Tampa Arm Lift Surgery

Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight, or simply aged a little, is dismayed to discover upper arm “bat wings:” that loose, floppy skin of the upper arms and axillary region. Excess upper arm skin and fat can make it difficult to find shirts and tank tops that fit, or simply, it can be embarrassing and unsightly. The solution to this issue is “arm lift” surgery which removes the loose, excess skin and tightens the upper arms.

Dr. Traci Temmen is skilled in arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, and other body contouring procedures following weight loss. She is known by her Tampa patients for her perfectionist nature, discerning eye, expert surgical skill, and easy bedside manner. If you are finally ready to get slim, tight, and toned upper arms that look great in a sleeveless dress, call Dr. Traci Temmen, arm lift surgery and brachioplasty specialist, today!

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Surgery

An arm lift surgery is designed to remove excess fat and tighten the skin of the upper arms. Depending on the degree of skin laxity and excess fat, liposuction alone, a combination of liposuction and skin excision, or a two-staged procedure with liposuction and skin excision is used. Dr. Traci Temmen and her staff will help you select the best arm lift surgery to fit your needs and fulfill your dreams.

For patients with minimal skin laxity, good skin tone, and minimal to moderate amounts of excess fat, liposuction alone can be a good choice to improve the contour and firmness of the upper arms. Circumferential liposuction is performed to reduce the amount of upper arm fat and promote postoperative skin retraction. The liposuction is performed through tiny port sites placed in well-hidden areas of the arms.

For patients with skin laxity of the upper arm and moderate amounts of excess fat, a combination of upper arm liposuction and skin excision is needed. Depending on the amount of excess skin, a number of different incisions can be used. Dr. Temmen always chooses the incision that will leave the shortest arm lift scar and still provide optimal results. For skin excess limited to the upper 1/3 of the arm, a horizontal incision is hidden in the axillary (armpit) crease and used to elevate the sagging skin. For patients with skin excess and laxity along the full length of the upper arm, a vertical incision placed on the inside of the arm is necessary to get the best skin tightening results.

While rarely necessary, patients who have loose, flabby upper arm skin and a significant amount of upper arm fat, Dr. Temmen may recommend a two-staged arm lift procedure. The first stage involves debulking the upper arm fat with circumferential liposuction followed approximately three months later by a skin excision and tightening procedure performed through a medial arm incision.

Who is a Candidate for an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)?

The best candidate for an arm lift or brachioplasty surgery is a patient with excess, sagging upper arm skin and excess upper arm fat secondary to weight loss or aging. Arm lift patients should be at or near their ideal body weight and be in good health. Patients who have had an arm lift elsewhere and wish to revise their results may also be good candidates for revision arm lift surgery at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa by Dr. Traci Temmen.

To guarantee each patient the best and safest arm lift possible, Dr. Traci Temmen performs a thorough history and physical examination on every patient considering brachioplasty and other body contouring procedures. During each arm lift consultation, Dr. Temmen and her staff take the time to explain the surgery in detail, describe expected results, and answer every possible question. Dr. Temmen wants every arm lift and body contouring patient to be well informed, comfortable, and secure when choosing their cosmetic surgery needs. Many patients undergoing an arm lift or body contouring procedure will also receive preoperative laboratory work, and depending on age, a chest X-ray, EKG, and medical clearance from their primary care doctor.

Who is Not a Candidate for an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)?

Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for an arm lift or body contouring procedure. Patients that smoke, have complicated medical problems (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, blood clots), or are considered obese with a BMI >30 are not candidates for an arm lift. Dr. Traci Temmen requires that patients stop smoking for at least 9-12 months, have medical conditions well controlled, and have reached their ideal body weight before proceeding with body contouring or an arm lift. Patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should be at a stable weight for at least six months and should be nutritionally optimized. To obtain the best results possible, women who have recently had a baby should postpone surgery for at least 9 months to let their skin and soft tissues contract before undergoing arm lift or body contouring surgery.

Arm Lift Scars

The most common concern for patients considering an arm lift is the postoperative scar. Depending on the type of arm lift required, scars may be limited to tiny liposuction port sites or to the armpit (axillary) crease. However, more commonly, to really tighten the upper arm skin and achieve the best results, Dr. Traci Temmen must perform arm lift surgery through a vertical incision placed on the inner aspect of the upper arm. Dr. Temmen makes this vertical arm lift scar curvy, or sinusoidal, to help camouflage it and prevent full visualization of the entire scar at one time. Additionally, to help resuspend the soft tissues of the armpit and prevent difficulties extending the arms postoperatively, Dr. Temmen will also perform a Z-plasty, or Z-shaped flap, in the armpit. This Z-shaped incision is not visible unless the arms are lifted directly over the head. 
 

