Upper Body Lift (Brachioplasty): A Comprehensive Guide
Many women are unhappy with the way their breasts sag when unsupported, or the way that their back fat spills over when wearing a bra. Others are unhappy with the droopy bat wing arms that they have developed through the ages.
If you are one of those people who have problems with the appearance of their arms, breasts, and back, then you should consider getting an upper body lift. Instead of signing up for three different surgical procedures, you can hit three birds with one stone with a single upper body lift procedure.
But before you decide to get this treatment, learn more about this procedure by reading the rest of this article.
The upper body lift is a surgery that consists of several procedures designed to get rid of loose, sagging skin in the upper body. For women, it is often made up of an arm lift or brachioplasty, a breast lift or a mastopexy, and a bra line back lift to remove fat rolls along the back. Men who want to get a Brachioplasty also undergo the same procedures, except that the breast lift is substituted by a breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery.
This procedure is commonly performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, perhaps through bariatric surgery, aging, diet, or pregnancy. While this is less invasive compared to a full body lift, the Brachioplasty can also be combined with the mid and lower body lift in order to achieve a dramatic total body transformation.
The upper body lift offers a variety of cosmetic and medical benefits, foremost of which is the comfort that it brings whenever you engage in exercises and normal daily activities. Sagging skin can weigh you down and might even make you develop rashes and infections. With this procedure, the excess skin, fat, and tissue that hold you down are removed, hence allowing you to move more freely.
Another benefit is improved personal hygiene. Sagging skin can make washing your body more difficult. Furthermore, the folds of your skin might harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly. Hence, removing excess tissue through a Brachioplasty can help you take care of your hygiene properly, reducing your risk for irritation and infection.
This surgery procedure can also provide additional weight loss, resulting in a younger and trimmer appearance. It improves your shape and allows you to flaunt the muscle tone that you have built underneath all that sagging skin. You can now wear a wide variety of clothing styles, boosting your self-esteem and confidence to new heights.
Lastly, the upper body lift allows you to complete multiple cosmetic procedures at once, resulting in less discomfort and savings in time and money.
In spite of these benefits, the Brachioplasty still has a few downsides. Check them out on The Pros and Cons of an Upper Body Lift.
You are a good candidate for an upper body lift if you lost a massive amount of weight either through natural means or through bariatric surgery. Significant weight loss can cause you to have loose skin on your arms, chest, or waist, which can all be remedied by this procedure. Furthermore, you should consider getting this procedure if you have rolls of fat around the edges of your lower back since these can be removed with a bra line back lift that is usually a component of a Brachioplasty.
But before you consider getting this surgery, you have to make sure that you have already achieved your ideal weight and is now maintaining a stable weight for at least six months. Weight fluctuations can interfere with the results of your upper body lift, so it is recommended that you maintain a stable weight in two years just to give your skin enough time to shrink as much as possible and accommodate your new body shape.
You also need to be in generally good health in order to endure the rigors of this comprehensive surgical procedure. You also need to have realistic expectations about the results of your procedure and be willing to maintain proper diet and exercise for the rest of your life to sustain the results of your operation.
A Brachioplasty starts with the administration of general anesthesia, which is the usual type of anesthesia recommended for this procedure. The exact steps greatly vary for each upper body lift procedure since it all depends on which procedures you have elected to be done. However, the three most common components of an upper body lift include a brachioplasty Miami, a breast lift, and a back lift.
The arm lift is a procedure that is used to remove excess skin and fat in the upper arm. During a brachioplasty Miami, your surgeon creates an incision under the arms, trims away excess, hanging skin, and removes stubborn pockets of fat. Liposuction is sometimes used in combination with the arm lift to achieve the best results. He will then pull your skin taut so that it conforms to the new contours of your arm.
Breast Lift or Breast Reduction
Next comes the breast lift, which is a surgical procedure that elevates sagging breasts and gives them a perkier and more youthful appearance. It addresses breast sagging, unevenness, breast volume decrease, drooping nipples, stretched areolas, and other similar aesthetic concerns. During a breast lift, your surgeon creates an incision on your breasts based on the technique that you have agreed upon prior to the surgery. There are various techniques used in a breast lift, the most popular of which is the standard lift that makes use of traditional anchor-shaped incisions. Another technique is the doughnut mastopexy, which involves circumferential incisions around the nipple and areola that serve as access points for the removal of a limited amount of tissue. The lollipop lift serves as a middle ground for the two aforementioned techniques.
For men undergoing an upper body lift, a gynecomastia surgery or breast reduction might be needed. It is the removal of fat, tissue, and skin from the chest area to decrease breast size. It provides long-lasting and permanent results of a firmer, flatter, and more contoured chest, either through liposuction or through tissue excision.
A back lift may also be added to the mix of procedures done in an upper body lift if you have unwanted fat rolls at your back. During a back lift, an incision is made across your back, usually in an area that can be easily hidden by a bra or swimsuit. Through this incision, your doctor removes excess skin and fat on the back. These back rolls are smoothed all the way to the middle of the back or near the bra line, creating a smooth contour.
