Arm Lift Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Hughes has performed hundreds of body contouring procedures for patients after massive weight loss or pregnancy in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Sometimes, the patient may require a tummy tuck or a full body lift, a thigh lift, a breast lift, an armlift ( or arm lift or brachioplasty), or a combination of these.
What Is An Armlift?
The arm lift (arm lift) or brachioplasty in its most basic sense addresses loose skin and residual fat of the upper arms. Two variants of the arm lift procedure exist, and they differ in their scar patterns and amount of skin and fat that can be removed.
The Miniarm Lift or Axillary Arm Lift
An axillary (or armpit) or miniarm lift incision can be used to remove a small ellipse of tissue. This arm lift is best utilized for patients who have loose skin confined to the arm pit area or uppermost aspect of the arm. This miniarm lift can be combined with upper arm liposuction in the right patient to produce a dramatic improvement in upper arm contour. The scar remains hidden within the armpit.
The short scar brachioplasty is placed within the armpit but is appropriate for very few patients and produces much less improvement than the L-shaped scar that extends down the inner aspect of the arm. The goal of the surgery is to conceal the scar within the inner aspect of the arm in both cases.
The Extended Arm Lift
The extended arm lift or full arm lift involves an incision that runs along the inner aspect of the arm and extends into the armpit. This type of arm lift is utilized for patients who have a great deal of skin laxity that extends the entire length of the arm. This surgery is often referred to as an L-shaped brachioplasty or an extended brachioplasty. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or have a great deal of loose skin may benefit from this more extensive arm skin reduction and lift. This extended arm lift allows more fat and skin to be removed, and it can produce a much better contour.
How long is the scar?
Dr. Hughes only makes the scar as long as is necessary and no longer. For some patients, a smaller scar may be enough to improve the arms in a maximal way.
Your Armlift Surgery Day with Dr. Hughes
The axillary arm lift with liposuction takes about 1 hour to perform. The extended arm lift surgery procedure takes about 2 hours to perform. The procedure is done in our outpatient surgery center, and the patient goes home the same day. The patient can expect some bruising and swelling that improves over the first week. However, the final result is seen after 6 months or longer as the body is able to reduce the swelling in the arms and form a mature scar.
Alternatives to Armlift Surgery
While the arm lift is certainly effective in its removal of tissue and correcting issues of skin laxity and reducing arm size and circumference, the scar produced is often objectionable to many patients. Dr. Kenneth Hughes, MD in Los Angeles has extensive experience and amazing successes with the Bodytite technology to avoid the longer scars associated with arm lifts and thigh lifts as well as other excisional procedures such as tummy tuck, butt lifts, etc. Bodytite can be used in conjunction with liposuction to tighten the tissues of the arms or thighs or wherever by about 40%. These types of results will not be achievable by another technology or my another surgeon. Please look at the amazing Bodytite results in this link. Although Bodytite will never reproduce the excisional surgical results, optimal treatment by Dr. Hughes in Los Angeles can come pretty close.
The Armlift Recovery Process
The armlift patient should avoid exercise, strenuous activity, and lifting more than 5 lbs for at least 6 weeks. Patients should consume at least 100 grams of protein during the recovery period to ensure adequate wound healing. Patients should not strain the area around the incision. The most common complication is incision separation, so arms should be kept by the side to avoid tension on the incisions.
Dr. Hughes does not typically use drains in arm lifts as fluid collection is not a complication typically seen for arm lifts performed by Dr. Hughes.
Armlift results are apparent immediately following surgery but swelling will remain for about 6 months. In addition, the scars are initially red or hyperpigmented but the scars do tend to improve over about a 12 month to 18 month period. The scars can widen after surgery and it is important to minimize both overhead activity or repetitive activity at the elbow during the early healing period of at least 6 weeks. There should be no strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY
Dr. Hughes’s Arm Lift Surgery Videos
PREPARING FOR SURGERY
- STOP SMOKING: Smoking reduces circulation to the skin and impedes healing. It is best to avoid smoking, second hand smoke and cigarette replacements, such as nicotine patches or gum, in the perioperati ve period. While you should ideally stop smoking for 2 weeks before and after your surgical procedure, YOU MUST NOT SMOKE FOR A MINIMUM OF 24 HOURS BEFORE AND 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY.
- TAKE MULTIVITAMINS: Start taking multivitamins twice daily to improve your general health once you have scheduled your surgery.
- TAKE VITAMIN C: Start taking 500 mg of Vitamin C twice daily to promote healing.
- START TAKING AN IRON SUPPLEMENT: A good iron supplement, such as Feosol, is required starting one week before surgery and four weeks following surgery. Bowel movements may appear darker than usual as a result. Feosol is available without prescription.
- DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR IBUPROFEN: Stop taking medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen. Review the list of drugs containing aspirin and ibuprofen carefully. Such drugs can cause bleeding problems during and after surgery. Instead, use medications containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol).
- LIMIT VITAMIN E: Limit your intake of Vitamin E to less than 400 mg per day.
- FILL YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS: You will be given prescriptions for medications. Please have them filled BEFORE the day of surgery and bring them with you.
- CONFIRM SURGERY TIME: We will call you to confirm the time of your surgery. If you are not going to be at home or at your office, please call us to confirm at (310) 275-4170.
- PRESCRIPTIONS: Make sure that you have filled the prescriptions you were given and set the medications out to bring with you tomorrow. Make sure to have the number for your pharmacy ready so that if Dr. Hughes and associates need to call in any special medications for you on your day of surgery they will have that information readily available.
- CLEANSING: The night before surgery, shower and wash the surgical areas with an antibacterial soap such as Dial, Safeguard, pHisoHex, or Phase II I.
- EATING AND DRINKING: Do not eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight except for a small amount of water to rinse your mouth while brushing your teeth.
- SPECIAL INFORMATION: Do not eat or drink anything! If you take a daily medication, you may take it with a sip of water in the early morning.
- ORAL HYGIENE: You may brush your teeth but do not swallow the water.
- CLEANS ING: Shower and wash the surgical areas again with an antibacterial soap such as Dial, Safeguard, pHisoHex, or Phase Ill.
- MAKE-UP: Please do not wear moisturizers, creams, lotions, or makeup.
- CLOTHING: Wear only comfortable, loose-fining clothing that does not go over your head. NO TIGHT PANTS. Remove hairpins, wigs, and jewelry. Please do not bring valuables with you.
- CHECK IN/PREPARATION: Surgery Time:
- You should plan to arrive 45 minutes earlier than your scheduled surgery time. Patients less than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. When you arrive at our office on the day of your surgery, give the receptionist the phone number of the pharmacy you would like us to call for any special medications Dr. Hughes and associates might prescribe.
- CARETAKER: Someone must spend the first night after surgery with you.
ARM LIFT POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
- The first week or two you will need to rest frequently. You need to walk around the house as tolerated. Walking long distances around the neighborhood or as a form of exercise is to be avoided. Avoid stairs and try to remain on one level if you have to navigate stairs.
- For the first week post-op sleep on your back with your head elevated and pillows under your arms. This will keep the tension off your arms. Do not sleep on your side or stomach.
- Avoid picking anything up greater than 5 lbs the first 6 weeks.
- DO NOT EXERCISE OR DO ANYTHING STRENUOUS FOR 4-6 WEEKS.
- DO NOT REACH ABOVE HEAD OR BEND FOR 4-6 WEEKS. Do not extend your arms overhead and do not reach for items as this can put tension on the incisions and cause the incisions to open. This can lead to delayed wound healing and a need for revision.
- You may not drive the first week or while you are taking pain medication. After that it will depend on your ability to handle a car without causing any discomfort.
- Do not engage in sexual activity for at least 4-6 weeks after your surgery.
- NO SMOKING. This will interfere with your healing and could have major consequences.
- Eat light the first 24 hours, clear liquids advancing to a regular diet as tolerated.
- If you have persistent nausea stick to a bland diet until it subsides.
- Avoid foods that can cause a lot of gas. This can cause abdominal distention and undue discomfort. Small frequent meals are best.
- The pain medicine may cause constipation. Drink plenty of fluids. You may take any over the counter laxatives or stool softeners as needed.
- Dressings should be changed as needed.
- If the dressing is too tight, TAKE IT OFF or adjust the dressing to reduce the compression.
- It is normal to have numbness over the surgical sites for several weeks or months.
- Do not use a heating pad or ice around the surgical sites. It could cause a burn.
- You may not shower the first week – sponge bathe only, until told to do so.
- It is normal to see dried bloody drainage on dressings.
- Take your antibiotic until it is completed.
- If the pain medication is a narcotic it should be taken as prescribed. Do not take any Tylenol while on pain medication. The medication we prescribe may already have Tylenol in it. Do not take drugs like Ibuprofen, Motrin, or Advil as these can increase bleeding.
- Do not drink alcohol or drive a car while taking pain medication.
- The pain medication may cause nausea and should be taken with food at each dose.
- You may resume your regular medication after your surgery except for Vitamin E, Fish oil and Aspirin (wait at least 5 days post-op).
- If you take aspirin or coumadin check with the doctor to see when you may resume them.
CALL THE OFFICE IF YOU HAVE:
- A temperature greater than 101.5 degrees.
- Excessive bleeding from the incision.
- A sudden increase in drainage, pain, or swelling around the incision site or the surrounding area.
- If you have persistent vomiting.