Loose or even flabby upper arm skin is a depressing experience for many middle-aged women which restricts their clothing choice in particular in the summer. Physical activity, weight control and intensive skincare are no remedy for this age-related condition. In most cases, only an invasive arm lift can help.
Frequently asked questions about arm lift:
What is an arm lift?
Arm lift or upper arm reduction is a surgical intervention to remove excess skin usually on the inside of the upper arm. Mostly women are affected by this condition. The goal of the intervention is to reduce the arm’s circumference and to tighten the skin.
Who is a good candidate for arm reduction?
In particular women over 40, and people after massive weight loss. Some skin types tend to lose their elasticity fast; in these cases, the problem can manifest itself even at a younger age.
How is the arm lift performed?
An L-shaped incision is made on the inner side of the upper arm from the elbow to the arm pit and on to the side of the chest. Usually only excess skin is removed. The procedure may be combined with liposuction (link) to remove fat deposits.
Is liposuction alone not sufficient?
The skin on the inside of the arm is very thin. Liposuction alone may lead to irregular surface contours like rippling and depressions. In young patients with good skin quality and skin elasticity, liposuction may be sufficient.
Are there non-invasive methods for arm tightening?
Regular physical activity and radio wave treatment may achieve a certain degree of tightening.
What to do and what not to do before treatment?
Three weeks before an invasive / surgical treatment patient must stop smoking and taking aspirin. In the last week, patients must stop taking any anticoagulant (“blood-thinning”) medicine.
The following substances are also prohibited:
• pain killers such as Apranax, Voltaren and Vermidon (alternative brand names are Minoset and Novalgin)
• multivitamin tablets containing ginseng, ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q,
• green tea, herbal products containing linseed, sour cherry stalks, tomato seeds
• all diet products.
Does the procedure require anaesthesia?
The operation is performed in a clinic under general anaesthesia or under sedation.
How long does the procedure take?
Arm reduction procedures take about 1 hour.
Is the arm lift procedure painful?
The procedure is not painful.
What happens after the operation?
Patients are usually discharged the same day. The first two days the scars are bandaged. After 2 days patients can take a bath. The sutures are placed under the skin and need not be removed. In the first 3 weeks patients should avoid extreme arm movements. After 3 weeks physical activities are permitted; however, extreme arm movements should be avoided. After 6 six weeks, you are free to exercise as you please.
What problems can occur after the operation?
The biggest issue are visible scars. Since they are placed on the inside they are not visible unless you raise your arms. After 6 months, the scars have faded to a large extent. However, they will never completely disappear. Patients must be made aware of this. Some patients disguise their scars with tattoos.
Is arm reduction permanent?
The aging process cannot be stopped with surgery. Extreme weight gains and losses contribute to a renewed loosening of the skin. A return to the pre-operative state is, however, impossible. To maintain their new shape, patients must watch their weight, do sports and look after their skin.