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Burgess Plastic Surgery | Portland, OR Area

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Arm-Lift-Portland-Before-and-AfterTone and Tighten Your Arms

People who lose a great amount of weight may often be left with excess skin in the upper arms, creating the unwanted “batwing” effect. Brachioplasty is a medical term for an upper arm lift plastic surgery procedure. For these individuals, Dr. Elisa Burgess offers brachioplasty, in her Portland, OR area practice.  There are multiple reasons people chose to undergo brachioplasty including:
  • To contour the upper arms
  • To remove excess skin and tissue in the upper arms that has not responded well to diet and excerise
  • To assist bariatric patients in removing excess tissue after weight loss

Am I an ideal candidate for an arm lift in Portland?

People who have lost weight and find they have excess skin in their arms turn to arm lift procedures to correct it. The procedure helps those who are self-conscious about flabby arms by contouring the area to provide a more slender appearance. Ideal patients should have adequate skin elasticity, be healthy, not pregnant or nursing,  and not smoke. If you’re considering an arm lift, you should maintain realistic expectations and understand the expected outcome, including the surgical scars that result.

What will the arm lift procedure be like?

Performed on an outpatient basis, arm lift procedures take between one and two hours to perform  per arm and is typically done with general anesthesia. In some cases, liposuction alone may work to contour the arm, provided the skin will shrink on its own.

arm-lift-portlandarm-lift-portland

This illustration depicts a typical arm lift incision and outcome

A mini-arm lift (brachioplasty) is performed when liposuction is undertaken and a smaller amount of skin is removed closer to the armpit.  The scar is small and well disguised in the armpit. This procedure is better for minimal to moderate tissue laxity.

A full-arm lift (brachioplasty) is performed when incisions are made in the inner part of the arm, traveling to the elbow. Liposuction and skin removal are performed to tighten the arms and sutures are placed to close the incisions and maintain the new shape of the arms.  This procedure is better for the more prominent “batwing” deformity.

What should I expect during my recovery from an arm lift procedure?

The total recovery time for an arm liftin Portland can last between two and four weeks during which the patient will wear compression garments. The patient is advised to keep their arms elevated and limit movement. Swelling and bruising will improve in about two weeks. Pain may be managed through medication.  For some patients this is a difficulty recovery because they realize in the post operative period how frequently they use their arms on a daily basis.  It is imperative to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least 4 weeks. Traveling long distances is not recommended in the first month following surgery.  Ensure that you attend all scheduled exams following surgery and understand that you may require future revision surgery.  Scars from the procedure will be noticeable at first, but will improve slowly over the next year.  Results of the procedure are not permanent as gravity and aging continue to play a role.

Some complications are possible with the arm lift procedure and may include changes in sensation and pigmentation, infection, poor healing, scarring, and other unforeseen risks.

If you’re concerned about excess hanging skin on your arms, please contact the office of board-certified plastic surgeon Elisa Burgess MD FACS in her Portland-area office to schedule a consultation.

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