Show off with an Arm Lift
Age and significant weight loss can create loose, hanging skin on the upper arms, which are sometimes known as “bat wings.” While some types of arm exercise and resistance training can tone the pectorals, biceps, and deltoids to improve the appearance of the upper arms and shoulders, only surgery can treat excess, sagging underarm skin.
Every year, thousands of people in the United States undergo successful upper arm lift surgery to boost their appearance and self-esteem. Double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gabriel Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S., performs arm lift plastic surgery in Miami Beach, FL, for men and women who wish to achieve contoured and firm upper arms for a more youthful appearance.
What is an Arm Lift?
Arm lift cosmetic surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a body contouring procedure that is performed to reshape the upper arms by removing sagging skin and tightening lax tissue caused by age, genetics, and weight loss. An arm lift may also include arm liposuction to create a younger, firmer, fitter appearance.
There are different arm lift options that combine fat and skin-removing techniques, based on each individual patient’s needs. Dr. Salloum customizes each surgical procedure to match his patients’ goals and expectations. Depending on the patient, he may use the following techniques:
Arm Liposuction: Arm liposuction is performed alone to remove fat and sculpt the upper arms when the skin has enough elasticity to tighten on its own after the removal. Liposuction is also often performed during a standard brachioplasty procedure to remove fat.
Limited-Incision Brachioplasty (Mini Arm Lift): Dr. Salloum may recommend a limited-incision arm lift to remove crepe-like, loose skin without much excess fat that is hanging near the armpits.
Standard Brachioplasty: When sagging skin hangs freely from the armpit to the elbow, a standard Brachioplasty procedure combined with liposuction is performed to remove a large amount of hanging skin, suction out excess fat, shape the upper arm, and smooth the tissues.
Extended Brachioplasty: The extended arm lift incision runs along the upper arm and onto the chest wall. This procedure can address a large amount of stretched skin and pockets of stubborn fatty tissue after massive weight loss.
Arm Lift benefits
Arm lift surgery is beneficial for men and women who have met their weight loss goal but struggle with flabby upper arm skin and fat. Brachioplasty is also helpful for adults with significant upper-arm laxity due to aging or weight loss, poor skin elasticity, and excess arm fat. Arm lift benefits with Dr. Salloum in Miami, FL, may include:
- New wardrobe choices like form-fitting tops, short sleeves, or sleeveless garments
- Younger appearance
- Attractive, toned-looking arms
- Elimination of uncomfortable chafing from excess skin
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
Arm Lift candidates
Dr. Salloum evaluates each individual’s candidacy during a private consultation in Miami Beach. Arm lift candidates are healthy, non-smoking men and women who are close to their ideal weight, have unwanted, sagging skin in the arms, and have realistic surgical expectations.
Patients who have recently lost a significant amount of weight must maintain their weight loss for six months before moving forward with an arm lift or other body contouring plastic surgery to help ensure long-lasting results.
The Arm Lift consultation
Private consultations with Dr. Gabriel Salloum take place at the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery, which is a luxurious spa-like facility where each patient experiences exceptional care, including complimentary valet service.
During a private arm lift consultation, Dr. Salloum reviews the patient’s health history and performs a physical examination to assess the shape and condition of the upper arms, including the skin’s elasticity. Approved candidates then receive a customized arm lift treatment plan that may include skin excision, liposuction, or a combination of techniques.
Dr. Salloum shares before and after pictures of similar cases, explains the surgical details, the risks and benefits, and the financial investment of an arm lift procedure during the consultation in Miami Beach, FL.
The Arm Lift procedure
On the day of the surgery, Dr. Salloum creates marks to guide him in creating the incisions. These are made under the armpits or from the elbow to the chest, based on the surgery details. General anesthesia or local anesthesia is then administered, depending on the extent of the surgery. Liposuction arm lifts require only tiny incisions to contour the arms and can sometimes be performed with local anesthesia.
During the standard or extended arm lift, Dr. Salloum creates an incision using the markings as a guideline, removes the excess skin, and tightens and reshapes the tissues. If needed, ultrasound-guided liposuction is performed to remove pockets of fat.
