What It Will Do
The loosening of the skin fat in the arms is a common and unsightly symptoms. In general, an arm dermolipectomy (arm lift) is associated with a liposuction the area. Several sources are possible:
– Reduction of the elasticity of the skin
– Loss muscle volume
– Excess skin after weight loss
What It Won’t Do
The operation will not necessarily make you feel comfortable exposing your arms if you now cover them with clothes. It may, depending on how you scar.
Brachioplasty procedure: What Surgeons Call It
This operation is known technically as a brachioplasty or resection of lipocutaneous excess of arms.
How Long It Will Last
This operation is permanent, because it removes the stretched skin from your arms. In time, this skin may loosen to a slight degree, but it would take years before more surgery was needed. An exception would be if you gained a lot of weight (50 pounds) and lost it again. That would stretch your skin and might stretch it enough to need more skin removed.
When to Have It
Loose skin tends to develop on your arms in middle age, when some of the muscle bulk in the arms decreases. Working out with weights may fill out the loose skin, so it is worth a try for minor looseness. However, if you have been overweight and have lost weight, your skin may be flabby—at any age. If the skin is stretched beyond what exercise will reasonably fill in, surgery is your next step.
Before the procedure
The motivations and requests of the patient will be analysed during the preoperative consultation with the surgeon.
No medication containing aspirin should be taken within 10 days before surgery.
Stopping smoking is strongly recommended before surgery.
Those interventions can be carried out under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia. Unless it is done in combination with other procedures so that general anesthesia is necessary. Arm lift surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis in a clinic operating room.
The procedure can last from 1 to 2 hours depending on the technique used and the size of the treated area.
Your surgeon will cut into the skin where he has marked the excess. The nurse will hold your arm and move it so that the surgeon can work. Once the skin is cut, he will cut into the fat.
The Healins Process/Bandages
You will be bandaged for about 5 days. The first bandage will be several layers of gauze on the inside of your arm, with padding around the arm, all held on with one or two elastic wraps. This is bulky. (Wear loose-sleeved clothes to the operating room, or be prepared to have to cut the sleeves to accommodate your bandage.)
After 5 days, your local surgeon will remove the bandages but will keep your arms wrapped with an elastic bandage. You will feel comfortable with this support. After yet another 5 days, you will probably need no bandage other than tape strips across the incisions. These can be removed after another week.
Your arms will be visibly bruised and swollen for 2 weeks. Residual swelling may persist for weeks—noticeable when you put on tight-sleeved clothes.
It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. A sport activity or working out can be done, progressively, again within 4 weeks after surgery.
Taking Care of Your Wound
With the lighter bandage after 5 days, you will be allowed to unwrap the bandage to bathe or shower. Pat or air dry the surgical areas. Put hand cream on your skin wherever there are no stitches. (The bandage will make your skin dry and itchy.) Then put on a layer of gauze and wrap on the elastic bandages again.
You will probably have several layers of stitches. The deepest layer of absorbable stitches will support your skin during healing. These don’t always absorb completely. If tiny white dots appear in your scar, it is usually from an “absorbable” stitch that has not been absorbed and is working its way out. Your surgeon can remove it at the office.
The next layer of stitch will probably be a long strong stitch extending from one end of the incision to the other under the skin. The stitch ends come out at either end of the incision. These “running subcuticular” or “pull-out” stitches are pulled out from the skin about 14 days after surgery. Their advantage is that they leave no stitch marks on your skin.
The last kind of stitch will be the traditional “interrupted suture,” tied across your skin and secured with a knot. These stitches line your skin up as finely as possible. They can leave marKs in your skin, so they are removed about 5 days after your surgery. However, the arm may heal slowly, and some of these stitches may have to stay in longer.
An arm lift will leave a long straight or S-shaped scar running down the inside of each arm from under your armpit to above the inner side of your elbow. This area does not tend to heal with fine white scars. You must assume that your scar will widen to about a quarter-inch or more. In time (6 to 18 months) these scars may blend in with your surrounding skin, but they may always be clearly visible. If your surgical goal is to have arms good enough to go sleeveless, balance that goal against the scars which may keep you from going sleeveless. However, the scars lie on the inner arm—the least conspicuous place. And, surgery is the only way to tighten loose, flabby skin here.
A period of 6 to 8 months is needed to appreciate the final result. Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery.
Conditions That Increase Your Risk
If you have a known tendency to form lumpy scars that take a long time to fade, you might consider whether your improvement will be worth the scars. The surgery may make your arms swell temporarily. If you have any underlying condition that affects your arms, you will be at higher risk from this operation. A woman who has had a mastectomy should probably not have this operation. The mastectomy will have injured the lymph glands on the side of the mastectomy. An arm lift may cause permanent severe arm swelling.
What to Do About Pain
Your arms will ache and feel sore. You will want to keep them propped up on several pillows, but that may put pressure on the incision lines. You may end up with no position that is really comfortable. (Supporting your elbows will work better—it takes pressure off the incisions and supports your arms.) You may need narcotic pain medication for a day or two. After that for most people acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) is all that is needed except perhaps at night, when incisions tend to hurt. Do not take aspirin, because it will increase bruising and the risk of bleeding.
Prices for Arm lift procedure
The price of brachioplasty operation is £ 1440.
Does NHS cover brachioplasty?
Arm lift surgery is unlikely to be covered by NHS.
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