Arm Lift FAQ
What is an Arm Lift?
The arm lift (brachioplasty) is an innovative procedure that addresses many of the aesthetic concerns of individuals with excess skin on their arms or arms that are disproportionate to the rest of their bodies. The arm lift is typically done in a single session on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The goal of the arm lift is to streamline and contour the appearance of the upper arms.
An arm lift is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. The outcomes of the arm lift can be significantly influenced by weight fluctuations.
Is it right for me?
The arm lift is an invasive procedure with significant recovery time. Therefore, you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
An arm lift is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a non-smoker
What to expect during your consultation
The success and safety of your Minneapolis-St. Paul arm lift procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- If you are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Dr. Rocheford may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of an arm lift and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your arm lift
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Important facts about the safety and risks of an arm lift
The decision to have arm lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Dr. Rocheford and her staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Possible risks of an arm lift include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Major wound separation
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Nerve damage
- The possibility of revisional surgery
- Suboptimal aesthetic result
You’ll need help
If your arm lift is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Questions to Ask Dr. Rocheford
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?
- If so, at which hospitals?
- Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect my arms to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my arm lift?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?