Your upper arms can have a powerful impact on your self-image. Taut muscles and smooth skin? Oh, yeah. You’re all about tank tops. But, saggy, baggy skin and fat pockets? Oh, No! The dreaded “bat wings” can have you running for cover-ups.
At Eterna Cosmetic Surgery, we say lift up those arms! An arm lift can help you regain your confidence and a look that will have you going sleeveless once again. Here’s what you need to know before getting an arm lift:
1. What causes loose upper arms?
Skin loses moisture and elasticity as we age, so even with good muscle tone, you can suffer from loose skin. At any age, significant weight loss can result in loose skin, as well as areas of accumulated remaining fat. If sagging is relatively minor, diet and exercise may be all that’s needed to restore a smooth, tones look. But exercise does not conquer all, including the effects of aging. Patients with severe excess skin after massive weight loss are usually candidates for brachioplasty.
2. The Formal Name for Arm Lift is Brachioplasty
The goal of this surgery is to remove excess skin and fat to restore a smooth, more youthfully contoured appearance. There are two types of brachioplasty:
- A full brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital. In this procedure, an incision is made down the inside of the upper arm to remove skin and fat. Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez always performs liposuction first during a full brachioplasty, to thin-out the skin flap and remove the most skin possible.
- A mini-brachioplasty is performed with oral sedation and local anesthesia as an in-office procedure. She does not do liposuction for mini-brachioplasty because the incision and skin removal is concentrated in a small area in the axillas (underarms). This allows Dr. Hernandez to pull excess skin upward and hide the 4 inch scar in the armpit.
3. There Are Non-Surgical Alternatives
A few patients can achieve good results with VASER Hi-Definition liposuction treatment alone. These are typically younger patients with good skin elasticity in which the excess fat is creating the look of droopy arms. These patients get the look of slimmer arms with no droopy skin once the excess fat is gone.
Dr. Hernandez can also perform VASERlipo along with a full or mini-brachioplasty, to give the upper arms an even more toned, sculpted look.
4. Are You a Good Candidate?
The vast majority of patients who come to Eterna Cosmetic Surgery for an arm lift are women. However, the procedure is equally effective for all genders and, yes, we do sometimes see men who are concerned about sagging upper arms.
5. How Do You Know Which Procedure Is Right for You?
It’s simple, says Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez. The degree of skin laxity or sag determines which option is best. Of course, it’s not really that simple. You can look in the mirror and see what bothers you about your upper arms. But Dr. Hernandez can examine your skin with a medical eye and as an experienced surgeon. Then she can give you a professional recommendation to achieve the improvement you wish to see. Maybe it’s time to make an appointment.