As people age or if they lose weight, the skin on their upper arms can sag and droop. This problem cannot be resolved by intensive physical exercise or using creams. However, an arm lift operation is often a possible solution.
At an initial consultation, the plastic surgeon can decide whether an arm lift is possible for you and if the results you are looking for can be achieved. During this consultation, the plastic surgeon may show you for and after photos of an arm lift.
- Anesthesiageneral anaesthetic
- Duration1,5 to 3 hours (3,5 hours for extended)
- Time to recover2 to 3 weeks (4 to 6 weeks for extended)
What does a Arm lift cost
LOperation with local anaesthesia
OOperation requires a overnight stay (price incl. overnight)
NOperation with general anaesthesia (price inclusive narcosis)
Rates arm lift
The skin on your upper arms can slacken and droop as a result of aging or weight loss. An arm lift procedure involves removing the excess skin from the upper arm. The skin is then pulled tighter, giving the upper arm a more appealing shape and feel.
An arm lift clearly enhances the aesthetic appearance of the upper arms. After the procedure, you will feel more self-confident in sleeveless clothing, so you can walk out that door again in your favourite summer dress! But you should bear in mind that an arm lift may leave scars on your upper arms. The plastic surgeon will always take care to explain all the consequences of the procedure in your personal consultation. For example, they will point out that – even if they work with the utmost care and attention – it is never possible to give a 100% guarantee that both upper arms will be fully symmetrical after the procedure.
The consultation is always held with the plastic surgeon who will be carrying out your procedure.
During this first consultation, you can discuss what bothers you the most about the appearance of your arms and what you would like to have changed. The plastic surgeon will take down your medical history and examine your upper arms. They will then suggest the most suitable surgical technique for you and discuss it with you.
Arm lift and liposuction
In some cases, they may suggest an additional procedure, such as liposuction. The plastic surgeon will explain to you what this procedure entails and what you can expect in terms of end results. They will explain the difference between an arm lift and liposculpture of the upper arms. The recovery period and pros and cons of the procedures will be explained.
You will then be in a position to make a well-informed decision. The plastic surgeon will then show you before and after photos of arm lift procedures they have previously performed. Possible complications and risks will be discussed with you and an indication of the costs involved will be given.
The aim of the consultation is to inform you as clearly and fully as possible.
Following on from your first consultation with your plastic surgeon, you will have an appointment with your consultant. The aim of this appointment is to tell you about the general aspects to be arranged with respect to your arm lift procedure.
You are expected to arrive at the Boerhaave clinic half an hour before your procedure.
Before the treatment, your plastic surgeon will again talk you through the procedure. They will carefully mark out your arms in accordance with the operation plan. The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic.
To perform an upper arm lift, your plastic surgeon will start by making an incision along your arm. The location and length of the incision will depend on the amount of skin to be removed. The incision usually runs from the armpit to the elbow.
This longer incision will enable your plastic surgeon to optimally remove your excess skin.
They apply a state-of-the-art surgical technique, which involves making an incision on the inside of the upper arm, usually from the armpit to the elbow. Once they have removed the excess skin and corresponding fat, the skin is closed again.
The procedure lasts approximately 2 to 2½ hours.
Video animation of arm lift procedure at the Boerhaave Medical Centre
After care and recovery
The bandage and compression arm sleeves are to be kept on for 1 week. After the arm lift, you obviously have to be careful. For a period of 6 weeks, you are to refrain from any strenuous physical exercise, lifting heavy weights or doing any heavy work.
You generally need 7 to 14 days to recover from an arm lift. You may see swelling and bruising. The swelling will increase in the first few days, but will start to subside again after a week. You may experience a significant build-up of fluid at the lowest point, i.e. your elbow. This is a natural reaction of your body and is not generally worrying. This may last for a couple of weeks, and will disappear over the course of time.
Our staff do their utmost to achieve the best possible results for you, and the same applies for care after your procedure. You also play a very important role in this process. It is therefore important that you follow the instructions you are given after your arm lift.
At your first check-up, you will be given a scar care cream to take home with you. Once the wound has closed and the scabs have disappeared, you can start applying the scar cream. If you apply this cream to the closed wound twice a day, you increase the chance of the wound healing nicely.
The arm lift procedure delivers excellent results that can be seen very soon after the operation. However, the final results can best be assessed after 3 months, once all the swelling has subsided. Your arms will look slimmer and tauter.
The best results will be achieved if you are a healthy and stable weight, and you manage to maintain this weight. It is important to bear in mind that your skin loses elasticity as you age, but the results will still remain visible.
An arm lift will leave you with quite a long scar in a visible place. You should be aware that the scar will be visible if you wear short sleeves. The scars will initially be red and swollen, but this will start to fade after a couple of weeks.
You must not expose the scars to the sun for the first few months after your arm lift. Nor should you leave them exposed under a sunbed. You may of course cover the scars or apply sun screen with a high sun protection factor. It is useful to know that a scar takes 1 to 1½ years to completely calm down. The clinic will give you a special scar care cream to take home with you.
Risks and complications
An arm lift is a very common procedure. In experienced hands, the risk of complications is very low.
Arm lifts are successfully performed on many people each year at the Boerhaave Medical Centre. The chances of complications arising are luckily rare. You can help reduce certain risks by carefully reading through the instructions you are given prior to your arm lift.
Possible complications of an arm lift may be:
- Haematoma (blood clot under the skin which has to be removed)
- Adverse reaction to the sedation
- Change in sensitivity
- Permanent scars
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory aesthetic result.
Patients who smoke or use tobacco or nicotine products (such as nicotine patches and chewing gum) at the time of their surgery have a greater risk of complications, such as skin loss and impaired wound healing. People who are exposed to passive smoking may also have an increased risk of complications such as these. What’s more, smoking may have a negative effect on the anaesthesia, which may in turn lead to an increased risk of bleeding. People who are not exposed to tobacco smoke or nicotine-containing products have a significantly lower risk of such complications. It is important not to smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to the operation and to keep this up for the entire recovery process.