When Should You Consider an Arm Lift?

At Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL, we are grateful for the opportunity to help the members of our local communities boost their self-esteem. There are several ways this may be achieved. However, many of our clients require an arm lift, also known as Brachioplasty, to restore their self-esteem. Today, we reveal when you should consider this procedure.

When You Should Consider an Arm Lift

When You Are Neither Pregnant nor Nursing

Your health and wellness are two of our top priorities. Therefore, we will never recommend an aesthetic procedure or treatment that is not safe. While an arm lift is FDA-approved, it is not FDA-approved to tighten loose skin in women who are pregnant or nursing. It has not been researched or tested in women with such conditions.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you only consider this treatment when you are neither pregnant nor nursing. If you are nursing, you should wait until you have stopped to consider this procedure. If you think you may be pregnant, please let us know during your initial consultation. Whether you should consider this procedure will depend on the results of a pregnancy test.

When You Are Done Having Children

We strongly encourage our clients to consider an arm lift when they think they are done having children. There is no risk to you or your future fetus if you undergo this procedure and then get pregnant afterward. This is true even if you carry the fetus to term.

However, pregnancy often leads to weight gain. In some cases, it leads to an increase in fat deposits to the upper arms. Unfortunately, you may have your upper arm re-contoured only to find that you need a follow-up procedure after you have lost your baby weight.

When You Don’t Consume Too Much Alcohol

The right time to consider this procedure is when you can commit to abstaining from alcohol for six weeks preceding and proceeding your procedure. There are several reasons for this. Primarily, alcohol elevates your blood pressure. This means local anesthesia, general anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and oral sedation cannot operate as efficiently as usual.

Moreover, alcohol is a diuretic. This means that your body is flushing out an excessive amount of fluids and essential nutrients when you consume alcohol. This does not set you up for a short, comfortable recovery after the procedure.

When You Don’t Consume Nicotine

The best time to consider this procedure is when you do not consume nicotine. If you consume nicotine in any form, you must stop for the six weeks preceding and proceeding this procedure. Abstaining from nicotine during this time improves the probability that your blood pressure will be in a healthy range during and after the procedure.

We strongly encourage our clients who consume nicotine to never pick up a cigarette, cigar, or vaping device again after the procedure. So many people fail to quit smoking because they “can’t” get through the first 72 hours with no nicotine. If you can get through that hurdle, you can quit for good and every day becomes easier. Nicotine will make your upper arm skin sag faster.

When You’re Confident You Can Maintain Your Goal Weight

If you are at your ideal weight, congratulations! Many people never reach their goal weight. If they do, they don’t stay there for more than several months or years at a time. The best time to consider this procedure is when you are confident you can maintain your goal weight. For example, the best candidates for this procedure have maintained their weight for at least six months.

When You Are Near Your Ideal Weight

Not everyone is at his or her ideal weight, and that’s okay. Our job is not to judge. Our job is to help our clients boost their self-esteem. If that means we remove excess fat and skin from your upper arms, then we are more than happy to do that. However, we want you to be as satisfied as possible with the results of treatment.

That’s why we consider two things when we consider how far you are from your ideal weight. First, we look for people who are no more than 10 pounds from their goal weight. This ensures no excess skin will result from weight loss. Moreover, the visible results of treatment will be far more dramatic. In other words, you will be more satisfied with the results.

When You Are Fewer Than 31 Pounds From Your Goal Weight

The second thing we look for regarding weight is a client who is no more than 30 pounds from his or her goal weight. Few people who have lost weight before would say they are close to their goal weight if they are 31 pounds away. Losing weight may be simple in theory, but in practice, it is extremely difficult.

Again, your satisfaction is of significant importance to us. If you have over 30 pounds of excess fat to lose, there is a chance that you will have excess skin when you end your weight loss journey. While we can help with this, we’d like you to be satisfied after your procedure.

When You Have Realistic Expectations About the Preparation Process

You should consider this procedure if you are concerned about excess fat and skin affecting your upper arms and you have realistic expectations about the preparation process. There are several things you must do to prepare for the procedure and ensure a smooth, rapid recovery. For instance, you must stop drinking alcohol and smoking.

