An Arm Lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits on the upper arm in order to create a more sculpted, aesthetically pleasing arm.
Excess fat or skin distribution in the arm can be:
An Arm Lift procedure, or brachioplasty, aims to tackle these conditions via liposuction and skin excision to leave a tight and smooth skin appearance.
The benefits of an arm lift are both cosmetic and psychological, and include:
Click here to view our gallery of Before & Afters and Arm Lift/Arm Reduction results
A brachioplasty employs two key surgical techniques to achieve the desired results; liposuction and skin excision.
Liposuction targets excess fat deposits in the upper arm, and adjacent areas. Small, unobtrusive incisions are made in the armpit and on the back of the elbow. Your surgeon will then carefully remove the fat from around the arm.
Adjacent areas of fat deposits that can be treated at the same time include:
Skin Excision targets the loose skin that hangs down underneath the arm, commonly known as 'Bingo Wings'. This may be occurring in the patient as an existing condition, or caused by the removal of excess fat deposits following liposuction. The skin is removed in a long ellipse shape from the back of the elbow, along the line between the inside and back of the arm, curving into the armpit. It is important to consider the position of the scar to ensure it is as subtle as possible.
These two surgical procedures are often combined since liposuction procedure will often result in excess loose skin that requires excision. Liposuction only is most common in younger patients whose skin is still relatively elastic, whilst skin excision only procedures are most common among skinnier patients who have experienced meaningful weight loss already.
Two key considerations are symmetry and scarring.
Arm Lift surgery or brachioplasty is a highly personal procedure and should only be undertaken if you feel strongly that you would benefit from either the fat reduction and contouring properties of an arm lift
You may be a suitable candidate for arm lift surgery if:
The first step for all of our arm lift patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation. At the consultation you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given your existing anatomy.
Your surgeon will take you through the options available to you, and which is the most preferential for you given your stated ambitions. Having established this, several key measurements will be made and standard clinical photography will be taken.
Some questions you may want to ask your surgeon include:
Finally a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding what to expect in the post procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.
If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two week 'cooling off' period.
Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.
If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure. Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:
On the day of your procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.
Before surgery, the surgeon will measure up the arms to assess how much fat and/or skin needs to be removed. The arms are then photographed, with the skin markings, in various positions, front and back. The procedure can be carried out under local anaesthesia, but more usually under our form of general anaesthesia called T.I.V.A. (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) and takes between one and two hours.
The arms are bandaged after surgery to reduce bruising and you will feel stiff and mildly uncomfortable as you bend your arms. Most of the sutures used are dissolving to avoid stitch marks, but there may be a few to remove, particularly in the armpit, a week after surgery. Bruising lasts about 3 weeks.
You should not feel much pain during the procedure, but you may have some for a few days or weeks afterwards. You'll be given painkillers if you need them.
Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between two to three hours, dependent on the scale of the procedure. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.
Once home you will have access to our dedicated on-call nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.
We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.
We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 - 8 weeks for a final check up.
Arm Lift surgery is a safe procedure, but it is common after a brachioplasty to experience:
As with all surgical procedures, brachioplasty surgery carries some risk and it is possible that you might experience:
Your surgeon will discuss these risks comprehensively at your consultation and explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated.
Breast augmentation surgery is a surgical procedure to expand the size of the breast. Breast enlargement surgery involves the placement of breast implants into the breast region either above or below the breast muscle.
An alternative breast enlargement surgery is fat transfer breast enlargement. This involves fat injections into the breasts, after fat has been grafted via liposuction from elsewhere in the body.
Breast augmentation surgery is usually performed as a general anaesthetic as a day case procedure, i.e. coming in and out of the hospital the same day.
The site of the incision:
There are various places where the incision (scar) can be placed. The most common and safest is the inferior mammary fold or IMF. This is where the wire from the underwired bra sits. Alternative incisions are the peri-areolar (around the nipple) or axillary (armpit). The size of the scar will range from approximately 5-6cm depending on the increasing size of implant.
The types of stitches/sutures:
All sutures are placed below the skin and are dissolved by the body over the course of a few weeks. Nothing needs to be pulled out/removed. Often surgeons will seal the wound with tissue glue, to limit the risk of superficial wound infection from the normal bugs we have on our skin. This glue peels off over 1-2 weeks.
