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Arm Lifts (Brachioplasty) and Thigh Lifts & Reduction (Thighplasty)

Pre and Post Operation of Arm Lifts (Brachioplasty) and Thigh Lifts & Reduction (Thighplasty) by Dr. Steven Williams at Tri Valley Plastic SurgeryActual Patient
A surgical procedure that reshapes the upper and lower arm to reduce excess sagging under arm skin, remove fat and smooth and tighten the appearance of the arm. A surgical procedure to tighten sagging muscles and remove excess skin in the thigh area.
Length of Surgery 2-3 hours
In/Outpatient Outpatient
Anesthesia Local with or without sedation, or general
Duration of results Permanent

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Am I a candidate for arm thigh lift surgery?

You may be a suitable candidate for upper and lower arm lift surgery if:

  1. You have excess or loose and sagging upper and lower arm skin
  2. Your upper and lower arms have localized fat deposits
  3. Diet and exercise have not worked
  4. You have realistic expectations for the outcome of your brachioplasty surgery

You may not be a suitable candidate for an upper or lower arm lift if you have had:

  • Mastectomy or other operation in the armpit lymph node
  • Infections in the sweat glands under the arm
  • Healing problems after previous operations
  • Keloid scarring
  • You are more than 15% over your ideal body weight

You may be a suitable candidate for a thigh lift if:

  • You are bothered by sagging or drooping skin on the upper thigh
  • You have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin
  • Your weight is relatively stable
  • You are physically and emotionally healthy
  • You are a non-smoker
  • You have realistic expectations for what Thigh Lift surgery can accomplish for you

Thigh lift surgery is not a substitute for weight loss.

Certain medical conditions and medications may affect whether you are a suitable candidate for a thigh lift surgery. Check with your thigh lift doctor.

What is an arm/thigh lift procedure?

An arm lift for the upper and lower region of the arm (also known as brachioplasty), is a surgical procedure that reshapes the lower and upper portion of the arm to reduce excess sagging skin, remove fat and smooth and tighten the appearance of the arm.

Due to the natural aging process, skin on the upper arms may become loose and flabby as a result of loss of elasticity. Additionally substantial weight loss may be another cause of excess loose skin to this area. Often such sagging skin cannot be improved by regular exercise or healthy diet alone, and may cause embarrassment resulting in long sleeves being worn to cover up the problem area. An arm lift can help to restore the area by giving younger looking skin with a firmer and more youthful appearance.

An upper and lower arm lift procedure removes excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow to give your upper arms a more toned appearance and would take approximately two hours, under general or local anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision from the elbow to the armpit, underlying tissue and fat are removed, and the remaining skin and tissue are lifted to achieve a tighter and smoother effect.

Brachioplasty will leave you with a permanent visible scar.

Thigh lift (thigh reduction) is a surgical procedure done to tighten sagging muscles and remove excess skin in the thigh area. Thigh lift surgery can be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as a body lift.

Thigh reduction surgery removes excess skin and fat from the inside and the outside of the upper thigh. The surgery leaves a long, noticeable scar. Thigh reduction improves the body contour in clothes, but the scars are visible in underwear or swimwear.

The thigh lift procedure takes about three hours and is done under general anesthesia. The surgery can be performed as a day case but may require an overnight stay.

Arm lift surgery procedure steps

Step 1- Anesthesia

Local, local with sedation or general anesthesia, is administered.

Step 2 - The incisions
  • Incisions are made on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, from the underarm to just above the elbow and under surface of the arm, usually in a zigzagged line. The skin is removed then excess fat is excised or treated with liposuction.
  • The remaining skin is stretched over your arm and sutured into place. A drain may be used at the site of incision.
Step 3 - Closure

Your incisions are closed with absorbable or removable sutures and then bandaged.

Step 4 - The results

The smoother, tighter contours of your arms will be apparent almost immediately after your Brachioplasty procedure, though there will be some swelling and bruising. It may take up to two years to see the final results.

Thigh lift surgery procedure steps

Step 1 – Anesthesia

The anesthetic choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your thigh lift doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision
  1. Incision patterns vary based on individual cases. However, incisions are normally placed in the groin, extending downward, then traversing around the back of the thigh. The underlying tissue is reshaped and tightened, and the skin is reduced and re-draped over the new, smooth body contour.
  2. Another technique involves an incision only in the groin area. Your thigh lift surgeon will determine the appropriate option for you.
Step 3 – The sutures

Deep internal sutures within underlying tissues help to support the newly shaped contours. Sutures are then used to close the skin incisions.

Step 4 - The results

The smoother thigh contouring is apparent almost immediately although there will be swelling and bruising.

Arm/thigh lift surgery recovery and healing steps

You will go home a day or so after your brachioplasty. Upper and lower arm lift recovery times are usually about one to two weeks. You can return to work after about two weeks and to the gym after four to six weeks.

Swelling and redness usually disappear after a month, and numbness may last for a few months. Use prescribed painkillers as required. Any drains and stitches are removed after five to ten days and a surgical stocking will need to be worn for three to four weeks.

When your thigh lift procedure is complete, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal. You may also have a drain fitted to drain any excess fluid or blood.

You will have some bruising, swelling, and tightness in the thighs. Stitches are removed within a week after surgery and deeper sutures two or three weeks after.

Thigh lift recovery time is usually one to two weeks. You should be able to return to work after two to three weeks. Most of the swelling will disappear after about three weeks. You should avoid strenuous activity for about a month.

Arm/thigh lift side effects and surgery risks

Brachioplasty side effects may include:
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Numbness
Upper and lower arm lift surgery risks and complications may include:
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Seroma (build-up of fluid)
  • Hematoma (collection of blood)
  • Excessive scarring
  • Allergic reactions to the anesthetic
Thigh lift side effects include:
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • A tight feeling in the thighs
Thigh lift risks and complications may include:
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic
  • Hematoma (collection of blood under the skin)
  • Seroma (build-up of fluid)
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Poor wound healing

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) American Board of Plastic Surgery Yale University Plastic Surgery Yale School of Medicine American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Expert Reviewer of California Medical Board
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