However, there are several other steps you must take to ensure the procedure and recovery go ideally. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to do to prepare for the procedure. We will provide a brief overview of instructions in a minute.

When You Have Realistic Expectations About the Procedure

It is time to consider this procedure when you have realistic expectations about the procedure itself. This procedure is neither painful nor uncomfortable because we use general anesthesia or local anesthesia in combination with sedation. Before the procedure starts, we will sanitize the upper arm with an alcohol-based cleanser.

Then we will clearly mark the incision points. Once all that is done and you are under anesthesia or sedation, we will make the necessary incisions. Depending on your aesthetic goals, we will remove excess fat, remove excess skin, tighten the remaining skin or reshape the underlying muscle and skin tissue for a more defined look to the upper arms.

When You Have Realistic Expectations About the Results

You should consider this procedure when you have realistic expectations about the results. The results of this procedure vary on a case-by-case basis. However, during your initial consultation, we will measure the fat deposits and skin laxity of your upper arms and discuss your aesthetic goals thoroughly.

Given that information, we can give you a good idea of the results you can realistically expect. If you need a significant amount of fat removed from your upper arms, you may need liposuction of the upper arms in addition to Brachioplasty to achieve your ideal aesthetic.

How to Prepare for This Procedure

Get and Stay Hydrated

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for this procedure is to get and stay hydrated. Tens of millions of Americans are chronically dehydrated. There is a good chance that you are one of them. Feeling thirsty is not a good identifier that you are dehydrated because you will not feel thirsty until you are very dehydrated.

To determine if you are hydrated, inspect your urine. If it is translucent or very pale, you are hydrated. We strongly encourage our clients to aim for drinking a gallon of water daily. If this is too difficult for you due to excessive urination, make sure you are drinking no less than half a gallon of water daily. This ensures that you get and stay hydrated.

Prepare Your Recovery Room

Before your procedure, we will provide you with prescriptions for analgesics and antibiotics. We strongly encourage our clients to fill those prescriptions before they come in for their procedure. These prescriptions should be stored in your recovery room along with plenty of water, entertainment, throws, and anything else you need to feel comfortable.

Prepare Meals

We strongly encourage our clients to prepare several meals and refrigerate or freeze them in advance of their procedure. This ensures that they do not need to worry about prepping, cooking, and cleaning their kitchen during their recovery. Ideally, post-op meals will center around foods that are high in soluble fiber and protein.

If you’re not confident in your ability to plan for and prepare such meals, ask your primary care physician for a referral to a licensed nutritionist. Barring any dietary restrictions, we recommend our clients to include lentils, legumes, beans, almonds, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain bread into their post-op diet.

Prepare the Night Before Your Procedure

By the night before your procedure, you should be hydrated, have your recovery room prepared, and your body should be free of alcohol and nicotine. The most important thing you can do now is preparing for your procedure. Lay out a comfy outfit that is easy for you to put on.

Now that that’s taken care of, rest and relax. Do your best to get nine hours of solid sleep. If possible, go to bed early enough that you wake up naturally rather than to an alarm. If you are feeling anxious, practice military breathing, deep breathing-based meditation, yoga or tai chi. You may also enjoy soaking in a bubble bath to unwind. Just don’t turn to cigarettes or alcohol.


To prepare for this procedure, you must avoid consuming any food or water in the 12 hours leading up to your procedure. Most of our clients stop eating and drinking at 8 o’clock on the night before their procedure to ensure their stomach is empty when they are put under anesthesia or sedation.

Discover How to Enhance Your Aesthetic Today

You don’t have to settle for excess skin and fat making your upper arms look older, larger and more unattractive than they actually are. If your upper arms are causing you to feel self-conscious, now may be the right time for you to consider an arm lift.

To determine if you are the ideal candidate for this treatment, contact us today at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and develop a tailored treatment plan to help you enhance your desired aesthetic.

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