Arm lift (Brachioplasty)

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About the procedure

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that is used to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arm. As people age, the skin of the upper arms naturally sags and droops. This is especially noticeable in patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, especially after weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery. The extra skin on the upper arms is not aesthetically pleasing and can make it difficult to find clothing that fits properly.

In order to correct this skin excess for patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Hirsch will perform a brachioplasty procedure. In general, there are two main types of brachioplasty procedures: short scar (limited scar) brachioplasty and full brachioplasty. During the short scar brachioplasty procedure, Dr. Hirsch makes an incision along the armpit and pulls the excess skin on the arm towards the armpit. Patients who have very mild skin excess are candidates for this procedure. For most patients, the best option to correct their skin excess is a type of full brachioplasty. During a full brachioplasty, Dr. Hirsch makes an incision along the inside of the arm that occasionally extends into the armpit, and then removes the excess skin from this area. Occasionally, Dr. Hirsch will combine the brachioplasty procedure with liposuction in order to get the maximum aesthetic benefit from surgery.

Brachioplasty can be done under general anesthesia or under sedation with local anesthesia. After surgery, most patients are usually able to return home. Occasionally, drains may be used for a few days as well. The arms are placed into a compressive wrap, which is kept in place, except when showering, for a few weeks. Discomfort following brachioplasty is usually mild, and patients are able to resume daily activities within 1-2 weeks following surgery.

For existing patients, click here to download arm lift post operative instructions

Frequently asked questions about brachioplasty:

When can I start exercising again after brachioplasty?

You may start walking the same night as surgery; in fact, it is important that you are up and walking right away in order to decrease the chances of you getting a blood clot in your legs! However, you should limit your arm movement for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery, and try not to raise them above your head if possible for the first 2-3 weeks. Dr. Hirsch will work with you and help determine when you can resume regular activities.

When can I go back to work after brachioplasty?

It really depends on what type of work you do. If you work at a desk job, you might feel like going back to work after a week or so following your brachioplasty surgery. If you work at a job that requires heavy physical activity, you might need to be off work for a longer period of time.

Additional resources about arm lift (brachioplasty)

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Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Hirsch, also specializes in breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast implant revision, abdominoplasty, and other body contouring procedures.