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Arm Lift Recovery and Results

Posted January 13, 2012 in Body Contouring, Plastic Surgery

woman facing backwards with arms in the air in front of oceanAlthough we experience cold weather during the winter in the Bay Area, we do enjoy sunny weather during the spring, summer, and fall. Wearing short-sleeves and tank tops can make the hot weather more bearable. Unfortunately, some men and women are embarrassed about the appearance of their upper arms and avoid wearing clothes that reveal this area of their bodies. This is because the aging process, weight loss, and genetics can result in loose, sagging skin on the arms. San Francisco plastic surgeon Kimberly Henry performs the arm lift procedure to tighten the skin on the arms and produce a more toned appearance.

Arm Lift Procedure

Before you undergo arm lift surgery, you will meet with Dr. Henry for a personal consultation so she can examine your arms and recommend the appropriate treatment. Patients that are unhappy with the appearance of their arms may be candidates for the following procedures:

  • Liposuction: Some patients have good skin elasticity, but have excess fat in the arms. Others have fat and skin that needs to be removed from the arms. These patients will benefit from liposuction, which involves the use of a suctioning device that permanently removes unwanted fat from the arms.
  • Mini arm lift:The mini arm lift can be performed on patients that have a small amount of extra skin on the upper arms. In this technique, Dr. Henry creates a short incision that runs from the armpit to the area where the inner arm connects to the shoulder. This approach results in less scarring, but is not appropriate for patients that have moderate to severe skin laxity.
  • Traditional arm lift:The traditional arm lift requires an incision that extends from the armpit to the elbow. The resulting scar is discreetly located on the inside of the arm. Once the incision is made, the excess skin is removed, and the skin is tightened and re-draped over the arm. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures and the arms are bandaged or put in a plastic sleeve to minimize swelling.

Arm Lift Recovery

It is normal for patients to experience discomfort, bruising, and swelling after arm lift surgery. These side effects can be reduced with pain medication and rest. The majority of healing occurs 10 to 14 days after surgery; patients can return to work at this time. The sutures will be removed two to three weeks after surgery, and the majority of bruising and swelling will be gone three to four weeks after surgery. This timeline may be shortened if you qualify for the mini arm lift procedure.

Arm Lift Results

Patients will be able to get a good idea of what their results will look like a month after surgery. However, it will take three to six months for all swelling to subside, and the scars could take six months to two years to fade.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your arms, contact the practice of Kimberly Henry, MD, to find out which arm lift technique is right for you.

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