Just like anything else (fashion, entertainment, interior design), plastic surgery has trends. Certain procedures which used to be rare will suddenly become popular, and vice versa. One cosmetic surgery which has increased throughout the US over the past few years is brachioplasty, or the arm lift. It can be a great choice for patients who have sagging skin along the underside of their upper arms, and if it’s a procedure you’re considering, below are a few tips from my experience as a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you get the best possible results.
- Be sure you’re getting the right procedure.
Patients often have a difficult time knowing whether the best way to make their arms more shapely is with an arm lift or with liposuction. An arm lift is a more comprehensive procedure, which can remove the excess skin which has begun to sag due to aging and/or weight fluctuations. Liposuction, on the other hand, strictly removes fat. If the shape of your upper arms is due only to excess fat and your skin has not lost a significant amount of its flexibility, liposuction may be your best option, but if you need firmer skin in order to achieve the results you want, an arm lift is probably the right choice.
- Maintain a healthy weight before AND after your procedure.
After your surgery, any future weight fluctuations can contribute once again to skin laxity, reducing your results. If you’re in the process of weight loss, it’s best to have your arm lift after you’ve reached your goal weight and after you know that you can maintain your weight long-term.
- Select a board-certified plastic surgeon you trust.
Plastic surgery is an investment of your time and money, so to get the safest and most successful results, you should exercise your right to be picky in selecting your surgeon. To find a doctor with the highest level of expertise, look for the words, “board-certified plastic surgeon” in their qualifications, and feel free to consult with several to see who makes you feel the most comfortable and whose before-and-after photos show an aesthetic that’s similar to the results you envision.
- Discuss your incision options.
During an arm lift, there are several different locations where your incision may be placed, including the armpit, lengthwise along the front side of the arm, and lengthwise along the back side of the arm. The ideal method for you will depend on how much excess skin you have and where it’s located, and during your pre-surgical consultation, you should be able to discuss your incision with your surgeon.
- If there are other body contouring procedures you want, ask about combining them with your arm lift.
Especially for patients who have lost an extensive amount of weight, excess skin can appear on many areas of the body, like the abdomen, thighs, and chest or breasts. If this is the case, you may be a good candidate for combining these body contouring procedures into one surgery. However, be sure to ask about this at the beginning of the process, because it will affect how you plan for your surgery.
- Follow all pre- and post-surgical instructions closely and keep all follow-up appointments.
Your recovery is a crucial time in the surgical process, and there are specific instructions you’ll need to follow in order to help your body heal. Be sure to pay close attention to your guidelines, ask any questions you may have, and keep up with all of your follow-up appointments so that I can monitor your condition and make sure you’re healing well.
Every plastic surgery is as unique as the patient receiving it, so the most important part of maximizing your results and your safety is to be active and informed throughout the process. Choose a surgeon you trust, do your research, and always know about any red flags you should look for during your recovery. To start discussing how I can help you achieve the slender, sculpted arms you’re looking for, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Or, for more helpful tips and the latest plastic surgery news, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.