
Is Brachioplasty Recovery Painful?
Our patients often say arm lift recovery was surprisingly less painful than they expected. In comparison to other procedures that affect the muscles, recovery is quicker and less painful. The procedure leaves the upper arm muscles undisturbed; Dr. Armijo only manipulates the fat and skin.
If you do feel any discomfort, you can usually control it with prescription pain medication.
When Can I Exercise After an Arm Lift?
The answer to that depends on what you mean by exercise. After just one to two weeks, you should be able to return to most non-strenuous activities, like desk work. However, we recommend you postpone more vigorous exercise for several weeks.
Every patient’s body handles recovery differently. To get the best understanding of when you can expect to return to a particular activity, please contact Dr. Armijo. In general, though, patients can expect to be able to walk, carefully stationary bike, or use an elliptical machine in the first weeks. As for weightlifting, more intense cardio, Pilates, or yoga, you’ll need to wait at least a month or two.
What Is a Mini Arm Lift?
The mini arm lift is a slightly scaled-down technique similar to a full arm lift procedure. “Mini arm lift” is not a common term among medical professionals, as most board-certified surgeons customize each surgery to fit a patient’s needs.
Generally, procedures that would qualify as a “mini” arm lift involve a below-average incision length and very minimal removal of excess fat and skin. Though this approach is certainly appropriate for some patients with very little tissue to remove, many patients won’t qualify.
Can I Get Liposuction Instead of an Arm Lift?
If you are an ideal candidate for brachioplasty, generally, liposuction alone can’t provide the same results as a full arm lift.
Why? Liposuction is highly successful, but only addresses excess fat (one of the two issues that necessitate an arm lift). As “bat wings,” or sagging upper arms, often result from stretched-out skin that will not bounce back, liposuction alone can’t provide a transformation in the same way as full brachioplasty.
Can I Combine My Brachioplasty With Other Procedures?
Absolutely! Our patients commonly choose to pair arm lifts with other procedures for even more transformative results. Dr. Armijo can advise you during your consultation as to which add-on surgeries he can safely combine with your arm lift. We suggest coming into your consultation fully prepared to discuss all your wishes and goals to help us find out exactly what you’re looking for and what procedures will best suit your needs.
Think Brachioplasty’s Right for You? Schedule a Consultation in Dallas, TX, Today
Dr. Armijo is a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise performing arm lift surgery on people of all genders, ages, and body types. Our entire staff is here to help make sure you feel comfortable and confident throughout your time with us.
If you think a brachioplasty might be right for you, please give our Dallas, TX, office a call at (214) 540-1434 or contact us online.