Written By Twin City Plastic Surgery
So you finally did it. You made a New Year’s resolution back in January to lose weight and get fit, and you actually stuck with it. Kudos! Bring on spring and summer, right? Now that it’s June, you can start looking forward to tank tops, sleeveless shirts, and sundresses to show off the new you.
Wait, what’s that? Now you don’t like your arms? How can that be?
As strange as it may seem, there can be a downside, of sorts, to losing a significant amount of weight. Namely, excess skin hanging off the bottom of your arms. If that’s not the case, aging and heredity may have something to do with the condition as well, although there’s not a lot you can do about that. When exercise doesn’t seem to help, regardless of the number of biceps curls and triceps dips you’ve done, one option is to talk with a plastic surgeon about a procedure called brachioplasty.
Brachioplasty, or “arm lift,” is a surgical way to reshape the underside of the upper arm from armpit to elbow. The main purpose is to reduce the amount of excess skin that sags below the arm, as well as tighten and smooth the supportive tissue to give the upper arm a more defined shape. The surgery also reduces localized pockets of fat.
“When the underside of the upper arms appears loose and sags due to excess fat and/or skin, and if the condition is at a stage such that it is resistant to exercise-induced changes, the person may be a good candidate for brachioplasty—especially if the condition affects the person’s sense of self-esteem and well-being,” says Dr. Chad Tattini, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Twin City Plastic Surgery.
Not all arm lift surgical procedures involve the same process. You should choose the best method for you after consulting your surgeon and after you’ve considered the pros and cons of each. For example, one method is to use liposuction to remove excess fat. This is the least invasive option, but may leave saggy and wrinkled skin. A middle-of-the-road procedure and one of the most common techniques is hidden or minimal incision brachioplasty. This option may work for those whose skin still has sufficient elasticity and who have a minimal amount of excess skin. The incision for this procedure is located on the underside of the arm so the scar is more easily concealed.
Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision on either the inside or back of the arm—depending on the technique chosen in advance. Incisions typically extend from the underarm not quite to the elbow. Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon uses absorbable sutures or stitches to close the incision. Patients may have experience some swelling and bruising, but the new contour of the arm is almost immediately visible.
Most patients choose to have an arm lift for cosmetic reasons. Although most medical insurance plans do not cover such procedures because they are elective, financing plans are commonly offered with low-interest monthly payments.
Regardless of the cause—weight fluctuations, heredity, or age—if you don’t care for the way your upper arms look and feel, you can take steps to change them. Find a qualified, experienced surgeon and work together to create a plan for brachioplasty—it is surgery, after all, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The end result could be an even newer new you. Feeling good about yourself improves confidence, self-esteem, and general well-being—all of which are great results!