Arm Lift Recovery

Dr. Traci Temmen performs her cosmetic arm lift and body sculpting surgeries in an accredited, private surgical suite, custom-made for plastic surgeons. For patient comfort and safety, Dr. Temmen performs arm lift surgery under general anesthesia with the patient completely asleep and closely monitored. Brachioplasty surgery takes 2-3 hours to perform, depending on the complexity, need for liposuction, and size of the patient. Patients recover in the luxury of a private recovery suite with a recovery room nurse dedicated solely to them and their comfort.

Dr. Temmen’s arm lift patients usually require postoperative upper arm drains to help speed recovery and decrease postoperative complications. The drains are generally removed in one to five days after surgery. A postoperative compression garment with sleeves is worn for six weeks to aid in healing and shaping of the arms following an arm lift. Patients are prescribed oral pain medications, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medicines postoperatively. Most of Dr. Temmen’s arm lift patients are able to return to work within 3 to 7 days, drive when they are no longer taking narcotic pain medications, and return to full exercise by six weeks.

Arm Lift Cost

Like all cosmetic surgery, cost should not be the determining factor when choosing an arm lift or body contouring surgeon. To ensure your surgeon is properly trained and meets rigorous educational and ethical standards, only plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery should be considered. Dr. Traci Temmen is proud to be one of the few female plastic surgeons to offer advanced body contouring and arm lift surgery.

The cost of an arm lift varies by plastic surgeon, region of the country, and complexity. In the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the average price of an arm lift starts at around $6,000 including surgeon fees, anesthesia fees, facility fees, and garments. The cost of brachioplasty may increase with additional liposuction, revisionary surgery, and increases in planned surgical time.

Dr. Temmen offers convenient payment options for arm lifts and other body contouring surgeries. They accept check, credit, card, and CareCredit, a credit card that offers special financing and low monthly payments for cosmetic surgery procedures.

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Risks and Problems

Like all body contouring procedures, arm lift surgeries are associated with certain known complications and risks. The most common unwanted effect of an arm lift is unsightly scarring. Unfortunately, brachioplasty scars can be some of the least attractive scars in plastic surgery because of postoperative widening and hypertrophy. Another commonly encountered problem associated with arm lift surgery is wound breakdown or wound healing problems, particularly of the upper arm and armpit. These wound healing problems can almost always be treated with local wound care and do not require revisionary surgery.

Other risks associated with an arm lift are postoperative blood or fluid collections that can usually be managed with prolonged drains or minor in-office procedures. Occasionally, superficial infections may occur following a brachioplasty that can be managed with antibiotics in the clinic. Rare, more serious infections of the deeper soft tissues may require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics and additional surgeries.

All the risks of an arm lift surgery are increased in patients that smoke, have poorly controlled medical problems, or are overweight. Thus, the risk and complications associated with a brachioplasty can be minimized with proper patient selection and postoperative care. Dr. Traci Temmen, and most other credible plastic surgeons, will not perform an arm lift on patients who have high-risk medical problems or are extremely over weight. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Traci Temmen, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, are trained not only in arm lift and body contouring techniques, but also in diagnosing and appropriately treating the complications and risks associated with cosmetic body sculpting procedures. You can be sure that you are in caring and safe hands when you choose Dr. Traci Temmen and the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa to perform your arm lift surgery.

Arm Lift Before and After Photos

Pictures speak for themselves, so before making your final decision regarding an arm lift surgeon, take a look at before and after arm lift photos of real patients in Dr. Temmen’s photo gallery. Feel free to print your favorite before and after arm lift photographs to discuss with Dr. Temmen at your free consultation. In addition to those on the website, Dr. Temmen has many more before and after arm lift photos available for viewing during your arm lift consultation.

Please note that many of our arm lift before and after photos are taken six weeks to three months after surgery, thus areas of swelling and scar visibility will continue to decrease for up to one year following surgery.

For more information on Dr. Traci Temmen, arm lift, and other cosmetic body contouring procedures offered at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, contact us at (813) 877-2277.

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