When the weather’s nice, most people want to break out the sleeveless shirts and sundresses. But, for people struggling with excess skin on their upper arms, they may feel like they need to hide them. An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is an excellent procedure option for those who have loose or excess skin on their upper arms that are not responsive to exercise or eating well.
About Arm Lifts
Due to aging, genetics, or simply the environment, our skin loses elasticity and begins to droop and sag. And especially after significant weight loss, it can be incredibly frustrating dealing with excess skin that won’t retract to the new arm contour. Excess skin can hang below the arms when they are raised or flatten out along the side of the body when they are at rest, resulting in an unsightly contour. Many people try and hide the appearance of their arms by continuously wearing long sleeves. But, wouldn’t it be a nice to not worry about it anymore?
An arm lift can correct all of the aforementioned issues. By making a discreet incision down the length of the inner upper arm, Dr. Millard can reposition tissue in the upper arm and remove excess skin for enhanced contour. Arm lift procedures are not only extremely safe, but they also offer incredible results. For these reasons, arm lifts are a very popular procedure, especially in the greater Colorado area.
Benefits of an Arm Lift
Arm Lift vs VASER Hi Def Arms
VASER Hi-Def Lipo for the arms is a minimally invasive liposculpture technique that uses ultrasound waves to eliminate fat from the arms for enhanced contour and shape. It has many attractive benefits, such as not damaging or disturbing surrounding nerves and blood vessels, helps define muscle tone, maintains or improves smooth skin, decreases bruising and blood loss following surgery, and has a faster recovery time than regular liposuction.
Nonetheless, VASER Hi-Def Lipo for arms will not be suitable for patients who have significant excess skin on their arms or have poor elasticity in their skin. For this reason, some patients may opt to have VASER Hi-Def Lipo performed on their arms after an arm lift for enhanced contour and sculpting abilities. Please feel free to contact our Lone Tree, Colorado office today to see if you are better suited for an arm lift, VASER Hi Definition Lipo for the arms, or a combination of both.
Patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their upper arms due to excess, sagging skin may be good candidates for brachioplasty.
Candidates should be at a stable weight and have tried toning their arms with diet and exercise, but have not been successful. Patients should be healthy and possess the ability to heal properly. This means that they should also be nonsmokers or willing to quit smoking prior to surgery, as smoking can negatively affect the healing process. Finally, candidates must have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. At the time of the consultation, Dr. Millard can provide before & after pictures to help the patient get an ideal of potential results, although all cases and results vary.
Types of Arm Lifts
Depending on the patient’s areas of concern, Dr. John Millard will utilize one of four techniques to achieve the desired results.
Traditional Arm Lift
A traditional arm lift requires an incision running from the armpit to the elbow. This incision is made so that it is hidden on the inner part of the arm and can only be seem from very few angles. A traditional arm lift is the most common arm lift technique because it targets the entire areas where excess skin is most likely to occur.
Mini Arm Lift
A mini arm lift is a good technique option for patients who only have a minimal amount of sagging skin, and in order to achieve results, do not require the same incision length as a traditional brachioplasty. In this procedure, a smaller incision in made near the armpit in order to lift drooping skin.
Extended Arm Lift
An extended arm lift offers more comprehensive results than both the traditional and mini arm lift. However, it also requires the largest incision. The incision for this technique runs from the elbow to the top of the arm pit and then down through the lower armpit in an L shape. For this reason, extended brachioplasty is also called an L-shaped brachioplasty. The benefit of this incision is that not only can a traditional arm lift be achieved, but the tissue around the armpit and the sides of the chest can also be sculpted. This technique may be helpful for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight.
Arm Lift with VASER Lipo
In some cases, patients may have localized fat deposits in their arms that are not responding to diet and exercise. For these patients, they may elect to also receive VASER Hi-Def Liposuction at the time of their arm lift procedure. When performed together, these procedures can help slim and contour the arms for incredible results. In some cases, patients with good skin elasticity may only require liposuction to get the arms that they desire.
Dr. Millard is the creator and pioneer of VASER liposuction. He has created area specific liposuction techniques such as VASER Hi-Def Arms to provide the optimal results for each individual area of the body, since the arms should be treated differently than legs, back, or abdomen.
During the consultation, Dr. Millard will go over all of the brachioplasty options and help the patient make a decision as to which procedure would be best for them.
Preparation and Procedure
There is little preparation involved in an arm lift procedure. However, patients may be asked to stop taking certain medications or supplements prior to the procedure. Smokers are asked to quit at least two weeks in advance.
Brachioplasty is an outpatient surgery, so patients will be able to return to their home after they’ve been released from the recovery room. All patients will be asked to make arrangements for somebody to drive them home once their procedure is completed.
On the day of the surgery, patients will be given anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Then, Dr. Millard will make the desired incision along the underside of the arm where it will be least noticeable. Once the incision has been made following the technique specific pattern, he will reposition the tissue in the upper arm and reframe it using internal sutures. If the patient elects to do so, then excess fat may also be removed using VASER liposuction. Finally, the skin on the upper arms is redraped and excess skin is removed before it is closed with sutures.
After surgery, patients will wake up in our recovery room where Dr. Millard’s highly trained staff will be there to assist them with anything they may need. Patients will be properly bandaged and provided with the materials they will need for recovery.
Recovery and Results
Patients will immediately notice contoured results following their procedure. The arms will be wrapped in a compression bandage to help reduce any swelling and aid in healing. Dr. Millard will provide patients with a prescription to help reduce discomfort or the patient may choose to control discomfort with an over-the-counter medication deemed acceptable for intake.
Prior to surgery day, Dr. Millard will provide the patient with more individualized instructions on their post-surgery care. This information will include:
- How much time the patient should plan to take off from work
- Whether the sutures are dissolvable or if Dr. Millard will have to remove them personally
- How to care for the incision to minimize scarring
- How long to avoid heavy lifting
- Exercises to aid in recovery
- Medications and supplements to avoid
- How to maintain the results
Patients are typically asked to come into our Colorado office for a follow-up appointment so that Dr. Millard can ensure that they are healing properly. The follow-up appointment usually takes place approximately a week after the surgery date.
The consultation is an extremely important part of any cosmetic surgery. During the consultation, Dr. John Millard will speak with the patient about their surgical goals so that he can evaluate the best treatment to achieve their goals. He will also perform an examination, which may include taking measurements and pictures, in order to determine the patient’s candidacy for surgery.
The patient should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery. We ask that all patients inform the doctor of any past surgeries that they’ve had, medical conditions they have, and medications or supplements that they take. These factors will most likely not preclude a patient from candidacy for surgery, but it is important that Dr. Millard has a thorough understanding of the patient’s medical history.
At Millard Plastic Surgery, we aim to make patients as comfortable as possible from the moment they step into our offices and hope to build a lasting relationship with all of our clients. Please feel free to ask any questions about arm lift surgery or other procedures of interest at the time of the consultation or give us a call. Request a consultation today online today to get started.