Arm Reduction

Arm Lift Surgery | Arm Fat Reduction


Arm reduction Surgery is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arms. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of sagging upper arm skin but bear in mind, it does produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from your armpit to your elbow.

In instances where you have small to moderate fat deposits of the upper arm and good skin tone – liposuction alone will suffice and excision of skin and fat is unnecessary.

The best candidates for an arm reduction surgery are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by moderate to large fat deposits or loose skin of the upper arms that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. An arm reduction can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr Braun.

Thousands of arm reduction surgeries are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon that is trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.

Complete arm reduction and lift surgery usually takes about one to two hours, depending on the extent of work required. Most commonly, Doctor Braun will make a long incision from your elbow to your armpit. Next, the loose skin and fat is separated from the lower portion of the arm all the way up to your armpit. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

For the first few days post-surgery, your arms will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours or you may have to remain hospitalised for one day.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Taping of the scars to improve them is mandatory for three months after surgery. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in colour. There is a risk of hypertrophic (thick) scarring after this operation.

Arm reduction surgery produces excellent results for patients with loose and flabby skin of the upper arms. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you’re realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar and a lengthy recovery period, an arm reduction may be just the answer for you.

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Saul Braun operates from the Netcare Rosebank Hospital, situated in the up-market Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg.

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