The effects of aging on the skin are familiar to all of us. Over time, the skin changes in four ways: it loses thickness, elasticity, adherence to the underlying tissue, and is affected by gravity. At the same time, the deep layers of fat, muscle, and bone begin to thin. The amount of elastic tissue and collagen present in the dermis (the deep layer of the skin) also decreases. One area where these changes are especially apparent is the upper arm.

In addition, individuals who experience massive weight loss are often left with excess skin in the arms. This can be bothersome and cause difficulty when wearing certain clothing. Regardless of the amount of exercise you may participate in, this may not be a correctable feature.

At the San Mateo and Mountain View practices of Dr. Pertsch, patients may undergo arm lift surgery (“brachioplasty”). An arm lift can lift and tighten up loose skin in the upper arms, resulting in a firmer, more youthful contour. During an initial consultation, patients are thoroughly examined, can discuss the procedure in detail, and voice any questions/concerns regarding the surgery.

During the arm lift procedure, Dr. Pertsch makes an incision along the inside or back of the upper arm in order to remove excess fat with liposuction. He then tightens and trims away the overlapping skin in order to produce a more slender, smoother contour. Post-surgery, the arms will be wrapped and a compression garment may be necessary to help the skin adhere to its new contour. Some discomfort, swelling, and bruising may be present for a few days after the procedure, but will gradually subside during the recovery period.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some risks involved with arm lift surgery. The most common include: infection, hematoma, reaction to anesthesia, loss of sensation, scarring, swelling of the hands, and seromas (fluid filled masses along the incision line). Although some stitches may dissolve on their own, there may be some that must be removed by Dr. Pertsch approximately one to two weeks after the procedure. In order to prevent complications, it is important for patients to follow all pre- and post-operative instructions provided by Dr. Pertsch.

Those who have experienced massive weight loss oftentimes combine other body contouring procedures with arm lift surgery. The most commonly combined include breast lift surgery, tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, body lift surgery, and inner thigh lift surgery. In order to determine which of these procedures are appropriate, it is best to meet with Dr. Pertsch. Results of these body enhancing surgeries may help boost patient’s self esteem as they achieve their ideal shape.

You may contact Dr. Pertsch to schedule an appointment at either of his facilities – Mountain View or San Mateo – to further discuss your options with arm lift surgery. At this time, you may also view before and after photos of previous patient results.

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