Arm lifts came into popularity a few years ago when First Lady Michelle Obama bared her uber-toned arms in the media and caused arm envy across the land! The procedure itself has been around a long time, and recent modifications make it a well-tolerated option for both men and women, particularly those who have had a large amount of weight loss and have been left with hanging arm skin. There are several different ways to contour the upper arms, and Dr. MacLennan can use her years of experience to help you decide the right approach for you.
The best candidates for arm contouring are healthy non-smokers who are at (or close to) an ideal body weight, and who have loose skin or bulky upper arms that are bothersome. If you’re someone who has had a large amount of weight loss causing your loose skin, it’s best to be at a stable weight for at least 6 months before having any body contouring surgery.
If your skin is loose and you have a “batwing” problem with your upper arms, you’ll probably benefit from a combination of liposuction to thin the tissue, and skin removal to tighten the area. Normally the incision will need to go from elbow all the way up to armpit. Occasionally, with really loose skin or massive weight loss, we may choose to extend the incision into the armpit and even down the side of the chest to manage the loose skin. On the other hand, if you have bulky upper arms but not a lot of loose skin, you may be a candidate for liposuction alone.
Brachioplasty alone is a well-tolerated procedure. It’s done under general anesthesia but doesn’t require an overnight stay or drainage tubes in most cases. There can be numb areas of the skin at first, and the armpit can be a little slow to heal if the incision has to cross that area. Dr. MacLennan frequently has requests to combine arm contouring with breast surgery. This can often be done and depends upon your health and goals.
If you’re dissatisfied with your arm contour despite your best efforts at weight loss and toning, and have been wondering if surgery is an option, call us at (802) 231-4284 to see if brachioplasty or arm liposuction could be right for you.