As incredible as it can feel to lose a large amount of weight, the achievement can feel less significant when you are left with excess, loose arm skin. This is often the case after weight loss. The sagging arm skin can become both frustrating and embarrassing. In addition, excess skin after weight loss can make it difficult for people to participate in certain physical activities or wear their preferred style of clothing. Fortunately, skin removal surgery offers patients the opportunity to finally rid themselves of excess arm skin that often remains after losing weight. Award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. J. Timothy Katzen and the exceptional team at J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills take great pride in helping men and women achieve their final weight loss transformation goals with skin removal surgery.
One of the most common areas of concern for after weight loss patients is their upper arms. Often referred to as bat wings, the excess skin that remains from the elbow to the armpit can be particularly problematic for patients, making it difficult to wear certain clothes and uncomfortable to engage in exercise or other physical activities. In these cases, a brachioplasty (arm lift or arm reduction) can be a highly beneficial option.
What is a brachioplasty?
The brachioplasty, commonly known as an arm lift, is a skin removal surgery designed to excise the excess skin from the upper arm to achieve a more natural and sleek contour. During the surgery, Dr. Katzen will make an incision and remove the excess arm skin. The remaining skin is then stretched, tightened, and sutured together.
How can I prepare for an arm lift?
As with any surgery, it is imperative that patients prepare themselves in terms of expectations, logistics, and more. Use these arm lift preparation tips to ensure you are ready for your brachioplasty so that your procedure and recovery can go as smoothly as possible:
Get your weight under control: Patients considering an arm lift should be at or near their goal weight, usually within 10-20 pounds, before undergoing the procedure. Significant weight changes after a brachioplasty can compromise your results.
Stay healthy: As with any surgical procedure, patients should be in relatively good health and be non-smokers. Patients who smoke will need to stop smoking prior to the surgery.
Plan to have help: After a brachioplasty, you will likely be fairly sore and groggy, particularly for the first twenty four hours. After that, your ability to lift, drive, cook, and perform other daily tasks will be limited. For these reasons, it is essential that you plan for someone to be with you around the clock for the first 24-48 hours and then available to help regularly after that. This is particularly important for patients with toddlers and young children.
Create a comfortable recovery environment: Following your surgery, it is crucial that you allow yourself plenty of time to rest, recover, and heal properly. Preparing a comfortable space ahead of time will ensure that you can come home and begin your recovery immediately. Decide where you will spend most of your time, and make sure you have plenty of pillows ready so that you can elevate your arms. Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy snacks and fluids so that you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping in the days after your surgery.
Set realistic expectations: Keep in mind that while an arm lift and other after weight loss surgeries can be life-changing, the final results may take time to become fully visible, and you will have scars. Take the time leading up to your procedure to set realistic goals and expectations for your results.
Understand the postoperative period: Talk to Dr. Katzen about what you should expect during the postoperative period, what your limitations will be, and what is your estimated recovery timeline. In general, brachioplasty patients are able to return to work after 10-14 days, though full physical activity may be restricted for a little longer. Dr. Katzen will discuss with you your limitations and postoperative care routines with your procedure, including wearing compression garments, caring for incisions, and scheduling postoperative appointments. Knowing what to expect from your recovery period before undergoing your surgery will help prevent any unwanted surprises.
How can I find the best skin removal surgeon in Beverly Hills?
The first step toward finding out if a brachioplasty is right for you is to consult with a qualified, certified, and highly experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Timothy Katzen is known worldwide for his innovative and effective after weight loss surgery techniques, and is extremely familiar with the nuances and complexities involved in an arm lift. Call the friendly office of J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills to schedule your consultation with Dr. Katzen today, and learn more about how an arm lift or other skin removal surgery can be the final step in your weight loss transformation.