Shapes of implants:
There are three shapes available, round, anatomical (tear drop) and conical. All three come in a range of increasing sizes of base diameters, i.e. how broad an implant is.
Profiles of implants:
For each base of an implant there are 4 different profiles. These are low, medium, high and extra high profile. This is simply a term used to describe the edge or “take off” of the implant. Low profile is a softer, subtler edge (a more “natural look”) and, to the other opposite end of the spectrum, an extra high profile has a steeper edge to the implant, resulting in lots of cleavage (“false look”).
Volume of implant versus cup size:
You choose a volume of implant with your surgeon. You do not choose a cup size. The reason for this is that there is no standard cup size.
Most women have some form of minor breast asymmetry. One side may differ from the other in volume, position of the nipple or shape of the chest wall. This is entirely normal. Your surgeon will try to adjust this as best he/she can during the procedure, but if minor differences still remain after the operation, we accept that it is within normal limits.
Where the implant is positioned:
There are two basic areas where implants are placed: above or below the Pectoralis major muscle. Where they are placed depends on your preference, your anatomy and what the surgeon feels is best for you.
For many women, the size and shape of their breasts can cause unhappiness and insecurity. Breast enlargement can provide a safe and convenient solution, restoring confidence to thousands of women each year.
Whatever your personal reasons, Breast Augmentation at the Cadogan Clinic will provide the leading UK consultants, techniques and facilities for your treatment. Our expert team is acutely aware that the appearance of your body can affect your confidence and everyday happiness, and as such we handle each case with sensitivity and discretion.
Several key factors contribute toward achieving natural-looking results from breast augmentation surgery.
First and foremost an experienced, qualified cosmetic surgeon is required who possesses the skills and deep expertise in the procedure to carry it out in accordance with best practice principles, as well as tailor it to your personal wishes and requirements. Whilst the procedure itself is regarded as relatively straightforward surgically speaking, the very best results can only be achieved when the procedure is tailored to each individual’s circumstance and condition.
In the first place, the right implant must be chosen to suit your body shape, size, as well as your personal hopes for the overall results of the operation. This involves a selection of an implant comprising the right material (our surgeons typically recommend FDA-approved Sebbin implants for the most ‘natural’ look), right shape (round, anatomical or teardrop, or conical), right size and volume, and right profile.
For each implant there are 4 different profiles, ranging from ‘low’ to ‘extra high’, referring to the edge of the implant where it meets the chest. A low profile will deliver a softer, subtler, ‘more natural’ effect as compared to an extra high profile which has a steeper edge to the implant resulting in a ‘falser’ look and greater cleavage.
A further complexity relates to the actual location of the implant in the chest.
There are two basic areas where implants are placed: above or below the pectoralis major muscle. Where they are placed depends on your preference, your anatomy and what the surgeon feels is best for you, but can have a significant impact on the naturalness of results. Your expert surgeon will once again help you make the right choice for you.
A final, vital stage impacting results is the level and quality of the post-surgical aftercare. How you act and behave in the immediate weeks after your operation can make a significant impact on the results you achieve. For example, wearing the right supportive bra will sustain the breasts in the right, natural breast position as well as avoid unduly rubbing settling scars. Some activities such as going to the gym, aerobics and sports that use your arms will need to be avoided for a short period of time, whilst you should take care when lifting your elbows above your shoulders (e.g. washing your hair etc) to avoid the implant from turning, leading to an unnatural result that may require more surgery.
Our expert team of nurses and surgeons will ensure that you get the right advice following your procedure in order to optimize your results, as well as give you access to one of London’s leading scar minimization and prevention units who have designed bespoke moisturisation and massaging systems to ensure scars fade as best as possible.
Our surgeons typically aim for natural breasts when it comes to breast enlargement surgery, unless otherwise specified by you.
Natural breasts can be achieved by selecting the right implant size and shape for you and your existing anatomy. Natural breasts can also be achieved by selecting the right position (above or below the muscle) for the implant. Your surgeon will provide his or her recommendation.
In addition, we also offer advanced fat transfer breast enlargement procedures that employ fat injections into the breast in order to transfer fat to the breast region and deliver more natural breast contours. This can be performed in conjunction with breast implants or as standalone breast augmentation surgery to naturally increase the breast size.
There are several different types of implant used in breast enhancement surgery. The main distinction is between saline and silicone implants. There are also textured and smooth implants.
