What is Arm Lift and Arm Tightening Surgery?
These surgeries improve the appearance of what is commonly referred to as "bat wings" in the upper arm region from the elbow to the armpit. During the surgery, the loosened skin caused by weight loss or ageing is removed and tightened. This is referred to as "arm lift" surgery. For those patients who do not have loose skin, liposuction alone may be an option to remove excess fat. This method is known as "arm tightening".
How is Arm Lift Surgery Performed?
In order to achieve a slender and contoured appearance, the procedure can be carried out in different ways. The method used by the surgeon will depend on the patient's needs. If the patient does not have a lot of excess skin, a small incision will be made in the armpit. This will allow the surgeon to pull the skin tight and remove the excess. The doctor may also recommend the addition of liposuction to the procedure in order to achieve a tighter and more attractive result.
In cases where there is a lot of excess skin, tightening and removing the excess skin from an incision in the armpit may not provide the desired result. Additional incisions may need to be made in a line from the armpit to the elbow in order to remove the excess skin and fat in the upper arm for the best possible result. Again, the plastic surgeon may recommend liposuction to be coupled with this procedure in order to achieve a sleeker and more contoured appearance.
How is Arm Tightening Surgery Performed?
The "arm tightening" procedure is the method of choice for individuals who do not have loose or excess skin. Pleasing results can be obtained through the removal of excess fat tissue via liposuction or the Vaser Lipolysis method. During the procedure, your surgeon will use an instrument called a cannula, to remove fatty tissue from a number of small 1 cm incisions. Provided you are careful, you can return to work and everyday activities within 1-2 days.
Am I a Good Candidate for Arm Lift or Arm Tightening Surgery?
• your weight is normal, but your arm skin is loose
• If you have lost a serious amount of weight and this has resulted in excess skin and fat, leaving behind "bat wings"
• If your arms do not have excess skin or sagging, but have excess fat that makes them look chubbier than normal
• If in exchange for more sleek and contoured arms, you are agreeable to incision scars (the length of which will be determined by the method to be used)
you may be a good candidate for one of these surgeries. The method to be used by your Plastic Surgeon will be decided after his/her evaluation.
Are Scars Unavoidable in Arm Lift and Arm Tightening Surgeries?
In the Arm Lift surgery, in some cases the incision can be hidden in the armpit depending on the extent of excess skin and fat present. In other cases, the incision may need to extend from the armpit through to the elbow. In both cases, the incisions and will be hidden as best as possible.
However, the trail that will be formed in forward relaxation situations where it continues from under the arm to the elbow is a matter to be considered. Since this trace may be visible with short-sleeved outfits, especially during the hot season, the operation decision should be taken with caution if a distrust of the patient is to occur.
In cases where the incision needs to start from the armpit and go to the elbow (where there is a lot of excess skin) the patient needs to give the surgery a little more consideration. In the summer months, the scar caused by the incision will be visible due to short sleeved outfits worn. If this will cause the patient to lose confidence, the decision to have the surgery needs to be taken carefully.
It is not possible for your Plastic Surgeon to make a accurate prediction about how your incision will heal. The incisions, which are completed with care and aesthetically during the surgery, can heal well in some patients to the point where they are unnoticeable, and for others the incision may heal in a more visible fashion. The reason is that each patient's healing process is genetically different and because the wound is affected by environmental conditions. Wound healing is completed somewhere between 6 months and 1 year. Therefore, the final appearance of the scar can be observed during this period.
In cases where arm tightening, ie. the removal of excess fat, is sufficient, only liposuction or Vaser Lipolysis is performed. In this case, instead of long cuts on the skin, 1 or 2 small holes, no larger than 1cm in diameter are used. So, depending on your wound healing, there will be little or no traces left, or the remaining traces will be too small to be noticed.
Regardless of which method is applied, laser treatments or local scar revisions can be made to reduce the scar tissue that has formed. For this, at least 6 months need to have past since the surgery. In other words, the period for wound healing needs to have completed. However, attempts to improve the scars will not completely remove them.
What Can I Expect at My First Doctor's Consultation?
Your plastic surgeon will decide on the best surgery option for you based on the extent of the excess skin and fat you have in your arms. Your doctor will share all the details of the surgery and guide you to help you make the right decision regarding your surgery. If your first visit is conducted virtually, over the internet, you will need to share the information clearly and in detail so that your doctor can offer you the best evaluation possible.
What Kind of Anesthesia is Used in Arm Tightening and Arm Lift Procedures?
In these operations, a method referred to as "Sedoanalgesia" or general anesthesia is used depending on the technique and kind of procedure the Plastic Surgeon considers appropriate for your surgery.
How Long on Average Does the Arm Lift and Arm Tightening Procedure Take?
The surgery takes 2 to 3 hours on average.
What Should I be Aware of Before Arm Lift Surgery?
• Smoking is a risk factor for any surgical procedure. It is recommended that you do not smoke for a month before and after the procedure, especially because it can cause discomfort and additional complications in wound healing.
• It is recommended that you do not take aspirin or medications that contain aspirin 2 weeks prior to surgery.
• It is recommended you do not take alcohol the night before the operation so that dehydration does not occur.
• You should not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to the surgery.
• Following the surgery, we recommend that you have comfortable clothing with you for your stay in the hospital (tracksuit, nightgown with buttons down the front etc).
What will Happen Directly Before the Surgery?
The Plastic Surgeon will plan the surgery before entering the operating theatre. He will make drawings on your elbow, arms and armpit. These drawings are entirely customized for you and your needs.
What Can I Expect Following the Arm Lift / Arm Tightening Procedure?
In order to support the healing, and to avoid swelling and friction, your arms will be placed in compression garments, and if necessary some further supports will be placed underneath each of them. You arms will need to be dressed and checked regularly for 7-14 days on average.
After your plastic surgeon evaluates your condition, you may return home, or accommodation on the day of the surgery. You can return to work after a week of the surgery. Your doctor will need to see you the following day of your surgery for a postoperative visit.
There will be some swelling following the surgery. Although the majority of the swelling will subside within the first 1 to 2 weeks, just as with all operations, it will take about 6 months to see the final results. Depending on the surgery technique used there may be varying degrees of redness and bruising that may occur. These will subside within an average of 2 weeks.
In the first days you should avoid arm movements that require force and you should especially not move your arms up or lift anything heavy. You should avoid intense physical activity for two weeks after the operation and elevate your arms on pillows while sleeping; this will your healing process and help you reach the intended result of the surgery more easily.
When will I Start to See the Results of the Arm Lift / Arm Tightening Surgery?
After a month you will be able to wear short sleeved clothes. However, in order to promote healthy scar healing we recommend that you avoid the sun. We would like to remind you that unlike other cosmetic procedures, there is a possibility that the scarring will be visible when the incision is made from the armpit to the elbow. You can get more detailed information from your plastic surgeon before the operation.
As long as you do not put on or lose excessive amounts of weight after the Arm Lift Surgery, you will reap the positive effects of the surgery for many long years.