The skin of the upper arm may lose its elasticity due to weight loss or ageing. Unfortunately, the resulting excess skin will not go away by exercising. If you find this disturbing, an arm lift, or brachioplasty, can be the solution. During the arm lift procedure, the excess skin and fat tissue are surgically removed via an incision on the inner arm. The result of this procedure is tight skin. A downside of brachioplasty, however, is that it will leave a significant scar. The scar will be on the inside of the arm, but it will be visible.
- Tightening of the skin
- Treatment plan based on your complaints
- Our plastic surgeons are affiliated with the Dutch Societies for plastic surgery (NVPC and NVEPC) NVPC and NVEPC
- Both male and female surgeons
The first consultation
During this consultation, the attending plastic surgeon will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the arm lift procedure and you will discuss your wishes. You will be further informed about the risks and possible complications. Before the surgery takes place, the attending plastic surgeon must be informed about prior surgeries and possible allergies.
This is an outpatient procedure. It is important that you arrange for someone to collect you after the surgery as you are not allowed to go home unaccompanied. You also need to make sure that you are in a good physical condition before the surgery.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure consists of the removal of the excess skin on the upper arm and, when present, excess fat tissue. The incision is done between the armpit and the elbow, on the inside of the arm. We use dissolvable stitches to close the incision after which bandages will be placed on the arms. The procedure takes about one hour.
After the surgery
You will have to wear the bandages around your arms for one week. The pressure from these bandages will reduce any swelling as much as possible. This can feel uncomfortable and tight. After one week, we will check your arms and the wounds and the bandages will be removed.
You are not allowed to do any intensive sports for six weeks, and you need to avoid heavy lifting and heavy physical work. After an arm lift surgery, you should be very careful when moving your arms during the first few weeks. It is important that there is as little strain on the scar as possible. After the first week, you can perform light work as long as you don’t use your arms too much. You will be able to do heavy lifting and move your arms completely after six weeks.
The scars that are a result of the surgery can look a bit inflamed or red at first and they may feel sensitive for a longer period of time. In the course of a year, the redness will fade and the scars will take the colour of the skin and become less noticeable. Ultraviolet radiation is not good for scars as it may cause them to stay red for an unnecessarily long time. If you want to go sunbathing, be sure to apply a sunscreen with a high UV protection factor, but it is best to keep the scars out of the sun during the first 3 months.
Result of an arm lift
When the swelling has disappeared completely (after six weeks), you will be able to make a good assessment of the result. The end result will be visible after a year, as it will take this much time for the incision wound and the subcutaneous tissue to heal completely.
Meet one of our plastic surgeons during the intake consultation. Our experienced and specialised surgeons are here for you before and after the surgery.
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When there is a medical indication for doing the procedure, arm lift surgery is sometimes reimbursed by the health insurer.
With arm lift surgery, it is not possible to remove all the excess skin as the movements of the arm will cause too much strain on the scar. This would result in a very wide scar. This is why more skin than you may have envisaged will be left after surgery. Naturally, we will aim for complete symmetry, but we cannot give a 100% guarantee that this will be achieved.
Risks and Complications
We believe it to be very important that you are fully aware of the possible risks and complications with regard to this procedure. The complications listed below are very rare, but they cannot be excluded completely. Do you have further questions about the procedure or are you experiencing any side effects? Please do not hesitate to. Contact us.
With any surgery, there is a chance of an infection manifested by pain, swelling, redness, and pus from the wound. There may be bleeding and/or bruising, usually accompanied by swelling. Some people have a scar that heals better than others. In rare cases, the scar may become very thickened. In such a case, hypertrophy (excessive swelling
or enlargement) or keloid formation (scar growth). Patients with Asian or Creole skin are more likely to have this complication. If you suspect that your scar has hypertrophy or keloid formation, please contact your plastic surgeon for further treatment.
Further specific risks of an arm lift are damage to nerves in the arm and permanent numbness in part of the upper arm.