Are you dreading the summer because of loose, flabby upper arms that are going to show when you wear sleeveless outfits? You know the moniker “chicken wings” is an apt description.
Perhaps you’ve lost a significant amount of weight recently, and the skin that stretched out over time now has nowhere to go. You have extra folds under your arms because your skin no longer has enough collagen and elastin, proteins that keep skin firm. If you’re a normal weight but have loose, hanging skin under your arms, your condition could simply be a matter of heredity and age.
Extra folds of skin under your upper arm aren’t just a cosmetic issue; they can result in rashes and inflammation, becoming a health and hygiene problem.
Dr. Jeff Angobaldo with Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC in Plano, Texas, provides expert cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to help you look as good as you feel. He performs arm lifts, also called brachioplasties, for many patients.
When you’re dissatisfied with your appearance, it can affect every segment of your life — from career to intimate relationships. You’ll likely get a surge of self-confidence after your brachioplasty, simply because your arm shape is in the normal range, not something to be embarrassed about.
Prior to your arm lift
Dr. Angobaldo discusses your goals for plastic surgery. He reviews your medical history and medications. If he agrees you’re a candidate for brachioplasty, you’ll go for pre-op tests such as a chest X-ray and other tests to ensure you’re in good enough general health to have the operation. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop smoking as soon as possible before the operation, as smoking retards wound healing. No one wants complications from surgery.
What happens during an arm lift?
Dr. Angobaldo marks the places on your arms where small incisions will be made — usually on the inside or the back of your upper arms. You’ll have either IV sedation or general anesthesia during the procedure.
Dr. Angobaldo uses liposuction to remove the excess fat. The next step is removing the excess skin. The last step is closing your skin around the opening. It’s a straightforward procedure.
Recovery from an arm lift
You’ll need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Follow all of Dr. Angobaldo’s post-op written instructions. You’ll have follow-up appointments to ensure that you’re healing properly. You’ll be able to see the change in your arms immediately once any swelling goes down.
The surgical site team may give you a compression sleeve to reduce swelling. You may also have a tube in your arm that drains fluid after the procedure; your written instructions tell you how to take care of yourself.
Just as before surgery, don’t smoke while you’re recovering; it’s not worth the risk of complications or developing permanent scarring. You’ll be able to resume going to work and light daily activities in two weeks, and in six weeks, you should be back to normal.