What is an arm lift?

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that Dr Colbert commonly performs on Perth patients who have excess arm skin and fat.

An arm lift is most commonly done on people who have lost significant amounts of weight or have experienced natural ageing, leading to sagging skin and fat accumulation in the arms.

Dr Colbert focuses on carefully planning every part of the procedure, from incisions in natural locations, to careful  removal of excess tissue, to meticulous closing of wounds, aiming for a final result that appears naturally youthful.

Is arm lift surgery right for me?

Whether or not arm lift surgery is right for you depends on a variety of factors, including your overall health, goals for the procedure, and individual anatomy.

Arm lift surgery may be a good option for you if you:

  • Have excess skin and fat in your arms that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise.
  • Are are in good overall health, including not smoking.
  • Have realistic expectations .

If you are a candidate for arm lift surgery in Perth, then contact us today to arrange a consultation with Dr Colbert.

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What does arm lift surgery involve?

Arm lift surgery is a common procedure that Dr Colbert performs on many Perth patients, focusing on reshaping arms into a more toned and youthful appearance.

While the specific details can vary depending on each patients goals and anatomy, these are the general steps involved:

  1. Anaesthesia: Arm lift surgery is performed under general anaesthesia (completely asleep), ensuring you are kept comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure.
  2. Incisions: Dr Colbert will make incisions on the back of your arms, with the length and location depending on the your amount of skin laxity, and your own individual anatomy..
  3. Removal of excess tissue: After making the incisions, Dr Colbert safely and segmentally removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms.
  4. Skin tightening: Once the excess tissue is removed, the remaining skin is meticulously sutured together to create a smoother and more defined arm contour.
  5. Wound dressings : Once Dr Colbert has sutured your incisions, then sterile dressings and compressive bandages are applied.
  6. Recovery: After your procedure you’ll be taken to a recovery room, where you’ll be looked after by a recovery nurse until you are awake and alert.

What is the recovery after arm lift surgery?

While recovery after arm lift surgery can vary from person to person, here are some general guidelines for what to expect:

  • When you wake up from your surgery you will be in the recovery room, where you will be monitored until you are awake and alert and comfortable.
  • Immediately following the procedure, you may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, however these symptoms are reduced with pain medications and anti-inflammatories.
  • For the first week you may will need to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and exercise.  Compression bandages are used to help reduce swelling and promote healing.
  • Until your review with Dr Colbert you’ll need to keep your dressings clean and dry and intact. At your first post-operative check all dressings are changed, and your wounds are inspected to ensure they are healing without complications..
  •  Most patients take at least 1 – 2 weeks off off from work to allow for proper healing. The length of time will depend on the extent of the procedure and the type of work you do.
  • You may experience some scarring on your arms, which will fade over time but may not completely disappear.

What scars can I expect?

Scars from arm lift surgery are some of the most discussed topics in arm lift surgery, among both patients and surgeons.

Important things to consider are the scar location, the scar length, and management of your scars

  • Scar location is usually from the armpit to your elbow, placed either on the inside of your arm, or behind your arm. Both locations have their advantages and disadvantages – a scar on the inside of your arm may not be noticeable to people behind you, but is seen by yourself each time you look in the mirror; a scar placed more behind the arm is usually never visible to you, but may be visible to other people. Dr Colbert will discuss both of these locations with you.
  • Scar length will depend on the amount of excess skin that you have. In general the greater the amount of skin excess, the longer the scar has to be. Dr Colbert frequently tells patients the scar is ‘trade off’ – shape and contour is greatly improved, but the trade off is a surgical scar in its place. Unfortunately short scar techniques don’t remove much skin at all, and using liposuction only usually removes fat only, leaving even more extra skin behind.
  • Scar management starts from the moment the first incision is made: After the surgery, the incision site will be covered with dressings and compression garments to help reduce swelling and promote healing. Taping is used for the first several weeks, then surgical ointment or silicon gels are used to help hydrate the scar. Over time, the scars from arm lift surgery will gradually fade and flatten, but it may take several months to a year for the scars to reach their final appearance.

