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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Demand for upper arm lifts is growing, but is the procedure right for you?

April 17, 2014, 7:22 am

upper arm liftDid you know that upper arm lifts (brachioplasty) are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures? This wasn’t always the case, but since 2000, the procedure has seen a surge in popularity with an increase of more than 4,000%! Just under half of all upper arm lift patients undergo the procedure after experiencing dramatic weight loss, which occurred as a result of either diet and exercise, gastric bypass surgery, or both.

Approximately 90% of patients who seek upper arm lifts are women, but the number of men seeking the procedure also continues to grow. The average age of patients who seek brachioplasty is also seeing a shift. While the typical demographic has traditionally been women between the ages of 40 and 55, more and more patients on either end of the age spectrum are now seeking the procedure. However, regardless of age or gender, weight loss has remained steady as the most common reason for seeking an upper arm lift.

An upper arm lift is ideal for patients who have a significant amount of skin or excess tissue on their bodies. Many patients with excess skin have undergone dramatic weight loss, and are left with what looks and feels like flaps of skin on the back of the arms. Flaps are not only uncomfortable when moving, but can also make finding well-fitting clothes a difficult task. From a psychological standpoint, excess skin can also serve as a constant reminder of being overweight, and for those that were embarrassed by their larger bodies, embarrassment is often replaced by shame or negative feelings about excess loose skin. An upper arm lift will not only help with any physical discomfort, but will also add to a regained sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance in regard to physical appearance.

It is important to understand that while an upper arm lift comes with great benefits, there is one significant drawback — a scar. Unlike breast augmentation or a facelift in which scars are often small and well-hidden in the natural creases of the body or under the hairline, the scar from an upper arm lift tends to be much longer, runs down at least a portion of the backside of the upper arm, and is visible anytime you wear short-sleeved or sleeveless tops. Scarring is a consideration that must be weighed against the benefits of undergoing an upper arm lift.

After experiencing dramatic weight loss, it is reasonable to not only want to feel great, but to look great as well. However, an upper arm lift does come with trade-offs, and not every patient may be an ideal candidate for brachioplasty. The best way to determine if an upper arm lift is right for you is to have a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hlavacek. During your consultation, discuss your reasons for seeking an upper arm lift, as well as your goals and expectations, risks of surgery, and possible alternatives. Dr. Hlavacek will listen to your goals, questions, and concerns, and make recommendations specifically tailored to your situation and needs.

If Dr. Hlavacek determines that an upper arm lift isn’t the ideal procedure for you, you may have other options. For patients who seek an upper arm lift and simply don’t have enough excess skin to warrant the procedure, liposuction might be an alternative solution. Through liposuction, excess fat is removed and unsightly pockets of fat are reshaped to create a sleeker looking upper arm. During your consultation, Dr. Hlavacek will discuss your options, as well as the different types of liposuction available if you decide that this is a better option for your situation.

Whether you are seeking an upper arm lift or liposuction as a solution to your arm concerns, keep in mind that your needs and the solutions are unique to you. When considering how you hope to look and feel after surgery, focus on yourself rather than trying to achieve results based on someone else’s appearance. The goal of any cosmetic procedure should be to still look like you. You want people to say, “You look great!” not “You look like (fill in the blank with someone else).” Focus on realistic goals that fit your life and your needs.

To learn more about brachioplasty or liposuction to achieve your upper arm goals, call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at 816-286-4126 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hlavacek. We look forward to helping you create a custom tailored plan for your unique needs.