When people think of plastic surgery, they most likely picture breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and liposuction as the predominant procedures. While these procedures are often the most performed each year throughout the country, there are other areas of the body in which people have aesthetic concerns. One such area is the upper arms and the sagging skin and fat that can develop there as you get older.
For those who have cosmetic concerns with their upper arms, it can be embarrassing to wear sleeveless shirts or show your arms in public. It can cause issues with self-confidence and self-esteem as the feeling of loose skin and extra fat may stop you from performing certain physical activities or even from being intimate with a loved one. Fortunately, at New Image Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Roberta Gartside offers a body contouring procedure called an arm lift, or brachioplasty, to help with this issue.
If you have aesthetic issues with your upper arms that cause you distress and would like to learn more about the arm lift procedure, please call our office today at 703-742-8004 to schedule your consultation. We have two convenient locations in Reston and McLean and happily serve those in the surrounding areas of Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Benefits of an Arm Lift
If you have sagging skin or excess fat on your upper arms you may benefit from an arm lift. Unfortunately, the skin and fat that can develop in this area of the body do not respond to diet and exercise. However, Dr. Gartside has the experience necessary to help you tighten and tone your arms for a more flattering appearance. With an arm lift, Dr. Gartisde can:
- Reduce the sagging skin that hangs downward
- Tighten and smooth out the tissue that helps create the shape of your arm
- Reduce the areas of fat in the upper arm
Generally, the fat and skin that develop in this area occur because of the aging process. As we get older, our skin loses collagen, which is the naturally-occurring substance that keeps our skin tight, smooth, and young-looking. Our metabolisms also slow, which causes fat to develop in areas that it normally hadn’t in our youth. Fluctuations in weight can also cause skin sagging and fat to develop in this area. If you’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight you may have excess skin that needs to be tightened to match your new physique.
Candidates for Arm Lift
At New Image Plastic Surgery, we value the safety of each of our patients. That’s why we make sure that everyone that comes to us for their plastic surgery needs is a candidate for the procedure they desire. Dr. Gartside determines your candidacy during your comprehensive consultation by first establishing your goals and then by conducting an evaluation of your medical history and current health status.
Because this is a surgical procedure, there are certain qualifications one must have to be an ideal candidate for the procedure. In most cases, ideal arm lift candidates are those who:
- Are in good overall health
- Are at or near a healthy, stable weight
- Do not suffer from a serious medical condition or illness
- Are nonsmokers or who can quit for a significant amount of time before, during, and after the procedure
- Are not on any blood-thinning medications
- Have a positive and realistic outlook for the procedure
If you don’t fit into every one of these categories you still may be eligible for the arm lift procedure. For example, depending on which medication you may be on, Dr. Gartside may be able to work with you and adjust or switch the medication to ensure your safety for the procedure. All of this will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Procedure and Recovery
The arm lift procedure is relatively straightforward in that it doesn’t require the use of extreme methods or equipment to perform. However, advancements in technology and techniques have enabled plastic surgeons the ability to perform this procedure, and other body contouring procedures, safer, faster, and more effectively than ever before.
In general, you can expect the arm lift procedure to proceed as follows:
- Preparation: The first step will be to have the anesthesia administered to aid in your comfort during the procedure. Dr. Gartside will determine the best type of anesthesia depending on the complexity of your surgery
- Incision: Depending on how much skin is to be tightened and removed, Dr. Gartside will either place the incision on the back of your arm, the underarm, or just above your elbow. The incision size may vary between individuals depending on the specific circumstances.
- Closing incision: Dr. Gartside will close the incision with either stitches or absorbable sutures. Stitches can generally be removed within two weeks of the procedure.
- Recovery: Bandages and special dressings will be applied to your incisions and a compression garment may be used to help minimize the swelling in the treatment area. Dr. Gartside will provide you with specific instructions on the proper care for your recovery and prescribe any medications that may be needed to help healing and pain management.
The results can be seen almost immediately but may require a couple weeks to allow any swelling to subside. The results are also long-lasting as long as you maintain a healthy weight as you get older. To maximize results it’s important to minimize any physical activity within the first couple weeks to promote the healing process. Dr. Gartside will be able to give you a proper timetable for recovery depending on the extent of your procedure.
Contact Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today
If you have excess skin and/or fat on your upper arms that cause you embarrassment or distress of any kind, please call New Image Plastic Surgery today at 703-742-8004 to schedule your arm lift consultation. We proudly provide quality plastic surgery procedures to those who live in Reston, McLean, and other nearby areas of Virginia and Washington, D.C.