The upper arms are a common source of
frustration for patients who have lost significant amount of weight.
The weight loss can be through a combination of dieting, exercise,
and bariatric procedures. The stretched skin does not always return
to its original shape and starts to droop. Some patients have a hard
time finding appropriate articles of clothing to accommodate the
excess skin. This problem can be addressed with the arm lift
procedure. Arm lift will remove the redundant skin and fatty tissue
on the upper arms and to some degree on the side of the chest.
The Preoperative visit
Consultation for arm lift consists of a thorough discussion of
the patient's desires and concerns. An extensive evaluation of the
patient's upper arms and chest contour will be performed.
Photographs will be reviewed. The available surgical options and Dr.
Soltanianís recommendations will be discussed, including the
limitations and risks of surgery. The patient is asked to review the
written material and to return with her/his list of questions. All
questions and concerns are addressed before the decision for surgery
The best candidates for arm lift are patients who have reached a
stable weight, do not have severe underlying medical problems, and
have a positive outlook, who have extensive amount of redundant skin
on the upper arms. Patients need to understand that after this
procedure, there will be permanent scars on the inside of the upper
arms. The incisions usually heal well and are not very prominent
during normal activities.
Arm lift is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2
hours. Patients will go home on the same day. Occasionally, small
drain tubes are used which will be removed during an office visit.
Arm lift may be performed in conjunction with liposuction or other
During the first few days after surgery, patients will require pain
medications. The pain usually subsides quickly and is noticeable
only during certain activities. Patients are required to maintain
compression on the upper arms at all times for 3 to 4 weeks.
Patients can take shower after 48 hours. Extreme range of motion is
avoided to allow for proper healing of the incisions. Most of the
stitches are dissolvable and do not require removal.
Patients are commonly very satisfied with their results. The final
results may not be visible for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery when the
majority of the swelling is resolved. Occasionally, small revision
of the scar tissue is necessary.