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Arm Lift: Types, Procedure, Benefits and Risks Factors

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An arm lift, also called brachioplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that improves your upper arm’s appearance. An arm lift procedure helps treat sagging upper arms (reduce the extra skin), removes fat, and tightens the arms. Genetic conditions or ageing are two factors that lead to the development of sagging skin in an individual. Also, when you lose weight, there are chances of the skin becoming loose and sagging . Thus, you may opt for an arm lift procedure to fix this excess or sagging skin.

About the Procedure

An arm lift is an aesthetic (cosmetic) procedure that improves your arm’s look, from your armpit to the elbow. In this procedure, the fat or the excess skin between the elbow and armpit is removed, and the remaining skin is placed on the newly re-positioned contours to give a toned and defined look to your arm. Thus, the arm lift procedure makes the upper arm of the patient look defined and toned. 

Who Qualifies for the Procedure?

You may opt for an arm lift procedure for two reasons. First, if you are getting older and your skin has become loose, and an arm lift procedure can help you improve your body image. Secondly, if significant weight loss has led to a droop in your upper arms, you may opt for an arm lift procedure. You may contact your healthcare professional to understand the details of the procedure. 

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Why is the Procedure Conducted?

Regular exercise can help you strengthen your arms and improve the muscle tone of your upper arms. However, exercise cannot help you remove the loose skin on your upper arm that has lost elasticity. Thus, an arm lift procedure can help you address this concern and improve your body image, making your arms look toned. 

Which are the Different Types of Arm Lift Procedures?

  • Limited Arm Lift: This procedure is mainly suitable for patients with loose skin. The excess skin is removed, and the incision or the scar is not easily visible as it is made within the armpit. 
  • Short-scar Arm Lift: This procedure is recommended for patients with mild upper arm tissue laxity. The short-scar arm lift procedure uses a T-shape scar to correct the arm skin. The skin is lifted towards the armpit to make it look toned. 
  • Extended Arm Lift: An extended arm lift procedure is recommended for patients with severe tissue and skin laxity. This procedure is extended from the armpit to the elbow, and an incision is made on the inner surface of the armpit and the back of the arm. In this procedure, the tissues of the lower arm and excess loose  skin are removed. 
  • L-arm Lift: This type of arm lift procedure is recommended for patients who have severe arm laxity. Patients opting for an L-arm lift usually have undergone significant weight loss or gastric bypass surgery. In this procedure, the fatty tissue or the excess skin is excised, and the armpit sag is corrected. 

Benefits of the Arm Lift Procedure:

The benefits of an arm lift surgery are:

  • Gives better shape and tone to the arms: One of the greatest benefits of opting for an arm lift procedure is the improvement seen in the shape and tone of the upper arms and their supporting tissues. Since these tissues are under the skin, cosmetic surgery is the only option to treat them. Once the arm lift procedure is done, you may have better-looking underarms.
  • Removes excess skin and fat: Owing to a sedentary lifestyle, many people have an excess amount of fat deposited on their arms between the armpit and elbow. As this part of the body is visible, it makes people self-conscious. Hence, to overcome this and boost self-confidence, an arm lift procedure can be performed that reduces the excess skin and fat. It also helps restore the appearance of the skin between the armpit and elbow. 
  • Reshapes the arms: An arm lift procedure helps smooth the contours and skin of an individual. Men and women today are very particular about their looks and appearance and want smooth skin. An arm lift procedure makes the upper arm look aesthetically pleasing. Thus, the need for smooth and better-toned skin and body makes more people opt for an arm lift procedure. 
  • Better proportions: One of the major benefits of an arm lift procedure is that it makes the upper arm look proportionate with the other parts of the body. 
  • Hide the scars: Many people think that surgery would leave many scars. However, an arm lift procedure does not leave any visible scars. The surgeon would ensure that the scars are in areas that are not easily visible. 
  • Gain confidence: People become self-conscious about their looks when they have extra skin or bulging arms. An arm lift procedure helps overcome this problem and gives a toned, smooth appearance to your upper arms. 

What are the Risks Associated with an Arm Lift Procedure?

Like any other procedure, an arm lift procedure also has a few risks. These are infection, bleeding, inflammation, redness, and reaction to anaesthesia. The other risks of an arm lift procedure are:

  • An issue with the stitches: Stitches help protect the new shape on the surface of the skin and are removed later. However, there are chances of inflammation or infection at the site of stitches. 
  • Scarring: The scar from the incision is permanent, and professionals usually plan these scars on a place that is not visible easily. Sometimes, these scars can become red or raised. 
  • Change in skin sensation: During the repositioning of the arm tissues, your sensory nerves can get affected. Hence, you are likely to feel temporary numbness in your upper arm. 
  • Asymmetry in both arms: During surgery, the surgeon will try to get the arms to look the same. But due to changes after surgery and the recovery process, perfect symmetry of the arms may not be possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ans. An arm lift procedure is not recommended to those individuals who are significantly overweight, have medical conditions that delay wound healing, experience frequent weight changes, or are smokers. 

Q.2 What are the pre-operative evaluations done for an arm lift procedure?

Ans. Your healthcare professional may prescribe a blood test, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, and study your medical history. 

Q.3 What activities should be avoided immediately after the procedure?

Ans. For about four weeks after the procedure, you should avoid lifting the arm above the shoulder. Also, avoid physical activities that require you to stretch your arms for around eight weeks after surgery

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At Apollo, we believe that easily accessible, reliable health information can make managing health conditions an empowering experience. AskApollo Online Health Library team consists of medical experts who create curated peer-reviewed medical content that is regularly updated and is easy-to-understand.
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