Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) in Savannah, GA
If you are looking for a way to enhance the contours of the arms, an arm lift at Savannah Plastic Surgery may be the perfect solution. We offer this and other body-contouring procedures to the men and women living in Savannah and the surrounding areas of Chatham County, GA and Bluffton, SC.
What Is an Arm Lift?
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical body-contouring technique for sculpting the upper arms. This is a problem area for many people, as it’s common for skin to sag, and fat to accumulate here.
The arm lift procedure trims excess skin and fat to contour the arms and enhance their appearance by:
- Removing excess sagging skin
- Tightening underlying structural tissue
- Removing excess fat
Removing excess tissue and tightening structural tissue effectively slenderizes the upper arms, making them look tighter, smoother, and more youthful.
Why Have an Arm Lift?
Many people, both women and men, find themselves wishing they could change something about their bodies as they get older. The upper arms are a common target for these feelings because excess skin and fat can accumulate in this part of the body.
Often, it’s simply a matter of aging, as time and gravity cause skin to sag. Some people have a genetic tendency to accumulate fat in their upper arm area. In other cases, changes in weight may mean that loose skin and excess fat have changed the appearance of your upper arms.
For some people, these changes are distressing, to the point where the appearance of their upper arms affects their self-esteem and causes them to restrict the kinds of clothing they wear. If you’re in this situation, then having an arm lift may help restore your self-esteem and give you the confidence to wear any kind of clothing you choose.
Can I Have Other Procedures Along with an Arm Lift?
Many people choose to combine brachioplasty with other cosmetic procedures. This lets you enhance multiple body areas at the same time and means you only have to go through one recovery period for two or more procedures.
However, it’s important to understand that there are limits to how much surgery you can safely have at one time. Those limits are different for everyone and depend on your age, medical status, and general health.
Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives to Arm Lift Surgery?
There are some non-surgical options that may help you improve the appearance of your upper arms, providing subtle changes that are most suitable for people with a mild amount of skin sagging.
1. Targeted Exercise
If you have only a little skin sagging, exercises that target the muscles in your upper arms and shoulders may help tighten and tone this area. This isn’t a viable alternative if you have more than a mild amount of skin sagging in this area.
2. Targeted Fat Removal
CoolSculpting® is a fat-removal treatment that is suitable for people with excess fat in the upper arm area. This treatment uses cold energy to permanently destroy fat cells, but it doesn’t have any effect on excess skin, so using CoolSculpting® to remove excess fat may not provide a complete solution.
3. Skin-Tightening Treatments
Skin-tightening treatments apply light energy to the skin to increase the skin’s production of collagen. This triggers natural skin-tightening effects to the treatment area. While the results of these treatments aren’t permanent, they can potentially last for years. With regular treatment sessions, the results can be maintained for longer.
Who Is a Good Candidate for an Arm Lift?
The brachioplasty procedure might be a good fit for you if you have sagging or loose skin that appears to hang off the underside of your upper arms.
To be a good surgical candidate, with the best chance of a smooth recovery, it’s also important to be in good physical health and a non-smoker, or able to stop smoking while in recovery.
For good long-term results, it’s also best to be at a stable weight, as any weight you gain or lose in the future may affect the contours of your upper arms.
What Happens at an Arm Lift Consultation?
The consultation you have before surgery is an essential part of the whole process. There’s a lot to discuss before the procedure can go ahead, and most of this will happen at this appointment.
Your body goals. What do you want to change? Is brachioplasty the best way to achieve your body goals? What will your results look like? These and other questions are discussed to help you decide what procedure or surgery is right for you.
Your medical health and history. Do you have any medical conditions or take any medications that might affect your surgery or recovery?
Your surgeon will also perform a physical exam. This allows them to assess the extent of surgery you need, including the size and location of the incisions required, and consider what results you can achieve from surgery.
Finally, your consultation is a good time to ask any questions you have, about the surgery, recovery, and any other related concerns you have. Having cosmetic surgery is a major decision, so it’s important to be well-informed.
How Should I Prepare for Arm Lift Surgery?
The steps you need to take to prepare for surgery depend on your own situation and health status. Some people may need to take several steps, while others may not need to do anything to prepare for surgery. If you do have to prepare, your surgeon will let you know what to do, and when. Some common steps that people take include:
Medication changes. Some medications make surgery more risky. This includes blood-thinning medications, which increase the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery. If you take blood thinners, your surgeon may recommend you stop taking them prior to surgery. Some over-the-counter medications are also included in this category, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Smoking cessation. If you’re a smoker, your surgeon will advise you to stop prior to surgery. This is important because smoking reduces the level of oxygen in blood, which adds to surgical risk. It can also slow down your rate of recovery after surgery.
What Is the Arm Lift Treatment Like?
