Arm Lift

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Like so many other visible areas of our bodies, our upper arms are often an area of great consternation in the war against time and gravity. We all want to grow old, but not to look old. Dr. Craig Shaw emphasises upper arms as a primary target for cosmeticians. Their eye level position and exposure with summer clothing, as well as unflattering wobbling with any movement of the arms are the reason for much unhappiness. The so-called “bat–wings” or “goodbyes” are an imposition in all but the most unflattering of clothing. Though principally a disfigurement seen in the upper underarms, aging forearms may also be involved. As always, Dr. Shaw aims for harmony of size and proportions.

As we age and lose tone, two main problems become apparent. The first is the natural loss of muscle bulk and increase in fat around muscle. The second is loss of tone of the skin. This extra skin hangs under the arms mainly when the arms are lifted as well as sagging away from the armpit fold. Depending on weight fluctuations, inherited genes, and advancing age, either of these may be the predominant problem. Dr. Shaw will assess and determine the best way to address your particular disfigurement, depending on these factors.

Extra fat with good skin tone may be amenable to liposuction alone, thereby limiting incision length to small, well-hidden, three to five millimetre access points. The advantage of this is that of minimal scarring, and fat which will not re-accumulate, thus no chance of hanging skin in the future. The main limiting factor is good (i.e young) skin that will shrink evenly around the full circumference of the upper arm. The upper arm must be in proportion to the forearm, though forearms can also be sculpted in this manner as well. Often, however, the hanging skin forces the traditional Brachioplasty, which involves cutting out extra fat and skin and hitching the inner upper arm back up into the armpit where it belongs. The scar is in the groove of the inner arm that normally rests against the sides of your body and is thus hidden, as well as an incision tucked into the armpit fold. Sometimes both options are used together to achieve the best aesthetic result. Special sleeves are worn after such a procedure to aid skin shrinkage, as well as add support to stitching. These normally asist with comfort during recovery if worn fastidiously. The main bother of this procedure is the inevitable continuous tensions and rubbing that accompanies all arm movements. Any small skin losses will normally heal well with time.

What can I expect?

Thinner, tighter, shapelier proportionate arms with folds back up in your armpits. The pain around this procedure may be well controlled by tablets, especially if the support sleeves are worn religiously, but arm movement may cause vexation. Some temporary hand swelling may be irksome, notably with tight surgical sleeves, but settles soon after. The scar is mostly hidden against your body, but your scarring is variable to your particular genetic make-up. And lastly always attend your cosmetic interview armed with as much knowledge as possible. This enhances your experience and improves communication and cosmetic outcomes. Certainly, the electronic media has any amount of information that the inquisitive may desire. Use it! See you soon.

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Tel : 011 907 6621

30 Camelford Rd
New Redruth
Alberton, 1449


  • Results are not guaranteed
  • Results may vary from patient to patient
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