The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia. In order to remove the unwanted skin, an incision is required that runs from near the elbow into the armpit. The incision is placed in the most inconspicous location (inner arm toward the back), but some scarring will always be visible.
Side Effects & Risks
The specific risks and the sustainability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.
SCARS: The scars usually extend from the inner aspect of the elbow up into the axilla (armpit). Dr. Patterson will place them in the most inconspicuous line possible, but you will always see them to some extent. No matter how carefully we make repairs, using the best plastic surgery techniques, you will always have scars.
UNEVEN SKIN CONTOURS: Following your upper arm lift, the skin contours may be slightly uneven and areas of slight depression or wrinkling can occur. As healing progresses, most of these problems (if present) usually improve dramatically.
ASYMMETRY: Minimal asymmetry of upper arm lift scars occurs frequently as healing is not always even from side to side. The mild asymmetry is usually not cosmetically significant. If the asymmetry is significant, revisional surgery of the scars may be considered.
LOSS OF SENSATION: Normal surgery can damage nerves. Although this does not occur frequently, you may have areas of numbness adjacent to the scars. If so, the numbness usually improves with time.
ARM SWELLING: Normal postoperative swelling always occurs and will take several months* to disappear completely. Surgical interference with the lymph drainage system rarely happens. If any interference should occur, it should prove minor and transient. Should this rare problem surgace, we would prescribe a compression "stocking" for the upper arm.
Your arms are probably not exactly the same size. An upper arm lift will attempt to make your arms as equal as possible, but minor difference may remain.
- After surgery, the upper arms are either wrapped or placed in an elastic sleeve to reduce swelling. Initial healing usually occurs in 10-14 days*.
- Sutures are usually removed within the first 2-3 weeks*.
- Swelling and bruising gradually disappear over 3-4 weeks*. All swelling is gone in 3-6 months.
- The scars fade in 6-24 months*, depending on your skin.
Reduction or elimination of excess skin from the upper arms.