Introduction to Arm Lift
An arm lift removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms to provide a more toned, youthful appearance. ‘Bingo wings’ can sometimes be embarrassing and even restrict your choice of clothing and this procedure is designed to remove any excess skin and fat and boost your confidence.
Our experienced surgeons have performed this procedure for decades with fantastic results and happy patients. We work with you to achieve your desired goals and in some cases this procedure can be combined with liposuction to improve the results and the upper arm appearance.
Who is suitable?
Many of our arm lift patients come to us with excess loose skin on the upper arm that hangs when the arm is held out (creating that ‘bingo wing’ effect). As the scarring with arm lift surgery is visible and not easy to hide, the ideal patient would have a strong personality and would be able to easily answer questions regarding their scarring. Arm lift is a procedure that requires very careful consideration on the part of the patient and so we offer a detailed consultation where we discuss realistic expectations to avoid any disappointment.
Here at Sthetix, we want to ensure your health and happiness so all of our patients must be medically fit and psychologically stable before undergoing surgery.
Before arm lift surgery
Before surgery, there are several things we require so that your procedure goes as smoothly as possible.
One of the most important things is to stop smoking as smoke introduces toxins into the blood that can increase the risk of healing problems, skin loss and complications. We also ask that smokers stop at least 6 weeks before their surgery date and don’t start again until wounds have completely healed.
We also ask patients who are undergoing this procedure to stop taking oral contraceptive pills (alternative methods are fine), aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs. This is because some of those pills can increase the risk of bleeding. And finally, we ask that patients do not take off-the-shelf herbal medicines or nutritional supplements.
To ensure that you are fully prepared for the surgery, we will ask you to attend a medical examination at a pre-operative assessment clinic where certain tests may be carried out to ensure your safety during anaesthesia and surgery.
The procedure and risks
An arm lift is carried out under general anaesthesia and can be done either as a day case or an overnight hospital stay.
The procedure may start with liposuction (if needed) followed by the removal of excess skin from the inner part of the arm. The utmost care is taken to avoid nerves and blood vessels during the surgery. The resulting scar runs on the inner part of the arm from the armpit, and may extend down to the elbow. The length of the scar varies depending on how much skin requires excision. The arms are then wrapped in dressings to heal.
Patients are most commonly dissatisfied if their expectations did not meet what can be realistically and safely achieved. For this reason, we try and get to know you before the procedure and talk to you about the results you expect and how we can work together to deliver great results.
After an arm lift, patients can expect some bleeding, bruising and swelling, as is standard after most surgeries. Potential risks of the surgery include: haematoma, infection, surgical dog-ears (fold of tissue at the end of a scar), contour deformity, loss of sensation and a lumpy or red scar along the inside of the arm.
Minor degrees of skin laxity may be treated successfully with Thermage.
As your wellbeing is our number one priority, we offer a comprehensive and personalised aftercare package, all included in your treatment.
After you are discharged, we will provide you with post-operative care instructions and you will have 24-hour access to trained staff that will be on hand to advise you should you have any questions or concerns.
After the surgery, we will arrange appointments for follow-up examinations with your surgeon to monitor your progress and check that you are recovering well (it usually takes 2-3 weeks to recover and heal from this procedure and occasionally patients are advised to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks afterwards).
2 weeks after surgery, one of our trained staff will see you and check your wounds. Your surgeon will see you after 6 weeks for a follow-up and (if needed) for subsequent appointments until you are fully recovered. These follow-ups are standard and will be provided at no extra cost.
In the unlikely event of a problem, we’ll immediately make arrangements for you to be seen by trained staff and (if needed), by the surgeon who performed the procedure. As all the Sthetix surgeons live and work locally, you can always see your surgeon at relatively short notice. After performing the surgery our surgeons don’t leave the country or the local area. Very rarely, a surgeon may leave the area for other commitments but if this happens, we will ensure that there is another trained plastic surgeon from our team available to provide you with comprehensive care.
In the unlikely event of a complication directly related to your surgery, we would provide or arrange further surgery and/or treatment at no extra cost for up to 1 year.
How noticeable are the scars?
The scars will appear on the underside of the upper arm, starting from the armpit and in some cases extending down to the elbow. They will be visible when wearing short-sleeved clothing.
How long will the recovery period take?
The recovery period varies from person to person, but for most patients it takes 2 to 4 weeks. In the first few days (where you might not be able to use both arms fully), we recommend that you have a family member or close friend available to help you while you recover.
When can I drive a car?
We recommend you avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for 2 weeks after your surgery.
When can I go back to work?
It depends on the type of work but most people find they can go back to work any time between 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
When can I exercise?
Upper body exercises can be gradually started after 4-6 weeks, while gentle lower body exercise (e.g. a relaxed walk) is recommended as soon as you are comfortable.