We know through experience that the decision to have an upper arm lift is generally preceded by a long decision making process. With this information we would like to help you with this process, by advising you about the procedure itself and the possibilities and risks involved in this operation. This advice, does not however, replace the need for an extensive personal consultation with your surgeon who will thoroughly address your specific questions.
When is an upper arm lift useful?
What is the aim of the upper arm lift?
What do I have to consider before the upper arm lift (pre-operative phase)?
What do I have to consider after the upper arm lift (post-operative phase)?
When can I resume normal activities?
What are the possible risks with an upper arm lift?
Which result can I expect after an upper arm lift and what are the chances of success?
Firm upper arms are for many a sign of youth and sportiness and successful weight loss is often the cause for the loose tissue seen under the arms. Genetics and the onset of the ageing process may also lead to the loosening of the upper arms. An upper arm lift should only be carried out when a “stable” weight has been reached and maintained during weight loss.
The aim of the upper arm lift is to remove loose skin and fatty tissue from the upper arm and to tighten the remaining soft tissue.
Procedure. The incision for an upper arm lift is planned in the shape of a hockey stick and afterwards appears as a straight scar on the inside of the upper arm. The soft tissue of the upper arm is carefully mobilised and tightened and the excess skin is then removed which creates a sportier look to the upper arm. If necessary the remaining tissue is thinned out using liposuction. A drain is inserted to remove any fluid and the incision is closed using fine stitching and a dressing is applied. The resulting scar is barely visible once the arms are lowered.
Type of anaesthesia. This procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthetic or axillary plexus anaesthesia (blocking of the nerve from the armpit).
On the day of the operation please do not use any oily shower or bathing products but normal soap or shower gel. Shaving of the armpit area is advised and the skin should not be moisturised.
After the procedure a compression bandage has to be worn, which can, prior to the operation be measured and fitted by us and then ordered for you. Smokers should, after a consultation with their doctor, stop smoking two weeks before the procedure as it is possible that circulation problems in the operated area could occur.
Information on general measures and the necessary preliminary examinations will be put together for you personally in a pamphlet which you will receive at your consultation.
For a few days after the procedure a dressing is applied, and then a compression bandage must be worn at all times for the next 4 weeks. Sometimes after surgery, temporary bruising, swelling or a tight feeling may be noticed. These changes should not worry you and should disappear within a few days. Any strain on the stitches is to be avoided. After the surgery the risk of thrombosis is higher and therefore it is necessary to take a thrombosis prophylaxis for the next 5 to 10 days. The drain is usually removed between the 2nd and 4th day after the operation and depending on the technique; the stitches can be removed between 10 and 14 days after surgery. Showering and bathing is only allowed once the stitches have been removed. Any residual swelling can be, to a lesser extent, present for several weeks as can a loss of sensation in the skin, although this will usually return to normal.
Heavy lifting and heat from external sources (such as a sauna) should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. Sporting activity is only permitted 6 weeks after the surgery and after a consultation with the surgeon. Sun protection is necessary until all bruising has faded away and until all scars have healed.
No procedure is without risk. The general risks of surgery include the possibility of bleeding, thrombosis and infection. Especially with arm surgery, there is a risk of re-opening the wound caused by movement too soon or too much movement after the procedure has been carried out. Occasionally, because of a genetic predisposition to scarring, it may mean that further corrective surgery may be required.
Tightened and youthful. After a successful lift of the upper arms, an improvement can be seen in the contours whereby the upper arms reappear athletic and active. The final result can be assessed after approximately 3 months.