Self-conscious about loose or "flabby" upper arms? So are many men and women—it's common for the arms to lose tone as we age. Significant weight loss can also leave behind excess skin. If you're tired of hiding your arms with baggy shirts or sweaters, then arm lift surgery with Dr. Gunnar Thors can help. Keep reading to learn more.
Upper arm lift surgery, called brachioplasty, can restore a firmer, toned arm appearance by removing excess skin and fat from the upper arms. This highly rewarding procedure is popular with post-bariatric patients as well as men and women who have sagging, loose tissues due to aging or genetics.
Having very heavy or “flabby” upper arms is not just an aesthetic issue for many patients. Loose, excess skin can make wearing close-fitting sleeves uncomfortable, and cause a person to feel embarrassed to show his or her arms in public. While losing weight can help reduce fat in the arms, and exercise can tone muscles, neither can address stretched skin. In fact, significant weight loss can worsen the appearance of loose, hanging skin on the arms. By removing the excess skin and tightening the upper arms, brachioplasty can help a patient:
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gunnar Thors typically performs brachioplasty as an outpatient procedure; however, if other body lifting procedures are being performed at the same time, a short inpatient stay may be necessary. Surgery takes place in an accredited surgical center, with general anesthesia provided by a physician anesthesiologist.
Dr. Thors will make an incision running along the inside of the upper arm. The length of this incision depends on the amount of skin removal and tissue reshaping needed, but typically it will run from the armpit to just above the elbow. Dr. Thors will remove excess skin and fat, incorporating liposuction if needed, and then reshape the remaining tissue to achieve a firmer, smoother arm shape.
Most brachioplasty patients are ready to go home shortly after their procedure to recover at home. Dr. Thors may have you wear compression sleeves during your initial recovery to support healing incisions and control swelling. Post-operative discomfort can be managed with pain medication. You will be encouraged to get up and take frequent, short walks beginning the same evening as surgery, although you will need assistance around the house for a couple of days.
Patients typically return to a desk job within 7 to 14 days after brachioplasty, and may gradually resume exercise that does not stress the arms about 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. Most patients are back to their normal routines within 6 weeks.
You will notice an improved shape to your arms immediately after surgery. The normal post-operative swelling may not represent your final results at first. Good scar care is essential after upper arm lift surgery to ensure your scars heal as faintly as possible. Follow Dr. Thors’ instructions for activity restriction and skin care completely.
Slight residual swelling may persist up to 6 months after surgery, although your new arm shape will be close to final within 3 months or so.
You will have permanent scars after upper arm lift surgery. These can appear bright pink for several months, but will fade significantly over the first year with proper care. Additionally, these scars will be hidden from view most of the time, and only visible to others when you raise your bare arms over your head. Most patients find some visible scarring well worth the enhanced comfort and confidence of having a firmer, more slender upper arm contour.
"I have the utmost respect for Dr. Gunnar Thors and his staff. From the consultation, through the pre-op questions, surgery and the follow-ups, I have been treated so wonderfully."Meet Dr. Thors »