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woman posing to the camera raising her right arm after a brachioplasty

Love Your Arms: Facts About Brachioplasty Surgery

As you age, a loss of muscle tone and skin elasticity can lead to an accumulation of flabby, sagging skin on your upper arms. Unfortunately, these “bat wings” don’t respond well to diet and exercise, which can be frustrating and leave you feeling self-conscious about wearing short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts and dresses. Even fit and healthy people can struggle with crepey skin and a deflated appearance on their upper arms, which leaves them searching for solutions.

An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, can create a better upper arm contour by eliminating the excess, sagging skin and fat that spans from your armpits to your elbows. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure and everything it involves.

What Does an Arm Lift Entail?

While you are under anesthesia, Dr. Desman will create an incision on each arm, extending from the armpit to the elbow. If excess fat is contributing to your issues, Dr. Desman may also use liposuction in your brachioplasty procedure. Then, he pulls the skin tight, closes the incisions, and dresses the surgical sites.

While Dr. Desman takes every precaution to make the incisions in places where they’ll heal inconspicuously, you will have scars from this procedure. You can minimize scarring by following your post-surgical instructions, keeping your skin moisturized, and avoiding exposing your incision sites to damaging UV rays.

Who Is a Good Candidate for an Arm Lift?

If you have a significant amount of unwanted, hanging skin, are in good overall health, and can take time off from your typical daily routine for recovery, you are probably well-qualified for an arm lift.

If your aesthetic concerns revolve more around an accumulation of fat on your upper arms, you may be better off getting liposuction instead of an arm lift. However, for people with unwanted, hanging skin, liposuction alone will not be sufficient to shape and firm your upper arms because it only removes fat.

During a consultation, Dr. Desman can evaluate you and recommend which procedure is better for you. You should also come to your consultation appointment prepared to discuss your complete health history, including any risk factors that might cause additional complications during your surgery or recovery period.

How to Prepare for an Arm Lift

Recovering from brachioplasty is usually a straightforward process, but you can take a few steps ahead of time to ensure it’s smooth sailing.

  • Clear your calendar: Plan to take 10 days to two weeks off work, and decline social gatherings and other activities scheduled during your recovery period.
  • Avoid specific medications and supplements: Stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.
  • Quit smoking: If you smoke, we ask that you quit at least two weeks before your surgery and throughout your recovery process. Smoking impairs circulation, which can lead to significantly slower healing.
  • Tidy up your home: During the first week after your surgery, you will need to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure. If you’re someone who gets stressed out by household chores, it’s helpful to clean the house, do some meal prep, and take care of laundry ahead of time. That way, you can focus more fully on giving your body the rest it needs to heal.
  • Secure a helper: Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from surgery and, if possible, stay with you at least until the anesthesia wears off. This person can ensure you’re resting comfortably and might also help you by picking up any prescription medications you need.

Brachioplasty Results You’ll Love

To learn more about arm lift surgery in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., complete our online form today to schedule your confidential consultation.