Excess fat and skin in the upper arms can be removed and reshaped to a beautiful contour with brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, from Chicago, Illinois, plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Mustoe. The popularity of sleeveless fashions, as well an increased cultural emphasis on physical fitness, has led many people to choose arm lift surgery to help them meet their goals of slim, toned upper arms. The result is a harmonious, youthful-looking arm contour that gives patients a valuable boost of confidence.
To learn more about arm lift surgery in Chicago, request a consultation online with Dr. Thomas Mustoe, a board-certified plastic surgeon. Or you can call our office at (312) 788-2560 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.
Dr. Mustoe has the skill and experience necessary to perform a successful arm lift that creates beautiful results. The techniques that set him apart include:
Excess fat in the upper arms can contribute to a "bat wing" appearance, but Dr. Mustoe understands that it's often not the sole culprit. For many patients, loose, sagging skin must also be addressed for a lasting, satisfying result.
The causes of excess fat and skin in this area vary. For many people, the upper arms are particularly resistant to diet and exercise adjustments, making it especially difficult to selectively slim them. Some people have a hereditary predisposition to accumulate fat and skin in the area despite overall fitness elsewhere. It's also common for patients who have undergone a massive weight loss to be bothered by leftover skin and residual fat deposits. Arm lift surgery is an excellent treatment for these concerns, although it is not meant to replace healthy diet and exercise habits, and it's not an appropriate option for patients who are significantly overweight.
Dr. Mustoe is an authority on the latest techniques for body contouring. He understands the unique nuances that distinguish each patient and develops a surgical approach that yields results that are natural-looking and harmonious with the rest of the patient's body.
In Dr. Mustoe's Chicago practice, arm lift surgery is different for each patient. In some cases, he may make an incision that can be concealed within the armpit. In other cases, a larger incision from the armpit down toward the elbow is necessary to fulfill the patient's goals through skin removal. If excess fat is the primary concern and the skin is still relatively elastic (meaning it will "bounce back" into place), then liposuction may be all that is needed to restore a smooth arm contour. Many patients benefit from both skin removal and liposuction. During the initial consultation, Dr. Mustoe performs a careful physical examination and discusses his surgical plan with you.
In some cases, arm lift surgery may be combined with other body contouring procedures, such as abdominoplasty, for a more comprehensive result. This is especially beneficial to patients who have lost a lot of weight and are struggling with stretched skin in several areas.
Arm lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you may return home the day of surgery. Dr. Mustoe usually performs arm lifts using local anesthesia with sedation, but general anesthesia is also an option. Once you are fully anesthetized, he makes the incision he discussed with you during your consultation. He uses sophisticated techniques to reshape existing fat and remove extra skin, then meticulously closes the incisions, revealing a smoother, slimmer contour.
Dr. Mustoe can sometimes use an incision limited to the under arm area only (limited brachioplasty), which when combined with liposuction to the area can give excellent results in selected patients. In patients with more skin excess, he has found that by carefully placing the incision posteriorly, the hairline scar is unobtrusive in almost all arm positions, and is better than the more common placement medially. The incision in full brachioplasties extends down to the elbow.
Immediately after surgery, Dr. Mustoe applies sterile dressings. While compression garments are generally not necessary, he often he uses a drain which is removed in a day or two.
During the recuperation period, it's important to follow Dr. Mustoe's instructions to facilitate proper healing. Although light activity, such as walking, is encouraged to reduce the risk of blood clots, Dr. Mustoe advises patients to avoid strenuous activities that could raise blood pressure or put unnecessary stress on the arms in the days immediately following surgery.
Depending on the type of job you have, you may be able to return to work in just a few days. If your work is physically demanding, Dr. Mustoe will create an adjusted timeline for you. Swelling and bruising are normal parts of the recuperation process and are manageable with good postsurgical care. Over time, incisions will heal and fade into flat, discreet scars. Maintaining healthy habits will help preserve your arm lift results indefinitely.