If you have loose skin on your upper arms, then an arm lift might be right for you. You might have extra loose skin on your arms due to the aging process, or maybe you’ve had weight loss that left you with extra skin. An arm lift (brachioplasty) removes that loose skin and any excess fat in the upper arms.
After you arrive at our office, you’ll first meet with one of Dr. Kavali’s Physician Assistants, Maggie or Alicia. They will begin the consultation process by reviewing your medical history, establishing your goals for the surgery, and by taking relevant photographs for your medical record.
Dr. Kavali will complete the consultation process by meeting with you to personally hear about your goals for surgery and for a physical exam. This conversation will help Dr. Kavali understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be met.
The consultation time is meant to be comfortable and educational. We want you to feel completely informed, so you can make your own personal best decision.
An arm lift is an outpatient surgery done at a fully-accredited surgery center. If you still have some extra fatty tissue in your upper arms, Dr. Kavali will first do liposuction to “deflate” the arms. The actual arm lift is typically done by creating a scar on the inside of the upper arm, so the scar can’t be seen when your arm is down by your side. The length of the scar depends on the extent of the extra skin that you have. The scar could extend all the way to the elbow from the armpit. If you have extra skin only on the uppermost part of the arm, the scar might be placed entirely in the armpit. The extra skin is removed and the incision is closed with stitches that are under the skin and will dissolve. Dr. Kavali typically does not use drains during this surgery.
It’s very common to combine body contouring procedures into one operative session and one recovery. One of the more common combinations involves arm and breast contouring together. If you have concerns about your breast size or shape, you might consider addressing the breasts and arms in one surgery session. Or you might include liposuction of other body areas, or even facial contouring. Just talk with Dr. Kavali about your concerns, and she will help you put together a plan that’s safe for you.
If you have only an arm lift done, you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery. If you choose to combine your arm lift with other procedures, you may need to stay overnight at the surgery facility, then will be able to go home the next day.
You will be given compression sleeves to wear shortly after the surgery. These sleeves will help with swelling. You may have swelling that extends down into your hands. You will be encouraged to keep your arms elevated as much as possible to diminish such swelling. You may have some bruising, which will go away in a week or so.
You can expect to be able to raise your arms fully over your head within a few days of surgery. You will be sore, but functional. You can drive when you are no longer taking narcotics for pain and you feel like you can react appropriately in traffic. Most people are able to drive sometime near the end of the first week after surgery.
Thousands of arm lift surgeries are done each year, and most go well with no major problems. But problems certainly can occur, as with any surgery. Some of the potential complications include reactions to anesthesia, blood accumulation that may need to be drained surgically, and infection. Wound healing problems can occur, as well as poor scarring. Dr. Kavali does everything possible to minimize the risk of any complications. However, if a complication does occur, she’ll be right there to help you and guide you through the healing process.
Once all your questions have been answered during your consultation, you’ll meet with Zaphea, our Patient Coordinator, who will put together the financial and scheduling information you’ll need. We never want you to feel pressured to schedule any surgery. Dr. Kavali prefers that you gather all the information you need and take all the time you need to feel comfortable with your decision to proceed.
Once you are ready to schedule your surgery, just let us know. We’ll coordinate a surgery date with you, then we’ll see you again for your preoperative appointment, which will take place a couple of weeks before your surgery date. Of course, we know that many people (like our out-of-state clients) have special circumstances that may require their preoperative appointment to take place closer to the surgery date, and we’re happy to oblige.
Be sure to go to the “Patient info” link on this site. You can find consent forms and instructions for each procedure, and you’ll find information about what to do and what to expect before and after your surgery.