Arm Lift Houston
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift): Get Rid Of The “Bat Wings!”
Before & After
Timeless Cosmetic Surgery‘s before-and-after pictures of real patients.
What is a brachioplasty?“Brachioplasty” is the surgical term for an arm lift. This is a procedure that removes the loose, extra skin that hangs off the upper arm resulting in smoother, smaller and more toned arms.
Who is a good candidate for a brachioplasty?If you don’t like it when your arms flap around with movement and you are healthy enough to undergo this surgery, then this is the procedure for you!
How small can you make my arm?One must remember that the upper arm is made up of much more than just skin and fat! There are muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones etc…Therefore, the size of the upper arm can only be reduced to a certain degree based on how large these underlying structures are.
What are the different types of brachoplasty (arm lift) incisions?
1. Vertical, limited incision
- Small incision
- Vertical, short scar located in arm pit
- Used for small amounts of excess skin in the horizontal plane
- Not good for moderate to excess skin
2. Horizontal, limited incision
- Small incision
- Has a vertical and horizontal component
- “T” shaped scar with vertical portion in the armpit and horizontal portion in crease of upper arm
- Not good if significant amount of excess skin present
3. Full incision in the bicipital groove
- Longer incision
- Extends from the armpit to the elbow in the upper arm crease between the biceps and the triceps
- Used for significant amounts of excess skin
- Incision mainly seen from the front when arms are up
- Difficult to see incision when arms are to the side
4. Full incision on the posterior arm
- Longer incision
- Extends from the armpit to the elbow along the posterior (back) side of the upper arm
- Used for significant amounts of excess skin
- Incision not seen from the front when arms are up but seem from the back
How do you determine which incision to use?
This is determined primarily by how much extra skin and fat are present. The more that is present, the longer the incision needs to be. Most commonly, I use the full incision in the inside of the upper arm. I find this location to hide the incision in many social circumstances. This incision will be seen if your arms are up and out while facing someone. The posterior arm incision may seem very concealing at first but when you really think about it, more people will be able to see that incision because it is always visible when someone is behind you. The posterior incision can be seen even when your arms are to your side.
Can liposuction be performed at the same time as the brachioplasty?
Yes!!! Liposuction can be performed at the same time as an armlift as long as it’s done by an experienced surgeon, who has had a significant amount of experience with lipobrachioplasty. In my case, I almost ALWAYS combine liposuction and brachioplasty for far superior results than brachioplasty alone. Click this hyperlink to learn more about lipobrachioplasty and to see before and after photos…
Is there much pain associated with brachioplasty?
There is typically very minimal pain with brachioplasty. Many measures are taken to make sure your pain is adequately controlled.
Will I need a drain?
I typically do not use drains when performing brachioplasty. I have not found them to be necessary and have had very good results without the use of them. There may be a rare occasion where I feel they are necessary however, and if that’s the case, then I will use them.
Will diet and exercise help?
I always encourage a healthy lifestyle…so if you feel like you can lose more weight in a healthy manner (no crash diets) and you are able to maintain your weight at theat level, I am all for it!!! The more weight you lose before surgery the better your results are likely to be after surgery.
What if I gain weight after brachioplasty surgery?
Weight gain after surgery can compromise your results. Therefore, you should try and maintain your new post-surgical weight.
Why is having a brachioplasty safer with Dr. Mehta?
I perform all my surgical procedures under IV sedation (twilight) and do not use general anesthesia. No breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is needed because you are able to maintain all your protective reflexes, breath completely on your own and your blood flows better. The post-operative risks of using IV sedation (the way I do my surgeries) compared to general anesthesia are MUCH less including but not limited to decreased risk of nausea, vomiting and MOST importantly a significantly DECREASED risk of forming blood clots. Your heart, lungs and blood pressure will be monitored during the entire operative procedure and no pain will be felt during the procedure. Studies have shown IV sedation to be much SAFER than general anesthesia.
Will I need to stay in the hospital after brachioplasty?
All my patients are able to safely go home the day of surgery as long as they have a responsible caregiver at home. Outpatient surgery has been shown to have many advantages over hospitalization and tends to lead to better post-operative recovery, early ambulation and less risk of infection. I believe being taken care of by a loved one allows for more personalized care. This is also financially beneficial for patients because hospital stays are very costly. Only in rare circumstances is a hospital stay needed.
Is it safe to go home after brachioplasty?
