Hanging skin on the underside of the arm with loss of skin tone frequently occurs following extensive weight loss. The loose skin is sometimes associated with fat deposits from the elbow up. The arm lift is a procedure that is performed to remove excess skin and some fat in order to restore a more youthful appearance in the arm. A scar is left along the length of the upper, inner arm where it is hidden whenever your arms are by your side. Liposuction—another body contouring procedure—is a good alternative to an arm lift for those with good skin tone and disproportionate amounts of fat.
The Arm Lift Procedure
Performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Tiffany McCormack, MD, the arm lift (or brachioplasty) takes between two to three hours. Some liposuction is commonly done as well as removal of excess skin. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. Often, a drain tube is left in each arm. Each patient is placed in a compression garment to help minimize swelling.
Arm Lift Recovery
The arms remain swollen for several weeks following the procedure. You will be seen in the office two to three days after your surgery to remove dressings and possibly drains. You should refrain from lifting anything greater than 15 pounds for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work in about one week. The scars will not disappear completely though they will begin to fade in two to three months, and will reach their final appearance in one to two years. It is important that these scars are not exposed to sun while they are still red as this may lead to darkening/pigmentation. If sun exposure is to occur, a sun block of 15 SPF or higher should be used.
Time and gravity can cause the skin of the inner thigh to lose tone and elasticity. This is especially true following massive weight loss. The thighs may be affected by both a fat collection and saggy skin, which can produce an unpleasant contour that does not respond to diet and exercise. A thigh lift involves liposuction along with the removal of excess skin to restore a healthier looking contour. If the skin tone is good and excessive fat is the main problem, liposuction alone may improve the condition.
Thigh Lift Procedure
A thigh lift takes approximately two hours. The procedure involves liposuction as well as removal of the loose skin. After excess skin and fat have been eliminated, dissolvable sutures are used to close up the incisions. You will be placed in a compression garment for two to four weeks to help minimize swelling.
Thigh Lift Recovery
It is not unusual to have some drainage from your incisions for the first couple of days. Walking during the first 48 hours is encouraged. Climbing stairs, squatting and aerobic activities should be avoided for several days. You will be seen back in the office two to three days following your surgery. Most patients have a “tight” and swollen feeling in the thighs. This gradually goes away. Most of the swelling is gone by six weeks time. Individuals with a “desk job” may return to work after one week. Positions that require lifting more than 25 pounds, prolonged periods of standing, walking, or heavy lifting should not be resumed for three to six weeks. The scars will begin to fade two to three months after surgery and will have diminished considerably in one to two years, though they will not disappear completely.
Contact McCormack Plastic Surgery
To learn more about arm lift, thigh lift, or any other body contouring procedures we offer, contact McCormack Plastic Surgery today.