Once all the components of this procedure have been accomplished, deep support sutures are placed within the underlying tissues to hold your newly shaped contours. Skin incisions are closed with sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips.
After getting an upper body lift, you can expect your upper back, arms, and chest to be free of excess, hanging skin, giving you a firmer and smoother skin on the upper body, as well as improved figures. A Brachioplasty will allow you to wear sleeveless tops and form-fitting clothes that you could not have pulled off before.
But in spite of a better appearance, the scars incurred during surgery are permanent. However, they diminish over time, becoming less and less noticeable. Skilled surgeons also make sure that these incisions are placed in areas that will be hidden by clothing.
Though the results of a Brachioplasty are long-lasting, it is important to remember that they can greatly be influenced by changes in the body, such as weight gain, pregnancy, and aging. Hence, maintaining a healthy and stable body weight can help the results last even longer.
Six weeks before your upper body lift, your surgeon will ask you to stop smoking to promote better healing during your recovery period. You will also be asked to avoid taking certain drugs that might increase your risk of bleeding, such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal medications.
Before you get a go signal for your procedure, your doctor will take your detailed medical history and perform a physical exam on you to determine if you are fit for surgery. If a breast lift is part of your treatment plan, you will likely be asked to get a mammogram as well.
Part of the preparation is also preparing your home for recovery. Make sure that you arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery, as well as take care of you for at least a couple of days after your procedure. It is also helpful to prepare meals that can be easily reheated so that you can arrange your meals after your surgery with ease. You should also make sure that everything essential is within your reach once you get home. Get your chores out of the way in advance so that you have nothing to worry about during your recovery period.
Keep in mind that your doctor is supposed to discuss his surgical plan with you during the consultation. Ask any questions that you may have during that period so that you are fully confident that your surgery will turn out fine.
After your surgery, you can expect some drains to be placed on your incision sites in order to prevent fluid accumulation. You might also be wearing compression garments, which are designed to control swelling, support the suspended tissues, and smooth out the skin.
You will likely be advised to keep your arms elevated above your heart for a few days after the surgery if you underwent a brachioplasty Miami. Similarly, you might be asked to refrain from lying on your back during the recovery period if a bra line back lift was part of your upper body lift.
Typically, you can expect to resume your normal activities within two to three weeks post-surgery. You can also get back to work during this time, but you still need to avoid any strenuous activity until about four to six weeks after your surgery.
All types of surgery carry some degree of risk, the upper body lift included. Though this is a rather complex procedure, the complications arising from this proceduret happen very rarely. Some of the possible complications include adverse reaction to anesthesia, fluid accumulation, infection, bleeding, changes in skin sensation, scarring, allergic reactions, and damage to underlying tissues. Consult your doctor immediately when you experience these problems, especially during prolonged periods of time.
You may also expect to see visible arm lift scars, as well as scars in your other incision sites. Swelling and redness around the treated areas of your body are also present. These are normal side effects that you can expect to either diminish or disappear as time goes by.
If you deem your results to be unsatisfactory or your breasts asymmetrical after a breast lift, you might need to schedule a revisional body lift with your surgeon to correct any issues.
An upper body lift typically costs between $6,000 and $8,000, but it still depends on multiple factors. Some of the things that you need to consider are the amount of fat that you have, your surgeon’s experience and qualifications, where you are getting the surgery, the type of anesthesia and sedatives used, post-operative medications, diagnostic tests, and other combined procedures.
In most cases, your insurance coverage will not cover the cost of a Brachioplasty procedure since it is considered as an elective surgery. However, a portion may be covered if it is deemed medically necessary, such as when there is the presence of infection, skin irritation, or other medical concerns.
The non-surgical alternatives to an upper body lift are mostly cosmetic treatments that address specific areas of the upper body.
For instance, laser skin tightening is one of the best non-invasive alternatives for arm reduction without surgery, as it treats the upper arms with a high-power surgical laser that stimulates collagen production in the skin.
Another is Thermage, which is a slimming treatment that makes use of radiofrequency waves to melt away fat and tighten collagen fibers, resulting in a firmer and more youthful-looking skin on the arms.
Mesotherapy is another non-surgical arm lift treatment, which makes use of an injectable solution that contains amino acids, medication, and natural ingredients. The injections are targeted towards the middle layer of the upper arm’s skin, where the solution melts fat and tightens skin.
Breast lifts can also be done in a non-surgical way. The latest technology to hit the market is the Vampire Breast Lift, which uses your body’s own cells to enhance your breasts. Your doctor takes a sample of your blood, isolates its platelet-rich plasma component, combines it with a dermal filler, and injects it onto your breasts to achieve a fuller, rounder look.
Another method is skin tightening, which can either be a laser or radiofrequency treatment that is designed to lift and enhance your breasts. Skin tightening treatments make use of high-power energy to stimulate the production of collagen and rejuvenate the skin.
Topical creams can also be used to produce subtle results, but these often take a long time to take effect.
If you think that an upper body lift is right for you, Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s highly-acclaimed and experienced plastic surgeons. You can ask them any concerns that you may have before you fully commit to getting a Brachioplasty.