The doctor then smooths the skin over the new contours of the arm and closes the incision with stitches. The sutures may be placed under the skin to allow for gradual absorption. Contouring both arms during an arm lift procedure typically takes two to three hours.
Once the incisions are closed, a sterile dressing and compression garments are applied and temporary drainage tubes are placed at the incision sites when needed. Patients can typically go home after a short period of observation.
Arm Lift recovery
Dr. Salloum provides each patient with aftercare instructions, which will cover topics like wound care, medications, warning signs of complications, and tips for enhancing the healing process. Patients should follow all instructions closely to achieve the best results.
The compression garment will control swelling, and drainage tubes will remove fluid or blood. Patients typically return to work and resume most daily activities within two weeks. Within six weeks, they may return to their prior activity level and normal exercise routines.
Why should I choose Dr. Gabriel Salloum?
Dr. Salloum is a highly-skilled, top Miami plastic surgeon with the following qualifications:
- Double board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery, as well as body and facial restructuring
- Extensive surgical experience with a passion for helping men and women achieve their cosmetic goals
- Ability to provide natural-looking and excellent cosmetic results based on each client’s unique goals
- Sets aside ample time to meet with his patients and remains available to answer each question or address any concerns personally
- Loyal patient following with 4.5 and 5-star reviews on Vitals, Yelp, RealSelf, and Google
- Provides a full range of specialized, high-quality procedures, including arm lift surgery, body contouring, abdominoplasty, thigh lift, breast reconstruction, and facelift
- Over 13 years of experience
- Has received multiple awards, including the New York Times Best Plastic Surgeon
Questions about Brachioplasty
Like any surgical procedure, an arm lift carries some risks. These include bleeding, unfavorable scarring, nerve damage, muscle or blood vessel complications, and anesthesia risks.
Dr. Salloum will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure during your private consultation. Relying on an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Salloum dramatically reduces the risks associated with plastic surgery.
Dr. Salloum will provide you with detailed pre-surgical instructions. These will instruct you to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and Aleve for two weeks before the surgery as they may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Ask a friend or family member to drive you to and from the surgery. It may be helpful to have a close friend spend the evening with you immediately after the surgery if you live alone. Purchase extra pillows to help frame your body and protect your arms while you sleep slightly elevated on your back. Shop for food and other essentials in advance and clear your schedule to allow plenty of time to rest after the surgery.
You will need to allow your arms to heal for at least one or two weeks before returning to work. Most patients resume driving in 10 to 14 days. Walking is the best exercise during the first two weeks. Avoid excess motion and any practices that directly affect the surgical area for one month. By six weeks, patients typically resume all of their normal activities.
Weight gain and weight loss cause the skin to stretch, and the arms may sag if the skin is unable to contract. As long as you consistently maintain your body weight, you can expect your plastic surgery results to last for many years. Although your skin will age over time, the skin laxity in your upper arms will almost certainly be less than it was before the operation.
A liposuction arm lift only requires a few tiny incisions, which are placed in inconspicuous areas and fade significantly over time. The limited incision arm lift creates a scar under the armpit that is easily hidden. The most significant consideration before having a traditional or extended arm lift is the possibility of extensive scarring and the pros and cons of the procedure.
Dr. Salloum will show you before and after photos and will explain the results during your consultation. Flabby, heavy skin can be embarrassing and hard to conceal, while the incision will heal and fade somewhat with time. Avoid the sun and stop smoking to increase healing and reduce scar tissue.
If you are close to your ideal weight and have disproportionately large upper arms or sagging skin, then an arm lift may improve your self-confidence and body image. Aging, sagging skin, and excess fat are removed and the upper arms are reshaped and contoured during an arm lift.
Immediately after the surgery, you will wear a compression garment to help your arms heal and to reduce swelling and bruising. After the stitches dissolve, the swelling and bruising will improve daily. You should see preliminary results within the first week, and the full results will become evident within three to six weeks.
Schedule an Arm Lift consultation
If you dream of smooth, shapely arms, contact us online or call 305-405-6910 to schedule a consultation with double board-certified plastic surgeon Gabriel Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S., at the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery in Miami Beach, Florida.