Arm Lift

Arm Lift or Brachioplasty

“Sometimes even after weight loss and vigorous weight training, arm skin can hang or look loose”

Men and women alike often struggle to achieve toned and attractive upper arms.  Everyone wants to look good in clothes without sleeves, especially in Florida!  At Brevard Plastic Surgery & Skin Treatment Center, owner and founder Roxanne J. Guy, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a highly qualified Melbourne, Florida brachioplasty surgeon who provides patients with a sensitive and caring experience. Dr. Guy can help you attain your desired body contour.

The arm lift procedure (“brachioplasty”) is designed to reduce excess skin and fat between the  underarm (axilla) area and the  elbow.  It reshapes your arms to result in smoother and tighter contours with a better toned and more proportionate look.  There are several ways to improve the upper arm contour.  The technique will mostly depend on the patients amount of arm skin laxity and fat, and the expectations he or she may have for the outcome.  Sometimes, just liposuction of the upper arms is enough to effectively contour the areas.  A standard brachioplasty is typically performed through an incision along the underside of the arm from the axilla to the elbow.  The area is liposuctioned and then the excess skin is removed and the remaining skin tightened and contoured.  There may be many variations to this incision, including a “mini” brachioplasty, wherein the scar does not extend all the way to the elbow. Sometimes the scars can remain in the axilla only.  Your options will be discussed during a visit with Dr. Guy.

Candidates For A Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Procedure

In planning your surgery, Melbourne brachioplasty specialist, Dr. Guy, will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits on your arms, and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell Dr. Guy if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.

This procedure is designed for men or women who are healthy but are bothered by loose or hanging arm skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Frequently these patients are too embarrassed  to wear sleeveless garments and hide their arms in long-sleeved shirts or jackets.  Loss of skin elasticity with aging, frequent weight fluctuations or massive weight loss is often the cause.
During brachioplasty surgery, Dr. Guy will use a specific type of liposuction using ultrasound energy to break up the fat and heat the skin.  This is called Vaser liposuction, and is an improvement on standard liposuction by making the fat easier to suction, with a gentler technique.  It also facilitates skin shrinkage by the mild heating of the underlying skin dermis.  In patients with just mild upper arm skin laxity, this technique may be all that is needed to reduce excess fat and tighten the skin.  Even if excision of skin is required, the Vaser helps the remaining skin to retract and causes less bruising, swelling and pain, due to the gentler extraction of the fat through the liposuction cannula.

Dr. Guy will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for arm lift surgery in Melbourne, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins,and medications.

If you smoke, plan to quit several weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least  a month after your surgery.  (hopefully NEVER resume!!)  Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your arms and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.

The Plastic Surgery

Complete brachioplasty of both arms usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial  or “mini’ brachioplasty or suction-only brachioplasty may take an hour or two.

A temporary drainage tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical sites.

Recovery & Results

For the first few days, your arms and hands will probably be swollen and you are likely to feel some pain and discomfort that can be controlled by medication   Plan to have your arms elevated on several pillows the first day or two.  You must arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two after you leave the out-patient surgery center.  An adult caretaker is required to escort you home and help care for you for at least 24 hours after the surgery.  Dr. Guy generally likes to see you in her office the very next day after your surgery to check the wounds and do the initial dressing changes.  Your caretaker needs to drive you to this appointment.

Dr. Guy will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. And though you may  need some minor assistance the first few times out of bed, you should start walking as soon as possible.

Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days. Most of the other sutures will be dissolvable. The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a support garment.

Depending on your health and physical condition, it may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided  for at least two weeks and until you can do it comfortably.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, brachioplasty scars should be hidden with your arms down to your sides.

Brachioplasty Basics

Procedure:
Suction fat of upper arms and tighten loose skin, recontouring the arms.

Length:
2 to 5 hours

Anesthesia:
General Anesthesia

In/Outpatient:
Typically Outpatient.

Side Effects:
Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of skin, bruising, tiredness for a few weeks

Risks:
Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation. Fluid collection under flaps

Recovery:

Back to work: 1 to 3 weeks. More strenuous activity: 2 to 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.

Contact Us For A Consultation

In addition, Melbourne, Viera, and Vero brachioplasty patients who would like to undergo further body contouring may do so at Dr. Guy’s Florida Space Coast practice. The most commonly combined procedures include liposuction (“lipoplasty”).

If you would like to see examples of Dr. Guy’s patient results, be sure to view brachioplasty or arm lift before and after photos. Potential results may be previewed by using our 3D imaging system prior to surgery. Additionally, patient testimonials are available to read.

“For beauty that goes more than skin-deep, Brevard’s premiere plastic surgeon is Roxanne Guy, MD, F.A.C.S.”

As a member and the 2007 President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Dr. Guy is highly qualified to perform your body contouring surgery. She is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the ASPS. Dr. Guy’s expertise has led to several media appearances, including Oprah, Leeza, Jenny Jones, and the Today Show.

Prospective Vero, Melbourne and Viera tummy tuck patients may schedule an appointment by calling (321) 727-1600 or sending an e-mail. Patient registration forms are available to print and fill out prior to your visit.