What is an arm lift?
An arm lift is the operation that takes care of the aesthetic image of the arms. Specifically, it removes the excess skin located in the arm area by redefining its size and shape. The reduction of skin elasticity and sagging usually occurs with the normal wear and tear of time but also with the sudden loss of much weight.
- Who is it for?
Skin sagging is a phenomenon that occurs more in women and less often in middle-aged men (<40 years) but also in younger people after heavy weight loss or lack of exercise. Not suitable for overweight people who have not yet undergone obesity surgery or are in the middle of a special diet for weight loss.
- The first visit to the doctor’s office
During the first visit, the Plastic Surgeon is fully informed about the medical history of the person concerned and honestly discusses their motivations and expectations after the surgery. After that, some necessary measurements are made in the area of the arms and some photos are taken. Before defining the intervention and the procedures, it is very important to inform the interested party about the results and possible complications.
- Is arm lift surgery painful?
As in any surgery that involves skin traction, it does not provide for the complete absence of pain postoperatively. After all, the arm, as an extension of the hand, is a part of the body that is in constant motion. However, the pain is mild and tolerable and is normalized with the administration of analgesic drugs that will be suggested by the Plastic Surgeon.
- What complications may occur?
Complications in this type of surgery are minimal and rare. Some of these are the formation of hematoma or inflammation, edema and redness of the scars. All complications are manageable and in any case the Plastic Surgeon must be informed about them, so that they can be dealt with in a timely manner.
- What kind of examinations will be needed before an arm lift?
The preoperative arm lift examination includes a review of the candidate’s medical history, general blood tests, a cardiogram, and x-rays. This ensures that the patient is protected from complications during surgery. The patient’s health is a primary concern of the medical team.
- How long does arm lift surgery take and what kind of anesthesia is required?
The arm straightening operation lasts 1.5-2 hours. For mild cases, local anesthesia with sedation is used, while for the case where the incision occupies a larger area, the use of general anesthesia is indicated. The type of anesthesia will be selected after consultation with the Plastic Surgeon, taking into account the safety of the patient.
- During surgery
Depending on the degree of sagging of the skin and the presence of localized fat, the extent and point of the incision are determined. Incisions that can be made during surgery are the following:
horizontal incision in the armpit area: performed when the sagging is light and there is a partial concentration of fat.
vertical incision on the inner surface of the arms up to the elbow: it is performed simultaneously with the horizontal incision when the sagging is greater.
elongated incision on the inner surface of the arms up to the sides of the chest: performed after high weight loss when the skin is drooping and has a wrinkled appearance.
Then follows the pulling and stapling of the skin. In any case, the arm acquires a shapely form and the desired volume compared to the other anatomical features of the body.
- After surgery
If the use of local anesthesia with sedation has preceded, the patient can leave after a few hours, otherwise it is necessary to stay for 24 hours and be discharged the next day. An elastic bandage has already been applied to the arm, which with consistent use for 1 month will ensure its smooth recovery and the avoidance of injuries. They will also be given medical instructions for the care and cleansing of the affected area, as well as mild painkillers that will relieve swelling and discomfort. The sutures can be removed after about 2 weeks.
- In how many days can one return to one’s daily activities?
Although the improvement in the arms is evident from the first days, the patient should rest and be limited to gentle hand movements and not lift weights for at least 20 days. Return to work is possible after 1 week, unless it is manual work, in which case the return will be determined after discussion with the doctor. In addition, it is important to abstain from physical exercise for 1 month, so as not to cause any injury.
The finalized results of the arm lift are visible after 3 months. The operation tightens and restores the sagging of the skin, reducing localized fat, and revives the patient’s mood, giving them confidence and satisfaction. The results are impressive and can be maintained for many years or be permanent. The permanence of the results depends on whether there will be significant fluctuations in body weight afterwards.