The external appearance of these different types of implant are broadly similar regardless of material. Silicone implants remain the most commonly used implant material in the UK due to silicone’s preferred properties as the safest, most inert of prosthetic materials and slightly more natural feel following procedure.
We only use the very best breast implants for breast enhancement at the Cadogan Clinic and safety is of utmost importance to us. Your surgeon will explain the various different types of implant available to you at your breast enhancement consultation, and will give an informed, expert view at your consultation as to the optimal material, brand, size and shape of implant for your particular body shape and type, in light of the results you are hoping to achieve
We have never used PIP implants and continue to only use FDA-approved materials in all of our procedures.
Different surgeons have different protocols, but it is common for a garment to be worn in the immediate post operative phase. The wounds are generally closed with stitches under the surface, which then dissolve over a few weeks. You may have a strip dressing or reinforcement paper strips over or along the wound. There may also be gauze and stretchy Mefix paper dressing covering the wound and also supporting the breasts.
A compression garment is then generally worn to support the breasts and protect the wounds. Although some surgeons do not use them at all and recommend a sports bra instead, it is most common to wear a lycra compression bra made specifically for breast surgery of which there are many types. The team will fit the one most suitable for you and your surgery. There is one other lycra dressing, occasionally required, and that is a stretchy strap worn across the upper breast to hold the implant low.
The sports bras or lycra garments will be worn day and night for 3 weeks or more and then during the day for a longer time, particularly during exercise or sporting activity.
How well a person heals post surgery is dependent on each individual. As an incision has occurred most commonly in a discreet location under the breast, there will be some element of scarring in all patients. There are various incisions used to place implants in the breast.
The inframammary incision – in the breast fold – usually 4-5cms in length, this is probably the most commonly used one.
Circumareolar – around the nipple.
Axillary – in the armpit.
Immediately post surgery you will visit our aftercare and scar minimisation department. During these follow-up appointments, our team of specialist nurses will keep an eye on your progress to make sure that you are healing properly and there is no infection. Also during this appointment our team will go through the techniques they have developed to reduce the appearance of any scars.
This is a combination of massage and moisturising.
Treat the whole breast, including scar. Use the palm of your hand in a gentle circular movement, using a moisturising cream we recommend (heal gel) or (kelocote) which you can buy at Cadogan Clinic Shop. This helps to soften your skin, adjacent tissue, and adjust to its new contour.
Scarring and Other Breast Procedures
Different types of scarring can occur during different procedures. Following a mastopexy (i.e. breast lift), scars can occur on the breast itself, as during the procedure excess skin and flesh is being removed.
In procedures such as a natural breast augmentation scarring is less common, as fat is being injected to create additional volume rather than excisions being used.
Breast augmentation recovery time is relatively swift, and you will usually feel your normal self within a week. After one week you can return to work if you have a desk job, but it may be longer for more active occupations.
You should expect to be off heavylifting, gym, steam and sauna for 6 weeks, and be wearing your compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks minimum also.
Breast augmentation recovery stages tend to be fairly predictable between patients, and significant variation from this schedule is unlikely.
Breast augmentation recovery time is reduced when the procedure is performed as a day case at the Cadogan Clinic, due to the advanced sedation techniques that allow for quicker initial recovery.
The aim of breast augmentation surgery is to make the breast implant look as natural as possible, so the position of the implant is important and does matter.
This will be confirmed by surgeon at your breast augmentation surgery consultation following an assessment of several different factors including your existing anatomy and physique, whether you have plans to breast feed or not, and the amount and quality of your existing breast tissue.
Breast implants do not have an expiration date. They only need to be replaced in the very rare case in which they break or rupture, usually a result of the use of sub-standard implants or sub-standard surgery. This is not serious or a health risk, but may cause a change in shape or feel of the implant necessitating its removal.
Other causes for replacement include infection which occurs in about 1-2% of cases, usually within the first 10 days of surgery, capsule formation, occurring in about 10% of individuals and involving the straightforward removal of a fibrous layer that the body forms around the implant making it hardened and unnatural to the touch, and implant rippling, most commonly occurring among people with little breast tissue and thin skin. Additionally, some patients decide in time that they want they the implant replaced or removed for cosmetic reasons like wanting to go bigger, smaller or completely natural.
