The reasons for arm lift surgery are generally cosmetic related, i.e., remove the excess skin and fat in the upper arm lift and achieve a more balanced silhouette. While the vast majority of people seeking this procedure are massive weight loss patients, those who want to correct skin laxity due to natural aging can also benefit from it.
And because the reasons for arm lift surgery are primarily anchored to aesthetic improvement, it is rarely covered by health insurance. Nonetheless, some massive weight loss patients can expect relief from skin irritation and poor hygiene once the redundant tissue has been removed.
Arm lift surgery typically used an elbow-to-armpit incision placed on the inner aspect of the arm for optimal scar concealment. However, some patients may require their scar positioned more posteriorly, and thus more visible, to achieve a more natural arm contour.
Placing the scar more posteriorly has also been found to promote better scarring as compared to the inner aspect of the arm because it allows the surgeon to close the wound with less “surface” tension, according to California Surgical Institute website.
Occasionally, arm lift surgery is combined with liposuction to further contour the upper arm. It is highly recommended to use microcannula—i.e., stainless steel probe with a diameter that is 2.2 mm or less—because it removes excess fat in smaller bits, therefore giving the surgeon a much greater control.
And with greater control offered by microcannulas, the results tend to be smoother and more natural compared to larger cannulas.
As with any form of body contouring procedure, the patients’ reasons for arm lift surgery must be highly personal; the decision to have the surgery should not come from anyone else, including their loved ones and family.
To shed light on the possible “emotional and psychological benefits” from body contouring surgeries, one study examined massive weight loss patients who have had tummy tuck. It has suggested that patients who had the procedure were more successful in keeping their weight stable than those who did not.
The researchers concluded that the cosmetic improvements could serve as a strong motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle/long-term weight management.
Liposuction after weight loss not only deals with “stubborn” fats, which do not respond to further dieting and exercise; most patients also have contour deformities due to the redundant skin and soft tissue laxity.
Massive weight loss, which is clinically defined as 50 percent or greater loss of the excess weight, can also lead to a deflated-looking appearance, which is more pronounced in the buttocks, facial region, and breasts.
As a stand-alone procedure, liposuction may not provide optimal outcome in MWL patients who generally require excision-based body contouring surgeries that may include tummy tuck, buttock lift, thigh lift, and arm lift.
Some surgeons prefer liposuction performed simultaneously with some type of excision-based plastic surgery after weight loss. They argue that a combo procedure is reasonably safe with proper patient selection, management of risk factors, close monitoring, and keeping the surgery under six hours.
Others prefer staging each surgery, performing liposuction at least six months prior to an excision-based body contouring. Dr. Tarick Smiley, a leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, says this approach favors patients who “need a great deal of work.”
Proponents of the staged-procedure suggest that it could minimize risk of healing problems since the amount of surgical trauma and bleeding is “controlled.”
Despite varying views on simultaneous liposuction and staged surgery, the latter approach is generally favorable if MWL patients will also require tummy tuck in which a horizontal incision within the lower abdomen is used.
By removing the excess fat in the abdominal area, and waiting for several months to see how much skin retraction or slackening will occur, doctors are able to assess the most ideal tummy tuck scar in terms of its length and placement.
Dr. Smiley says that most MWL patients require debulking or large volume liposuction in which 4 liters or more of fat is removed in one day. Because of the increased risk of fluid imbalance, this approach entails a hospital stay, as opposed to a same-day operation in “standard” liposuction.
The renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon further adds that previously obese individuals have fat that is more fibrous, making liposuction more difficult. Nevertheless, certain procedures can address this “challenge” such as the use of microcannulas and tumescent fluids.
Microcannulas are suction probes with an outside diameter that is 2 mm or less, thereby they provide more control and accuracy than large cannulas. Also, surgeons use less force when extricating the fatty tissue with these flexible tubes.
Plastic surgery for men must take into consideration certain factors such as the masculine beauty ideal, underlying anatomies like skin thickness, ethnicity, and personal goals of each patient.
Inland Empire plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smaili explains what makes plastic surgery for men different from women’s.
(Photo credit: imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In facial rejuvenation surgeries such as facelift and brow lift, surgeons follow certain guidelines. For instance, men generally require a more conservative approach than women—i.e., minimal lifting of the forehead area and less work on the lower face—to preserve their masculine appearance.
An over-aggressive brow lift often results in effeminate appearance (high and more arched eyebrow) instead of a masculine brow, which appears lower and “heavier” than women’s.
The same rule applies to body contouring surgeries for men, such as liposuction and pec implants, in which the goal is to recreate the ideal masculine silhouette, or the V-shaped, athletic-looking body.
Men’s skin is generally thicker and more vascularized (more blood vessels), so they are more prone to hematoma or pooling of blood under the skin than women. For this reason, proper dissection is more important than ever when treating male patients during facelift, brow lift, and rhinoplasty (nose job).
