The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery

Arm Lift

Brachioplasty for Healdsburg, Napa, and the San Francisco Bay Area

An arm lift at the San Francisco Bay Area's Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery addresses excess skin and fat of the upper arms. Together with careful liposuction, this procedure, also known as a brachioplasty, can restore tone and proportion to the upper arms.* The type of lift and the length of scar depends largely on the extent of extra tissue and desired goals after the procedure.

For many arm lift patients, this means the scar can be hidden in the armpit, but some patients, including those who have had major weight changes, require a longer scar down the inside of the arm. Included with an arm lift procedure is usually some degree of liposuction for suctioning fat to blend in the surrounding contour and to encourage skin tightening.

An arm lift at the San Francisco Bay Area's Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery involves removing extra skin and concealing the scar on the inner arm. An arm lift at the San Francisco Bay Area's Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery involves removing extra skin and concealing the scar on the inner arm.
*The length of an arm lift incision at the San Francisco Bay Area's Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery depends on how much extra tissue needs to be removed. No matter the length, the scar will be concealed in the natural crease of the inner arm.*

Talk to a member of The Jacobs Center team about an arm lift in the Bay Area, including Napa, by calling the San Francisco office (415.433.0303) or Healdsburg office (707.473.0220). You can also send a message online.

What Causes a Look of Upper Arm Fat and Laxity?

Weight fluctuations, the onset of aging, a decreasing metabolic rate, hormonal changes, sun damage, and heredity can all cause drooping or sagging in the upper arms and around the bra line area. This problem, also known as "bat wings," is more common in patients who are naturally predisposed to storing fat in this area, though the look is primarily the fault of loose skin.

The upper arms are common problem areas for many people, with sagging taking a toll on self-esteem and confidence. While exercise can improve the tone of the underlying muscle, loss of elasticity in the skin or stubborn fatty deposits can be harder to tame. This is especially true for more severe cases, such as patients who have lost significant amounts of weight and are now dealing with leftover stretched-out skin that refuses to tighten and conform to the sleeker structures below.

How to Prepare for An Arm Lift

Patients are urged to do extensive research and choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who is trained, experienced, and regularly performs arm lift surgeries.

Dr. Eric Culbertson will start each arm lift procedure by discussing the patient's medical history, performing a physical exam, and identifying cosmetic goals and expectations from an arm lift.

Follow any pre-surgery instructions to make sure the operation goes as smoothly as possible. Smoking tobacco can inhibit healing and lead to more serious complications in the long run. As such, patients should refrain from smoking in the weeks leading up to and after the day of the surgery. You may also need to stop taking blood-thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, and other medications.

Arm Lift Details, Aftercare, and Recovery

The Jacobs Center's Healdsburg facility allows an arm lift to be performed with just local medication, with sedation, or under general anesthesia, depending on the amount of work to be done and each patient's personal preferences. Patients are recommended to take one week off of work after getting this surgery. Pain is usually easily controlled with medication for the first couple of days.* Drains are not typically needed for this operation, but patients are asked to wear a custom-measured surgical compression garment for the first two weeks after surgery to minimize swelling.

Patients who undergo an arm lift can continue to use their upper arms following the surgery. Though every patient is unique, generally the only limitations are in raising the arms above the head, and in participating in strenuous activities. Vigorous exercise, sports, or other intense activity should be reintroduced gradually starting two weeks after surgery.

To maintain results for as long as possible, patients should aim to stay at a stable weight so as not to build new deposits of fat that can add bulk and stretch out the skin anew.

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Combined Arm Lift Procedures

An arm lift can improve definition by tightening and smoothing the supportive tissue and removing excess fat. It is often combined with other body contouring procedures, including breast surgery, tummy tucks, and thigh lifts. Fat grafting to the hand is another adjunct procedure that may be performed. Combining procedures often reduces total costs and has the benefit of one healing period.

Dr. Eric Culbertson
Dr. Eric Culbertson Associations

American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified surgeon for breast & body-focused procedures, Dr. Culbertson personally strives to achieve natural yet undeniable results that bolster one's self esteem and reinforce, rather than change, one's identity.

Moving forward

If you're considering getting an arm lift, call us to set up a free consultation. Call the Healdsburg office at 707.473.0220 or the San Francisco office at 415.433.0303.

* Patient Results May Vary

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