Cadogan Clinic has become a well-known provider of implant replacement services as our reputation as a trusted cosmetics provider has been enhanced following the PIP scandal that implicated so many of our competitors. It remains one of our most commonly performed procedures.
Breast enlargement surgery is a popular procedure and generally very safe. That said, as with all surgery, there are risks with breast enlargement surgery that you need to be aware of.
The best means of mitigating risks is to ensure that your surgeon is properly qualified and highly experienced in breast enlargement surgery, and we ensure this is the case with all of our patients by only choosing to work with the very best surgeons.
Choice of a high quality implant is also crucial, and again, we only work with FDA-approved implants at the Cadogan Clinic.
Typical risks include, but are not limited to:
As a standalone specialist plastic surgery day case unit only admitting healthy, elective patients the risk of cross – infection are significantly reduced at the Cadogan Clinic in contrast with competitors who utilise general hospitals
Breast implants are safe and we only use the best breast implants available on the market. That said, breast augmentation surgery is not without its risk and we recommend you read our FAQ on this question.
Your surgeon will also discuss risks in full at your breast enhancement consultation.
Tubular breasts or tuberous breasts are breasts that are more conical in shape than round. These are considered a congenital abnormality related to the tissue of the breast, and can be corrected via breast surgery.
This is not a common condition, but one that can be effectively addressed via breast enlargement surgery.
The Cadogan Clinic does accept breast enlargement finance but we do not currently offer it ourselves. Speak to one of our advisors who can direct you to a cost effective third party high street provider.
Finance for breast implants is simple and straightforward to organise, and regularly chosen by our patients.
You can see breast implant before and afters in our before and after carousel on this page. Alternatively, your consultant can show you extensive examples of their surgery results at your initial consultation.
We feel this is the best way to understand the types of outcome you might be able to expect following surgery.
An arm lift is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the arm and eliminate fat deposits in the arm, as well as remove a surplus of loose arm skin.
The choice of procedure depends on the exact condition (excess fat deposits, excess loose skin or both) but will involve either liposuction, skin excision or both.
The procedure is carried out as a day case procedure usually under General Anaesthesia, and takes between 1 – 2 hours.
There is typically bruising for up to 3 weeks after which you can happily wear short sleeves, and an end results at about 3 months. Scars are insignificant and managed by our Scar Management programme.
You may be suitable for an arm lift if you have:
+ Excess fat deposits in your upper arms
+ Loose sagging skin in/around your upper arms
+ Inelastic, lax arm skin
+ 'Bingo wings'
+ Unshapely, untoned arm contours
+ Disproportionate arms relative to rest of figure
An arm lift focusses on the upper arm area, but adjacent areas of fat deposits and excess skin can also be treated at the same time
+ the shoulder
+ back of the elbow
One of our highly trained, elite plastic surgeons will perform your arm lift.
All our liposuction specialists have been hand picked by Mr Bryan Mayou, our founder, and the pioneer of liposuction in the UK.
There are three techniques which are used, with technique relating to the size and scale of the operation at hand. Where possible more minimal techniques are preferred, as this reduces the length of surgery, the amount of scarring, and the amount of downtime and extent of recovery
+ Mini brachioplasty (minimal incision) - your surgeon will make a single incision in the shape of a crescent under the armpit. This may be extended in a 'T-Line' into the arm. This technique is most suitable for people with minimal excess skin and fat in the upper region of the arm, and will result in less scarring than a standard brachioplasty. Your surgeon will hide the scar within the armpit
+ Standard brachioplasty (inner arm incision)- this technique involves making two separate incisions: one from the armpit to just above the elbow, between the biceps and triceps, and another on the back of the arm from the armpit to just above the elbow along the tricep region. It is most suitable for those with a moderate amount of excess skin and fat. Your surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat, then tighten and reshape the underlying tissues. The scar is well hidden when the arms are held at the side, and this technique is thought to achieve a more comprehensive result than the mini-brachioplasty
+ Extended Brachioplasty – the incision for an extensive brachioplasty runs from the elbow, through the armpit, and into the side of the chest. After your surgeon makes the incision, they will remove excess skin and fat, then tighten the underlying tissues. They will either remove the excess fat directly, or use liposuction to remove it. As this technique results in maximal scarring that extends to the side of the chest, surgeons do not often use it.
Your consultation is designed to be perfect opportunity to ask all the pressing questions that you have to your consultant, ahead of making a decision on surgery. It is vital that you are fully informed before making your final decision, and the consultation is therefore a key part of the education and decision making process.