To minimize bleeding at the time of surgery and postop hematoma, all patients are required to avoid blood thinners (aspirin and aspirin like products), certain herbal supplements, and tobacco products a few weeks before and after surgery.
Aside from gender-appropriate results, plastic surgery for men must also respect the patient’s ethnicity and his cultural based standard of beauty. This is particularly true of rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and other procedures that involve ethnically sensitive areas of the face.
It is important to note that what works for Caucasian patients do not always apply to people of Hispanic, Asian, and African background.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is a highly individualized procedure in which the goal is to make the patient’s happy and possibly improve his body image and self-esteem. For this reason, good communications are of paramount importance to achieve satisfying results.
Meanwhile, anyone who exhibits signs of body dysmorphic disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental issues is a poor candidate for any type of elective surgery.
Plastic surgeries are generally reserved for well-rounded and emotionally stable patients who know how to make an informed decision.
The success of your liposuction or any type of body contouring largely depends on the skills of your plastic surgeon. But what are the qualifications you should really look into and how you should weigh each of them to come up with a sound decision?
Liposuction Los Angeles expert Dr. Tarick Smaili shares his tips on how you should select your doctor.
- Focus on the experience of your liposuction doctor.
The general rule of thumb is to select someone certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). You can visit their website to check if your doctor is board certified.
It is equally important that your doctor is performing liposuction on a regular basis for at least five years. Take note that experience is the best way to sharpen anyone’s skills, which are crucial in cosmetic plastic surgery which combines art and science.
Meanwhile, avoid non-specialists and doctors whose only qualification is a five-day training because they account for the vast majority of botched results.
- Look at his before-and-after photos.
Pictures can reveal a lot about your doctor’s artistic skills, or lack thereof. Nowadays, many surgeons post their “works” online to brandish their talents.
The “after” photos should look natural and should have no sign of over-correction—i.e., gaunt appearance. The results must also look smooth and tight, with no residual fat rolls and visible skin asymmetries.
- Choose a surgeon who will prioritize your safety above all else.
Prudent surgeons know that there is a safety limit on the maximum amount of suctioned fat, and will discourage or turn down anyone who insists to undergo large volume liposuction performed on a single day.
Good surgeons also give much importance to proper patient selection, preparation, conservative approach (i.e., avoiding unrelated procedures at the time of surgery), and postop care.
- Choose a doctor who only performs surgeries in a hospital or accredited surgical center.
All “bona fide” plastic surgeons are required to have their surgeries in hospitals or accredited surgical facilities, which adhere to patient safety standards and building codes.
- Avoid over-confident surgeons.
While liposuction safety has significantly improved over the past several years, take note that any surgery has its own risks particularly if the surgeon fails to recognize the anatomical limits and attempts large volume fat removal due to his belief that he has the best training.
Choose a liposuction surgeon who thinks that your safety is the be-all and end-all of his practice.
Question: Could I have breast surgery and Brazilian butt lift at the same time?
Surgeon’s Answer: In many cases it is cost-effective to perform two or more plastic surgeries in one setting since the patient will only pay for one anesthesia and facility fee. However, it does not apply to breast surgery and Brazilian butt lift.
Breast surgery—such as augmentation, lift, or reduction—requires that you sleep on your back for at least six or eight weeks postop. The idea is to prevent pulling on the wound and causing harm to the recovering tissue, which could happen if you lie on your stomach or chest.
Recovery after a Brazilian butt lift, meanwhile, requires that you avoid any pressure on the buttocks, which could kill the fat grafts and lead to low survival rate of fats and asymmetric shape. The general rule of thumb is to avoid sleeping on your back for two to three weeks.
Prolonged sitting while the fat grafts have not yet formed their blood supply can also lead to poor results.
The best sleeping position following a Brazilian butt lift, which in essence is a buttock augmentation via fat grafting technique, is to lie on your stomach or side, ideally leaning more forward to avoid “accidents.”
The problem can arise if you have breast surgery and Brazilian butt lift in one surgical setting. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find a comfortable sleeping position that will not compromise your results.
Take note sleeping in your stomach during the initial stage of breast augmentation recovery is particularly detrimental because of the increased risk of implant shifting and sagging. Also, pressure on the area can lead to late-onset bleeding, persistent swelling, and pain, which can jeopardize the results.
You may argue that you can lie on your side and remain still during sleep, so combining these two procedures is acceptable. However, take note that most Brazilian butt lifts involve transferring fat to the hips or lateral side of the buttocks to achieve a more attractive silhouette, and placing pressure on this area can lead to less than optimal results.
The general rule of thumb is to stage the surgeries. For instance, you may want to have a buttock augmentation or Brazilian butt lift first and then wait for at least three months for your breast surgery.
Also, make sure that both surgeries are performed only by certified plastic surgeons who specialize in body contouring procedures.