Arm Lift: Getting Rid of the Underarm Flab

Every woman bemoans the extra bulge she carries under her arms, which is why plastic surgery to lift the arm is becoming a popular cosmetic procedure. Only the super-fit and genetically blessed among us can get away without developing the under arm flab.

Whether it’s a result of aging, genetics or weight loss, for some, there’s no avoiding what Oprah calls, the “ham hocks.” Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, can remove the unwanted extra fat and skin from sagging arms and help make sleeveless shirts a little more flattering. Be aware that scars will be visible, which is the greatest drawback of this particular plastic surgery procedure.

Arm Lift Procedure

The technique used to perform arm lift surgery is fairly simple, with the patient under general anesthesia; an incision will be made along the underside of the upper arm from after the elbow to the area near the underarm. Surgeons will take care to make the incisions in the least conspicuous place. Once the unwanted tissue, fat and skin is exposed it is removed carefully to restore the natural shape and contour of the arm. If the arm is very fatty, the extra fat can then be suctioned out using a small tube and the liposuction method. Once fat and tissue are removed, the incision is closed and bandaged.

Cost of an Arm Lift

The average cost of brachioplasty or arm lift surgery performed by an accredited board-certified plastic surgeon is $5000 to $6500. The total cost will depend on whether liposuction is used to remove extra fatty tissues.

Recovery Time After an Arm Lift

You will be able to return home immediately following the surgery with heavily bandaged arms. As with most plastic surgery procedures, there will be some pain, bruising and swelling in the area; however patients report that this can be controlled with prescribed medication. Surgical bandages can be removed after about five days, and sutures can be removed at approximately the same time.

The average down time associated with the arm lift procedure is three days to one week before returning to work, and two to three weeks until normal activity can be resumed. Take care not to lift heavy objects or take part in any vigorous activity requiring large amounts of arm movement for up to six weeks. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you to follow a recovery regimen including elevating the upper body and placing ice packs on the incision area. The full effect can be seen about two moths following the surgery, and should yield a far more attractive arm shape without the saggy skin.

Risk of Getting an Arm Lift

The cosmetic risk associated with brachioplasty is the scarring that occurs. Scars resulting from this particular plastic surgery method cannot usually be hidden without covering up the area. Be aware that all plastic surgery carries the risk of blood clots, infection, and the potential problems associated with healing and scarring. A proper consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon should give you a clear idea of the process and potential outcomes of arm lift surgery.