Brachioplasty in Austin

Age, weight loss and heredity can all contribute to the appearance of flabby, sagging skin on the upper arms. A brachioplasty, or arm lift, from Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat, recontouring the remaining skin to give it a tighter, more youthful-looking appearance.

Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

  • Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
  • Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
  • Reconstructed over 6,000 patients, including more than 2,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
  • 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
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What is an Arm Lift?

The clinical term for an arm lift is brachioplasty. The goal of this surgery is simple — to tighten and slim the contour of the upper arms between the elbow and shoulder. This will involve removing excess skin and possibly some fat pockets, and tightening the muscles in the area. The result is a slimmer, tighter contour that you’ll be proud to show off in a sleeveless dress or swimsuit. And who doesn’t need that in sunny Austin?

Ideal Candidates for an Arm Lift

The upper arm area ages in different ways in different people. There are a few reasons why some people seem to develop more loose skin in their upper arms than others. If you’ve gained and then lost a good deal of weight, this has likely stretched the arm skin. This area is notorious for not being able to tighten back down after the skin has been stretched. Some people can blame genetics; they are prone to the skin and muscle loosening more than others.

Is this a good procedure for you? That depends on how you feel about your upper arms. If the loose skin and muscle on the underside of your upper arms moves back and forth when you shift your arm, an arm lift could correct that. If you’ve consciously been avoiding showing your upper arms because of the loose skin, then this could be a good surgery for you.

It is important for a candidate to be at or near her ideal weight. This procedure is not intended for weight loss in the arms. In fact, if you gain and lose a fair amount of weight after having an arm lift, you can develop loose skin all over again.

It’s also important to consider that this procedure creates a lengthy incision. The scar lightens quickly and becomes far less visible, but it will still be there.

What Are the Risks Involved with an Arm Lift?

This is a very low risk procedure yet is very satisfying for our patients. It is a surgical procedure, so there are the usual risks of infection, poor wound healing, excessive bleeding, and such. But this is an area without overly sensitive nerves and big muscles, so complications are very rare. 

How Long Does Arm Lift Surgery Take?

These surgeries usually take between one and three hours, depending upon the amount of loose skin and possible fat accumulation the patient has.

How Do I Prepare for an Arm Lift?

This is surgery, so your preparations are the same as for any procedure: you’ll stop taking blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, and most supplements for one week prior to your procedure. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for two weeks prior to and after your arm lift. That’s because smoking constricts the blood vessels and can impede your healing. 

These aren’t difficult recoveries, so you don’t need to make extensive plans for laying low. You should plan for a decreased ability to lift items, however. For the first week after your surgery, you won’t be able to lift anything more than a bag of sugar. The second week that can only increase to 10 pounds, and then 15 pounds the third week. So, if you need to lift anything heavy, you’re either going to need to have someone else do it for you, or you should take care of it prior to your arm lift. 

Your Arm Lift Experience

During your arm lift surgery, your surgeon will make an incision along the inside of the arm, the back of the arm or inside the armpit. The placement and extent of the incision depends on the amount of tissue to be removed. The scar location is designed to minimize visibility of the scar. All of these options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.

All surgery results in a scar along the incision. While every patient scars differently—depending on genetics, race and skin condition—careful incision placement, meticulous suturing and the use of evidence-based best practices in postoperative care help keep scarring to a minimum. Embrace® Scar Therapy can further help with minimizing the appearance of scars.

Arm lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, so you can return home after surgery. Despite some initial swelling, you will enjoy immediate results. You can expect to resume normal activities within a week, although you should refrain from strenuous aerobic activity and arm weights for at least two weeks.

Arm lift surgery can be performed alone, with another body procedure such as an abdominoplasty, or as part of a full body lift.

Patient Testimonial

“From my very first interaction all the way through the after appointments, my experience has been top notch. Dr. Fisher is not only an amazing doctor, she has also assembled a staff of individuals that are equally caring, kind, and considerate. The staff remembered my name every time I have walked through the door. They have plenty of free parking, so the visit is always a breeze. Dr. Fisher and all of the staff always have a smile and cheerful dispositions, and they always have time to help and to answer all of my many questions and concerns.” -Alethia M.

What Will My Recovery Be Like After an Arm Lift?

Recovery from arm lift surgery is not difficult. The key to a successful recovery is to avoid lifting much with your arms. As you would assume, lifting too much weight can strain your incisions and create complications. 

After your procedure, you’ll return home with compression garments on your arms. You’ll likely have drainage tubes on your incisions. You’ll be given compression garments for both arms to minimize swelling and help your arms adapt to their new contour. There will be swelling, due to the tissue repositioning, but it should be mostly gone in around two weeks. It will return at times, and you can alleviate it by keeping your arms elevated as much as possible during your early recovery. It helps to sleep with your arms elevated for the first two weeks. Within one to two weeks, you can return to work, but strenuous activity and lifting will need to wait, as we discuss in the preparation section above. We will discuss a timeline with you. 

When Can I Return to My Normal Activities After Arm Lift Surgery?

Patients can usually return to work in just a week or two. Obviously, this varies with the individual patient. If your work involves lifting, you’ll have to have others do that for you. It will be about 10 days before you can drive. For the first week, you should limit activity to just walking. 

How Long Can I Expect My Arm Lift Results to Last?

The loose, flappy skin removed by your surgeon is gone for good. So are any pockets of fat removed. Muscles are tightened permanently, as well. These are permanent changes. Of course, this surgery doesn’t magically stop the slackening that comes with aging, but your arms will never again be loose and flappy as they were prior to having this surgery at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 

If you maintain a healthy weight, your arms will be slimmer, tighter, and have a more pleasing contour for the remainder of your life. 

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Download Our Cosmetic Surgery Post-Operative Care Guides

We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our cosmetic surgery patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.

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Contact Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery to discuss an arm lift in Austin, TX. Set up a consultation by calling (512) 815-0123 or sending a message online.

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2905 San Gabriel Street
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 815-0123

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