Brachioplasty is performed in our surgicenter. Surgery starts once the patient is under anesthesia and is safe and comfortable. In most cases, this means general anesthesia.
The procedure begins with an incision made along the inside or the back of the upper arm. The incision may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow, depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed.
Once the incision is made, excess fat is removed and then the underlying structural tissue of the arm is reshaped and tightened. Internal stitches are used to keep the tissue in its new formation. Your surgeon then removes excess skin and closes the incision to finish off the surgery.
Arm Lift Aftercare and Recovery
After having brachioplasty, you’ll experience some soreness, bruising, and swelling for several days. You’ll have a dressing or bandage applied to your arm and may also have an elastic support bandage or compression garment to wear too.
We encourage patients to take a few weeks off work, if possible, to allow time for full healing. This is necessary after an arm lift because it’s important to avoid exercise, heaving lifting, and any other activities that use your arms. You need to rest your arms as much as possible and avoid any strain.
Your surgeon will provide you with recovery instructions for taking care of your incisions and information about when to return for follow-up appointments. You may also be provided with prescriptions for medications to help with the healing process or antibiotics to prevent infection. Whatever instructions you receive, follow them as closely as possible to ensure your recovery goes smoothly.
Arm Lift Risks and Complications
Arm Lift Risks
All surgical procedures have a certain level of risk associated with them. Most surgical risks occur only rarely, but it’s still important to understand what they are. Your surgeon will go over these risks with you prior to surgery, so you can give informed consent before the procedure goes ahead.
Anesthesia: Up to 1 in 5,000 people are allergic or sensitive to anesthesia and may have a potentially dangerous reaction. If you’ve previously had anesthesia without any problems, it’s unlikely you’ll have an allergic or sensitive reaction to anesthesia in the future.
Blood clot: Your risk of having a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is temporarily heightened after having surgery, and smoking increases the risk further. Being inactive for long periods of time also increases the risk, so it’s important to resume light activity once your surgeon or doctor says it’s okay to do so.
Your results: The surgery might go off without a hitch, but there’s still a risk that your results aren’t exactly what you expected. Choosing an experienced surgeon is an important part of managing your expectations for arm lift surgery. A skilled surgeon is the best person to give you the results you want, but they’ll also help you set treatment goals that are realistic and achievable.
Arm Lift Complications
The most common complications of brachioplasty include seroma, hematoma, and prominent scarring. A small percentage of people experience nerve damage after arm lift surgery.
- Hypertrophic scarring is raised scarring that is more prominent than a flatter scar.
- Seroma is an accumulation of fluid at a wound or site of healing, which usually goes away on its own as the wound heals.
- Delayed wound healing
- Nerve damage, which is temporary for most people who experience it
- Hematoma (severe bruising)
Some complications of arm lift surgery result in the need for revision surgery.
Speak to your plastic surgeon about any concerns you have about these complications. They can address each one specifically.
What Results Can I Expect from an Arm Lift?
You’ll notice the results of your surgery immediately afterwards, in the tighter, leaner contours of your upper arms. Because there will be some swelling in the upper arm area for some time, it will take a few weeks to see the full results. The scarring from an arm lift is permanent, but the scars will fade over time.
The results of a brachioplasty procedure are permanent. However, both aging and changes in weight will continue to exert their effects in the future. You may find that over time, you lose some firmness in your upper arm area even after surgery. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine will help ensure your results last as long as possible.
How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?
The cost of an arm lift at Savannah Plastic Surgery can range from $5,500 to $5,700. The exact cost of your treatment depends on individual factors such as your treatment goals and the extent of treatment needed to achieve them. We’ll discuss costs during your consultation and give you an exact price once we’ve finalized your treatment plan. We can also determine your eligibility for health insurance coverage at this time.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of an Arm Lift?
Brachioplasty is a cosmetic procedure performed to enhance the appearance of the upper arms, so it’s not typically covered by insurance.
In some rare cases, insurance may cover part or all of the cost, if excess upper arm skin has affected your range of motion or otherwise impaired arm movement or use. If you think this might apply to you, make sure to mention it during your consultation.
If you’re eligible for insurance coverage, make sure to have your eligibility confirmed in writing by your insurance provider, before having surgery.
Financing Options for Arm Lift Surgery at Savannah Plastic Surgery
SPS offers several payment options, including checks and cash, and all credit cards. We also offer Alpheon® and Care Credit® financing. To learn more about your payment options, please visit our financing and insurance page.
To learn more about the arm lift procedure or to schedule your consultation at Savannah Plastic Surgery, contact us today. We welcome patients from Savannah and the surrounding areas of Chatham County, and offer convenient office locations in Brunswick and Hinesville, Georgia and Bluffton, South Carolina.