It is important to keep in mind that while scars from arm lift surgery may be noticeable, they are typically located in an area that is not easily visible in everyday clothing. In many cases, the benefits of a more toned and contoured arm appearance outweigh the risks of scarring for patients who choose to undergo arm lift surgery.

What are the risks associated with arm lift surgery?

Arm lift surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. Some of the potential risks associated with arm lift surgery include:

  • Infection: Any surgical procedure carries a risk of infection. Arm lift surgery has a relatively low risk of infection, as surgery is performed under sterile conditions, plus patients are prescribed antibiotics before and after the surgery.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding is a rare but potential complication of arm lift surgery. Dr Colbert may use drains or compression garments to help reduce any bleeding or bruising.
  • Swelling and bruising: Swelling and bruising are common after arm lift surgery and typically resolve on their own within a few weeks.
  • Scarring: Scarring is a normal and expected outcome of arm lift surgery. The size and location of the scars will depend on the extent of the procedure and the individual healing process.
  • Nerve damage: There is a small risk of nerve damage during arm lift surgery, which can result in numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected arm.
  • Anaesthesia risks: All surgeries that require anaesthesia carry some risk. Patients may experience reactions to the medications, including nausea, vomiting, or breathing difficulties.
  • Asymmetry: In some cases, there may be a difference in the appearance of the arms after surgery, resulting in asymmetry.
  • Unsatisfactory results: While arm lift surgery can provide significant improvements in arm appearance, there is a risk that the results may not meet your expectations.

Dr Colbert will discuss the risks and benefits of arm lift surgery with you during your initial consultation.

Why should I see Dr Colbert for my arm lift surgery?

Many Perth men and women see Dr Colbert for arm lift surgery because they want expert care by a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

  • Dr Colbert MBBS FRACS (Plastic Surgery) is an Australian trained and fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
  • Dr Colbert is one of only a few Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia who focuses exclusively on breast and body surgery.
  • Dr Colbert personally performs all surgery and aftercare himself, and doesn’t get surgical assistants or nurses to treat you during or after your operation.
  • Dr Colbert and his staff are renowned for their amazing patient care, delivered in a comfortable and stress-free environment.

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How much does arm lift surgery cost?

Costs associated with arm lift surgery can be confusing. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.

  • Surgical fee
    • The surgical fee includes the surgery, all post-operative care, and standard post-operative dressings. Please note a quote for the surgical fee can only provided after a consultation with Dr Colbert, and as each patient is different we’re unable to give estimations over the phone. This surgical fee is payable before surgery in total, however Medicare and your health fund may provide a rebate.
    • The Medicare item number for an armlift is 30171. To meet the criteria for this item number the arm excess needs to be causing skin rashes (e.g. intertrigo or another skin condition), with the excess skin interfering with your daily activities, and resulting from significant weight loss.
    • If you meet the criteria for 30171, then this means that Medicare may help provide a rebate for your operation. Your private health fund may also provide a rebate, provided that you are on a suitable level of cover for appropriate amount of time – but you should always check this yourself with your health fund.
  • Anaesthetic fee
    • The anaesthetic fee includes general anaesthesia plus pre-operative and post-operative care.
    • After your consultation with Dr Colbert you will be provided with an estimation of your Anaesthetic fee on behalf of your Anaesthetist.
    • For procedures that have a Medicare item number, and provided you meet the criteria, then Medicare and your health fund may pay a rebate for some of the anaesthetic fee. Please note however there is usually an out of pocket gap, and your Anaesthetist will discuss this with you before your operation.
  • Hospital fee
    • The hospital fee includes the operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras.
    • Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.

Where can I find out more?

To arrange to speak to Dr Colbert about arm lift surgery please contact our friendly office staff.

Alternatively you can leave a message by simply filling out our contact form.

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