Upper Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty) – Metairie and New Orleans, LA*

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About Arm Lift Surgery

The delicate skin of the arm often causes the arms to be the first to look saggy with age or weight loss. At A Woman Plastic Surgeon, we offer arm lift surgery (also called brachioplasty) as a procedure for people who cannot tone or tighten the arm with natural methods. Excess or lax skin from the elbow to the upper arm is very common, especially for people who are getting older or have lost significant amounts of weight. An arm lift removes this excess skin, sometimes known as "bat wings." Cynthia Mizgala, a plastic surgeon in Metairie, LA, is very knowledgeable in skin tightening and fat removal techniques. She also offers both full and mini arm lifts. If you would like to learn more about how brachioplasty can alter the contour of your arms, please contact us for a consultation at A Woman Plastic Surgeon.

Ideal Candidates

An arm lift is a plastic surgery employing innovative techniques to slim and eliminate unwanted skin. It may be combined with new liposuction techniques if there is also unwanted fat on the arms. If you are tired of hiding your flabby arms and want them to look trim and taut again, you are a great candidate for an arm lift. You should be in good overall health so that the skin will heal well. Some of the top concerns for potential arm lift patients are excess, hanging skin on the upper arms, and lost tautness of the skin. It is crucial that you are at or close to a healthy, stable weight prior to your surgery.

Surgical Technique

In most cases, your upper arm surgery will take place in an outpatient setting, unless multiple plastic surgeries are to be performed at the same time. An arm lift can be done in combination with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or mommy makeover, particularly in a bariatric weight loss patient. An arm lift is usually performed under general anesthesia and may take 1 – 3 hours to complete. The sagging skin will be surgically removed from the elbow and continuing to the underarm. Dr. Mizgala performs several types of arm lifts, depending on the degree of arm skin laxity, the desired correction, as well as the tolerance for scars. The incision will be made to be as hidden as possible. Liposuction is almost always performed during arm lift surgery.

Types of Arm Lifts

Full Brachioplasty

Patients with severe arm sag will see the most dramatic improvement with full brachioplasty. This involves the removal of excess skin from the armpit down to the elbow. This involves a long incision, which results in a long scar on the underside of the arm. This incision heals nicely with proper aftercare and can sometimes leave a very faintly scar. While some scars can be more noticeable, Dr. Mizgala takes great care during surgery to leave a clean line.

T Brachioplasty

This is a much smaller version of arm lift surgery than full brachioplasty. In many cases, patients can wear short sleeves and the scar may not be noticeable since the incision is made in the crease of the armpit, extending down the length of the arm just a few inches, or to a certain point where a sleeve may hit. The stopping point of this scar can be discussed with Dr. Mizgala during the surgical consultation. This technique treats moderate to severe sag but in patients who do not have as much excess skin as is warranted for a full brachioplasty.

Limited Axillary (or Mini) Brachioplasty

This arm lift is reserved for patients who have little to moderate arm sag. It is suited for those who desire to have limited scarring or almost no visible scar. The incision is made in the armpit and the scar is hidden there. This technique can still remove excess skin and create a tighter appearance, but there will be limited or no improvement in skin sag that may exist in the distal arm (the area between the mid-arm down to the elbow).  

Dr. Mizgala will assess the skin condition of the arm and degree of sag and work with the patient on the best treatment to attain the desired results. She always believes in performing the most conservative operation possible. This minimizes expense to the patient, as well as limits scarring. In addition, it decreases the possibility of complication.

What to Expect

Your recovery period may be minimal, but activities should be limited for 6 weeks. Dr. Mizgala recommends lifting no more than 10 pounds during this time. There is usually limited pain or discomfort associated with arm lift surgery. However, because you use your arms for everything, patients should slowly make their way back into their daily routines so optimal healing can occur. Compression garments may be recommended once the suture lines are healed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does arm lift surgery cost?
The total cost for an arm lift will depend on many factors, but the average cost for brachioplasty surgery is $6,500 – $10,000. This depends on the type of brachioplasty performed. Dr. Mizgala will perform a consultation to listen to your concerns and goals and assess your arms for the best surgical outcome. A Woman Plastic Surgeon accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest financing.

Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. Liposuction is almost always used during brachioplasty. For major weight loss patients, brachioplasty can be combined with cosmetic breast surgery or abdominoplasty. This is sometimes known as an upper body lift and is used for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want full body contouring. During your consultation with Dr. Mizgala, surgery options can be discussed so your personal surgical plan can be devised and tailored to your anatomy.

Will there be scars?
In cases with excess hanging skin, a surgical arm lift needs incisions to remove the excess skin. This will leave scars. The type of arm lift performed will determine the placement of the incisions and length of the scars. Dr. Mizgala is an experienced arm lift surgeon and makes every effort to minimize scarring as much as possible during surgery. After your surgery, scar care, including ointments to assist in scar healing, tape, and some laser treatment, will be recommended. Dr. Mizgala also recommends you avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the scar from becoming discolored. The benefits of a more toned arm outweigh the appearance of scars.

What results can I expect from an arm lift?
A surgical arm lift is used to treat hanging skin and small amounts of unwanted fat. Following your lift, once your arms are fully healed and Dr. Mizgala has authorized it, you can begin weight training. This is a great way to add shape to your arms by toning the muscles.

Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?
While there are a lot of nonsurgical skin tightening options, most will only provide mild improvements. To correct moderate to severe amounts of loose skin, arm lift surgery is your best option. Along with treating excess skin, Dr. Mizgala also liposuctions undesired fat and smoothes the remaining skin and tissue for a better result. If you are interested in nonsurgical procedures, Dr. Mizgala can tell you about all possible treatments during your consultation and help you decide which is best for you.

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Procedure Details

Average Cost  
$6,500 - $10,500
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Get Back Your Shape

Whatever you call your "bat wings" or droopy skin on your arms, plastic surgeon Dr. Mizgala can fix it with one of her many nonsurgical or surgical options. If you cannot get rid of the flab and skin that hang from your upper arms, please call and schedule a private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Cynthia Mizgala at A Woman Plastic Surgeon in Metairie, LA. Look and feel younger and fitter with upper arm lift surgery.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.