Increasingly, women especially are becoming concerned with the appearance of their upper arms. Weight loss, lack of muscle tone and the ageing process can often result in loose skin and excess fat around the upper arms, sometimes referred to as ‘bingo wings’.
If the skin elasticity quality is good enough, liposuction alone may be a good option to consider to contour the upper arms. Unfortunately, if you have lots of loose inelastic skin, liposuction will probably make little difference and may even make the skin excess worse. In these cases, removal of the excess skin may be the only answer to your problem. Mr Ghattaura will discuss your options in detail and choose the most suitable route for you to give you the best surgical outcome.
What is involved in the procedure?
Liposuction or body sculpting is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the world and has been carried out for over 40 years, so it is well tested for it’s effectiveness. Liposuction-only for arm lifts is suitable if you have heavy, fatty arms with good skin quality. This procedure is not suitable for those patients with loose skin and poor skin elasticity. If it is decided that you can have liposuction-only to achieve your desired results, the surgery itself is fairly straightforward and involves minimal scarring to remove the excess fat. Ultimately, liposuction procedures can have a really positive impact on your body and improve your overall confidence. With a sensible diet and exercise regime, the effects of liposuction should be permanent, leaving you feeling confident and happy!
This procedure is done under general anaesthetic and takes around 1-2hours. You could probably go home the same day, although an overnight stay is sometimes needed. Very small incisions are made in the arm and a small tube (cannula) removes fat with a suction device. A special compression garment will be applied after the procedure and maintained for 6 weeks, day and night. This will help with the swelling and recovery process. Your normal routine can be resumed after a couple of weeks of resting.
Upper Arm Lift with an Armpit Scar
This type of armlift is effective if there is only a small amount of loose skin on the upper arm only. The skin is removed, leaving a small, well hidden scar in the armpit. This procedure is extremely effective when combined with a small amount of liposuction to re-sculpt the upper arm. Full recovery will take around 4 to 6 weeks and 2 weeks should be taken off work or your busy routine.
Full Arm Lift
This procedure is the most involved and extensive option and is suitable for patients with a large amount of loose skin on the upper arm and towards the elbow. Surgery involves an incision on the inside of the arm from the armpit towards the elbow. Unfortunately a scar is unavoidable to achieve the desired contour to re-shape of the whole upper arm. The results are usually very good and patients are generally happy to trade off the scar with the new look of the arm.
Dressings are applied following surgery and should be kept on for 2 weeks as they will assist with the healing process and reduce the swelling and pain.
Time to Recover
Your healing time really will depend on which type of treatment you had. For the liposuction the healing time is fairly rapid, and you can expect to resume your normal routine after a couple of weeks of rest. Mr Ghattaura will advise you prior to surgery how much time you will need to recover. Your compression garment will need to be worn for the first six weeks, and any pain and discomfort should be treated with your normal painkillers. Depending on the intensity of your procedure you will be able to resume normal activity and exercise after 4-6 weeks.
Available at HMT Sancta Maria, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Nuffield Health and BMI Werndale