It can be VERY safe to recover at home after brachioplasty as long as you have a responsible caretaker to be with you for at least the first 72 hours. I believe a loved one will take much better care of you in your own home, than someone who doesn’t know you taking care of you in a hospital. Also, it is VERY likely that there are fewer germs in your home then in a hospital setting.
What if I need to speak to someone after hours?
Immediately after surgery you and your caregiver will be given my personal cell phone number to call on weeknights and weekends with any questions or concerns. This way you never have to feel alone and you never have to speak to an answering service!
How do I prepare for my brachioplasty?
Detailed post-operative instructions will be given during your pre-operative evaluation, which usually takes place about 2 weeks before your planned procedure. Here are some general helpful guidelines:
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop all herbal medication, Aspirin products (Alleve, Ibuprofen, Advil etc…), vitamin E, Omega 3 and fish oil/Krill oil at least 1 month before surgery as long as it is approved by your physician.
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop ALL tobacco products AT LEAST 6 weeks before your surgery to decrease the risk of healing complications associated with smoking. (This includes patches and gum)
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop all hormone based medications if approved by your physician at least 1 month before surgery. If stopping birth control please use non-hormonal methods for continued birth control.
- Arrange for someone to look after you for at least the first 48-72 hours after surgery. (This can be a dependable and capable family member, friend or a hired caretaker)
- Arrange transportation for your clinic appointments and for your family members because you will not be able to drive for at least 2 weeks.
- Help will be needed for house work and for small children because heavy lifting or strenuous activity will not be allowed for 4-6 weeks.
- 4×4 gauze
- Milk of magnesia
- Light foods and plenty of fluids are recommended after surgery with the following as examples: Electrolyte replacement drinks, soups, yogurt with acidophilus/lactobacillus, jello, pudding, crackers etc…
What will my postoperative care for a brachioplasty involve?
You will be given all the prescriptions needed during your pre-operative visit. That way you will have plenty of time to have them filled prior to surgery. This operation is not very painful, especially with the pain meds that are prescribed and patients are usually able to move around pretty normally in just a couple of days.
- At least 2 weeks off work
- No showering until ok’d by Dr. Mehta (usually, post-operative day #7)
- Keep arms elevated at all times
- Cannot bend arms past 90 degrees for 2 weeks (will need assistance with feeding yourself)
- No driving for at least 2 weeks or while on pain medication/muscle relaxants
- No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks
- No working out for 6 weeks
- No sexual activity for 6 weeks
- Wear only surgical garment provided unless directed otherwise by Dr. Mehta
How often will I need to be seen for follow up?
Patient care is of the utmost importance to my staff and I. Therefore, I tend to keep a very close eye on my patients to make sure the recovery goes as smoothly as possible so that any issues can be prevented or taken care of as soon as possible. I will call you the same night of your surgery, once you are at home, to make sure everything is going well and that you and your caretaker have no questions or concerns. The following is a general schedule of appointments but can be changed at any time:
- Once a week for the 1st 2-3 weeks
- Once a month for the next 2 months
- At your 6 month mark from surgery
- Once a year after your 1 year mark
Does Dr. Mehta charge patients for follow up visits?
NO!!! I have an open door policy and do not charge my patients to come and see me after their surgery. If for any reason you feel like you need to be seen sooner than your scheduled appointment you can always call the office and the staff will fit you in.
Will my brachioplasty be covered under insurance?
No, it won’t. This is considered a cosmetic procedure and cosmetic procedures do not get covered under insurance. Also, Timeless Plastic Surgery is a completely cosmetic based practice so we do not take insurance.
What will be provided for me?
- During your pre-operative evaluation (approx 2 weeks before surgery) you will be given prescriptions for a muscle relaxer, pain medication, antibiotic, stool softener and anti-nausea medications.
- Along with other medications during surgery you will get the appropriate dose of IV antibiotics.
- Immediately after surgery you will be provided with and dressed in the appropriate garments needed during your recovery period.
- Immediately after surgery you and your caregiver will be given my personal cell phone number to call on weeknights and weekends with any questions or concerns.
Are there risks for brachioplasty?
With any surgical procedure there are risks, however, these risks are very rare and one usually is at higher risk of getting into a car accident than these risks. Some of the most common, but still infrequently occurring risks include, but are not limited to:
- Fluid collections (seroma)
- Blood collection (hematoma)
- Poor wound healing
As stated before, many precautions are taken by my staff and I to prevent these things from occurring in the first place.