The upper arm is one of those places that the body just loves to store excess fat, particularly in women. In fact, changes in hormone levels associated with the natural aging process can lead to a saggy, droopy upper arm appearance even in women who are physically active and enjoy a healthy weight. Additionally, men and women alike can suffer from the “bat wing” effect after undergoing major weight loss that can only be resolved through an upper arm lift, or brachioplasty.
Recognized as a body contouring specialist and one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Mobile-Pensacola metro area, Dr. James Koehler is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving patients from Gulfport to Gulf Shores and beyond. In addition to upper arm lifts, Dr. Koehler offers a wide range of plastic surgery procedures for both men and women, and is known for his caring commitment to a patient-first approach.
Are You a Candidate?
If you’re bothered by a lack of definition through your upper arms, notice an undesired change in skin firmness and texture or have significant excess skin and tissue following rapid weight loss, you may be a candidate for upper arm surgery. The best candidates are in good physical and mental health, and have realistic expectations about their results.
About Arm Lifts
There are a few areas on the body that are almost universally challenging to tone up or slim down, and many people are surprised to find that the upper arms is one of these common problem spots. Even after reaching your target weight, you may find that your arms seem to lack a certain aesthetic appeal, or that your muscle contours aren’t noticeable enough due to a stubborn layer of fatty tissue. These problems can be exacerbated in those men and women who used to be overweight, as no amount of dieting or bicep curls can eliminate loose, excess skin.
During an arm lift, Dr. Koehler can correct a sagging upper arm by removing the skin and tissue responsible for your appearance concerns. Although an upper arm lift can be performed as a solo surgery, it’s also commonly included with other plastic surgery procedures after weight loss to help restore a slimmer appearance that accentuates your weight loss success, or as part of a mommy makeover. Other candidates who want to improve upper arm definition but still have good skin elasticity and firmness may consider liposuction in the upper arms rather than brachioplasty. Dr. Koehler will discuss all your options with you in more detail at your consultation.
Arm Lift Costs
At our practice, the cost of an upper arm lift ranges from $5,000 to $7,000, although this amount may vary depending on your specific goals and whether additional procedures are performed at the same time. Dr. Koehler and his staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about cosmetic surgery pricing and help you fully understand the costs associated with your arm lift.
What to Expect
At your initial consultation, Dr. Koehler will talk about the results you can hope to enjoy after brachioplasty, as well as conduct a physical evaluation that will help him determine the best technical approach to take during surgery. He’ll also make sure you have all the information you need in order to know exactly what to expect from your surgery and during recovery.
Incisions for brachioplasty may be quite small and hidden in the armpit, placed partway down the arm or possibly extend past the elbow. Dr. Koehler bases his choice of surgical approach on many factors, including your anatomy and the level of correction that’s needed. From the initial incision, any excess skin and tissue can be removed and the remaining skin pulled smooth before the incision is closed. Regardless of the specific type of incision used in your surgery, Dr. Koehler takes great care to plan placement as discreetly as possible so that the scar will be hidden by your natural posture when standing.
Since arm lift surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, most patients can return home the same day of their surgery. Discomfort from surgery can is managed with prescription medications, and wearing elastic bandages to support the treated area can offer additional support. For the first 2 weeks of your recovery, you’ll need to limit your physical activity, and it’s important to follow Dr. Koehler’s post-operative instructions throughout the healing process.
Risks and Complications
The risks associated with an upper arm lift are generally minor, and include concerns like infection or having an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Irregular contours are a more serious potential complication, although this is rare. Surgical skill is an essential component of beautiful arm lift results, as a thin layer of fat must remain in order to protect the nerves and blood vessels as well as ensure natural contours after surgery. Dr. Koehler will go over all the risks and benefits of arm lift surgery with you before your procedure so you’re fully informed about what to expect.
Your New Look
Your upper arms should be improved in skin texture and contour immediately after surgery, although your final results will be initially disguised by swelling and possibly some bruising. You can expect the results of your arm lift to be long-lasting if you maintain current healthy habits and your existing weight. Although it is normal to experience further changes in the appearance of your upper arms due to the natural aging process, these are typically minor, and you can expect to enjoy your new look well into the future.