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A brachioplasty, or “arm lift” removes excess sagging skin under the arm. Often after weight loss, you notice excess skin under the arms. Sometimes the fullness that accumulates in the arm area is just fat, or a combination of skin, fat, and even loose muscle. Excess fat is removed with liposuction. Excess skin is removed from near the elbow to the armpit. The scar is placed in an inconspicuous location along the inner arm. Some scarring will be visible.

How Long is Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Recovery?

Since your procedure is an individualized one, your recovery period will differ from others. Plan for extra household help for the days following your procedure. Dr. Coan and his surgical nurses and staff will be pleased to review your individualized treatment plan before your procedure. Additionally, our patient care coordinator will work with you to determine a timeline that best suits your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can underarm fat be removed?

Yes, underarm fat can be removed through both surgical and noninvasive methods. Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that provides fat reduction and general contouring. This is a surgical procedure, meaning there are associated recovery and activity restrictions for patients who undergo liposuction. CoolSculpting is a noninvasive fat reduction technology that works to freeze fat cells to be eliminated from the body over time. Because it is non-invasive, there is no associated scarring, anesthesia, or recovery/downtime. The upper arms are a common area for patients to treat with either CoolSculpting or liposuction.

Do arm lift scars fade?

Over time, the pigmentation of scars tends to fade. Some patients may be more prone to hyperpigmented scars. It all depends on a patient's complexion and ethnicity. Other methods to optimize scarring include adequate sun protection and Biocorneum. As the only FDA-approved scar treatment, Biocorneum is a silicone-based scar gel that also includes SPF 30. We encourage our patients to always utilize medical-grade SPF and Biocorneum as soon as their incisions are fully healed.

Do compression garments help with loose skin?

Compression garments are used during a surgical recovery period to aid in post-operative swelling. They can help reduce swelling and bruising after surgery. However, they do not directly improve the quality of loose skin. Skin quality is patient-dependent and is affected by several factors. Some treatments that target skin quality include Morpheus and/or BodyTite. Both procedures utilize radiofrequency heat technology to stimulate collagen production and gradually tighten the skin.

Do waist trainers tighten loose skin?

There is no proven data that shows waist trainers effectively tighten loose skin. Procedures like Morpheus and BodyTite work to address skin quality through a minimally-invasive approach. These procedures work to gradually tighten the skin through radiofrequency heat energy that stimulates collagen production.

Does arm lipo hurt?

Pain is a subjective matter that varies from patient to patient. Patients who undergo liposuction typically experience some soreness. However, this feeling tends to dramatically improve about two weeks after surgery. Additionally, the majority of our patients find our pain management protocol to be very effective at managing their discomfort in the early postoperative period.

How do you lose arm fat fast?

Liposuction is a great procedure to reduce fat for patients who are at or close to their goal weight. It is not considered a weight-loss procedure; it focuses on body contouring. While you can notice results soon after your surgery, final results are typically judged three months after surgery. This allows sufficient time for swelling to subside and any irregularities to settle.

How long does it take to recover from an arm lift?

You should allow yourself 1-2 weeks for recovery after your arm lift. Dr. Coan will give you the most accurate indication of how long you can expect to recover based on your unique procedure.

Does an arm lift leave a scar?

A brachioplasty, often referred to as an arm lift, does have an associated scar as it is an excisional procedure. The scar can vary depending on the particular approach recommended by your board-certified surgeon. At CARE, Dr. Coan will determine the best approach to achieve your aesthetic goals while also considering your individual anatomy. With any scar, we recommend minimizing sun exposure for optimal scarring. Ultimately, scars do best with time, and optimal scarring can take up to one year after surgery.

How long after brachioplasty can I exercise?

For any surgical procedure, patients are instructed to avoid exercise for six weeks following surgery. We also want patients to avoid any activity that will increase heart rate and/or blood pressure for a total of six weeks after surgery.

How long does it take for brachioplasty scars to heal?

Incisions typically heal within a few weeks after surgery, but every patient will vary based on healing abilities and overall skin quality. Commonly, patients can expect scars to be fully healed by 3 months post-op, but they often take up to 1 year after surgery to fade and reach optimal appearance.

Does insurance pay for an arm lift?

A brachioplasty procedure is typically considered cosmetic surgery and would be an out-of-pocket expense. At CARE Plastic Surgery, we are out of network with all insurance companies.

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Real Testimonials

It has changed my outlook on life in such a profound and positive way. I encourage anyone to have the surgery if they are thinking about it. I will have my thighs and arms done this spring.

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

I adore Dr. Coan & his whole staff. They are kind, warm, fun, & helpful. I trust Dr. Coan wholeheartedly. He is always honest with me, and would never sell or recommend a procedure that is not right for me. I love my office visits and look forward to going! Dr. Coan is my forever.

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

I could not be happier with my decision to go with Dr. Coan! Not only did my body lift come out FABULOUS but I went back 2 months later and had my breast and arms done! When I look in the mirror I cannot believe what Dr. Coan has accomplished!

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

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