It’s bathing suit and sleeveless top season—which may not be welcome news if you’re particularly sensitive about your upper arms.
Rest assured, you’re hardly alone. Sagging upper arms can occur not just as a result of having lost some weight but also simply from aging and heredity. So it’s a concern that plagues millions of women.
More positively, there’s a pretty straightforward solution for it. It’s a cosmetic procedure known as brachioplasty, or an arm lift. An arm lift is a surgical procedure that:
- Reduces the excess skin from the underarm between the elbow and the armpit
- Tightens and smoothes the supportive tissue that defines the upper arm
- Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm
So, what’s the procedure like?
Once you’re sedated with a general anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will remove an elliptical segment of skin from the inner backside of your arm. Depending on the extent of the excess skin, the surgeon may also take some from the very top of the arm, into the armpit.
In the process, some of the fat is also removed either surgically, with the aid of liposuction, or through a combination of both. Liposuction alone may seem like the preferred treatment for sagging upper arms because there’s no scarring, but liposuction doesn’t address the excess skin.
From there, the muscles are tightened and the incision is sutured. In all, an arm lift generally takes two to three hours.
And, how long do the results last?
The results of an arm lift are permanent—and dramatic. Most describe a significant improvement in their upper-body appearance as a result of the surgery.
The smoother, tighter contours should be apparent almost immediately after the procedure, even with some initial swelling and bruising. (A compression garment will help control the swelling.) And the scar will fade with time.
You should be able to resume most of your normal activities within just a few days. And you could likely go back to more strenuous activities within three to four weeks, which is important because your upper arms will maintain those sinewy contours for years to come as long as you stick to a nutritious diet and a challenging exercise regimen.
Aging may eventually diminish a bit of the firmness, but you’ll still be much better off than you were before the procedure.