As we get older, it seems our skin becomes a size too big. Collagen decline is partly to blame. It doesn’t help that our skin also loses its elasticity and becomes thinner. Certain areas are more noticeable than others.
Take your upper arms. Say you’re out playing golf in a sleeveless blouse at Valley View or taking the plunge at Lagoon-a-Beach (whenever we can do that again!). When you raise your arm and make a gesture, the skin and tissue on the underside of your arm moves loosely. There’s a term for this that no woman would ever want to hear when describing her arms — bat wings.
Sounds like a call to Dr. Yates is in order to schedule an arm lift. He can tighten up the loose skin and muscles and make you happy to go sleeveless again!
What is an arm lift?
In an arm lift Dr. Yates removes the excess skin and fat from the upper arms, creating a more contoured appearance. An incision is made on either the bottom or inside of your arm. It runs usually from the elbow to the armpit. If you don’t need to remove too much excess skin, a smaller incision can be made just below the armpit. Excess fat and skin are removed, and the underlying muscles are tightened or repositioned. In most cases, Dr. Yates will include some limited liposuction to remove unwanted fat in the area.
How would I know if an arm lift would be good for me?
Some people assume that exercise can firm up loose upper arm skin. This isn’t usually true. Exercise can tone the muscles in the arms, but when the skin is loose and saggy, one million triceps exercises won’t firm it back up. If you’ve gained and then lost a good deal of weight, this is especially true.
So, if you have skin that is inelastic and hanging, an arm lift could be a great way to return contour to your upper arms.
What will my recovery be like?
The key to your recovery is patience with use of your arms. You have to be very cognizant of all of the ways you can put stress on your arms…and their incisions. After your surgery, you’ll need to wear compression sleeves or a full compression top. This minimizes swelling and helps the arms adapt to their new slimmer contours.
You’ll probably need at least a week off from work. Any lifting has to be avoided, as it can stress your incisions and delay your recovery. You can’t begin any real lifting for at least one month, possibly up to six weeks. After six weeks you’re probably good to go.
What about scarring?
You will have scarring with an arm lift. The incision is lengthy. Your scars will fade over the next 18 months to the point they will hardly be noticeable. It helps to keep sun off of your scars for at least a couple of months.