In a world where obesity is growing more and more common, people are now working harder to lose weight. However, whether you use weight loss surgery or change your eating and exercise habits to lose weight, it is only half of the battle. Once you have lost the weight, many people find that they have extra skin and flab around their body that they cannot remove or repair on their own.
One of the most common areas for this extra skin to appear is on your upper arms creating a “bat wing” effect.
In order to address this problem, many people turn to arm lifts, specifically on their upper arms. “Arm lift” is the common name for brachioplasty, a cosmetic surgery that will do several things:
Whenever you lose weight, especially a large amount of weight, usually your skin cannot tighten back up to its previous shape on its own. The basic premise of an arm lift is that extra skin is removed from the area, allowing the new shape of the arm to be revealed.
Before and After: Upper Arm Surgery (Brachioplasty); Reduce sagging skin, fat and tighten tissues.
This procedure should not be mistaken for a weight loss surgery. It is recommended that you have reached your weight loss goal, and have remained at a stable weight before undertaking arm lift surgery. Candidates should ensure they are in the best possible health and discontinue supplements and smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery.
There are three main options for a brachioplasty: the mini arm lift, a traditional arm lift, and an extended arm lift.
The mini arm lift works to remove the excess skin at the location of your armpit, and is combined with liposuction to remove extra fat from your arm. This method typically has minimal scarring, and is suitable for those who have lost a small amount of weight or are seeking a solution to skin sagging due to aging.
A traditional arm lift has a larger scar on the inside of your arm, but will remove any hanging skin from your elbow to your armpit.
Finally, the extended arm lift, which can also be called a thoracic lift, will remove more extra skin than either of the previous procedures. It will remove skin and fat from the side of the chest, armpit, and upper arm. The scar is more extended as well, running from your mid-chest to your arm. This surgery is usually required for those who have lost excessive amounts of weight.
The recovery period can run to approximately 6 weeks, with limited arm function throughout this period. It’s recommended that for much of this recovery time is spend with the arms elevated and restricted to minimal movement. After six weeks recovery should be complete and full movement and functionality restored.
As with any surgery, there are several risks that you should be informed about before undergoing surgery. The most common risks include scars, infection, hematoma, and seroma. And of course, whenever you undergo anesthesia, there is the risk that you will have a negative reaction to it.
If you are looking to undergo a brachioplasty to complete your weight loss transformation, the average cost runs between $7,250. This includes the fees for anesthesiologist, surgeon and in some cases post operative care. The exact cost depends on the type (mini arm lift, traditional arm lift or extended arm lift) and complexity of the surgery you choose to undertake.