Some good examples of questions to ask, include:
+ Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
+ Do you think my goals are realistic given my existing anatomy?
+ Will I require a single surgery or multiple surgeries?
+ Can I see some before & after pictures of arm lift procedures you have done previously?
+ How long will my recovery take?
+ Is it true that Cadogan offers 24/7 on call nursing service?
+ What can I expect in terms of bruising, swelling and scarring?
+ What are my options if I am unhappy with my results?
No special preparation is required although it is generally advisable to do the following before any surgery
+ Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
+ Avoid certain medications. You'll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
+ Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.
Arm Lift surgery should take between one and two hours.
You should start to see results in the days following surgery. These will fully start to appear from around the six week mark and improvements will be ongoing for the first 12 or so months.
Your results will be long lasting and permanent so long as you maintain your body weight following surgery.
The ageing process will however continue from your new post procedure point, and skin laxity will gradually increase over time. The ageing process will start from a far better point however, so it should be many years before this becomes noticeable again.
You will not feel any pain during arm reduction surgery as you will be under the influence of anaesthetic.
Immediately following arm reduction surgery, you may experience discomfort but any pain should be tolerable.
Your surgeon can provide painkillers for this and the majority of patients will no longer need them a few days after arm reduction surgery.
Arm reduction surgery is straightforward, safe surgery although you should be aware of all the risks and complications before going ahead with arm reduction surgery.
Some are listed above in the body of this web page, but your surgeon at your will go through these at length and in full at your arm reduction consultation
Downtime is fairly minimal following an arm lift and you should be back at work within a week or two, and resuming normal exercise in 4 – 6 weeks.
If you have undergone Liposuction, you will feel a little bruised and stiff for a few days but there is no restriction on movement. Any dressings can be removed in a couple of days or when they come loose, and stitches removed in a week.
If you have undergone skin excision you will have some dissolving sutures and probably some permanent sutures to be removed in 7 to 14 days. Dressings vary, but any bulky ones can come off in a couple of days. You should exercise to maintain full movement of the shoulder and arms, but this need not be violent to stress the sutures.
Yоu may соntіnuе tо experience ѕоmе mіld, реrіоdіс dіѕсоmfоrt and ѕwеllіng durіng thіѕ tіmе, but ѕuсh fееlіngѕ аrе nоrmаl. Sеvеrе pain, bleeding or swelling should bе reported tо your surgeon.
You will receive more detailed advice from your surgeon ahead of surgery
A brachioplasty, or arm lift, is sometimes referred to as arm reduction surgery as this procedure involves reduction in the size and volume of the upper arm following liposuction and the excision of excess skin.
Of all the terms for a brachioplasty, arm reduction surgery captures the sculpting and volume reducing essence of the operation best, and hence its use.
Yes, an arm lift will leave a permanent scar, but a skilled Cadogan Clinic surgeon will endeavour to conceal this as much as possible. Arm lift scars can take some months to settle in. Scars can take up to a year to flatten and lighten.
You can expect minor scars following arm lift surgery.
An arm lift, otherwise known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits on the upper arm. This is done via liposuction and skin excision.
Our expert surgeon will try to make scars as subtle as possible by confining scarring to the armpit. They do this by taking skin from this area and then pulling up the arm skin towards the armpit. However scars may remain visible for some patients, particularly among those with excessive surplus skin or fat deposits.
Arm lift scars are mainly confined to the armpit area. In some cases these scars can be visible under the arms between the armpit and elbow if the patient, particularly if the patient has excessive surplus skin or fat deposits.
During the procedure, skin is removed in a long ellipse shape from the back of the elbow, along the line between the inside and back of the arm, curving into the armpit.
An arm lift surgery is highly likely to be worth it, if you have clearly defined your aims with your surgeon and he or she has made you very clear on what can be achieved via surgery in relation to these aims.
Arm lift surgery is an excellent way of targeting excess fat deposits in the upper arm. Arm lift surgery typically results in firmer, leaner, more slender arms, tightened arm skin and elasticity, sculpted, shapely arms and a more defined figure.
Arm lift treatment helps to restore self-confidence and can deliver an improved sense of emotional wellbeing following surgery.
To enquire about a consultation with a Arm Lift/Arm Reduction specialist, please complete the form below.
30th March 2021
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