Your Suitability for Arm Lift Surgery


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A number of factors could make you unsuitable for arm lift surgery or increase your risk of developing complications either through the procedure itself or due to the general anaesthetic. These include (but are not limited to) being over-weight, smoking heavily, alcoholism and a number of past of present medical conditions.

How your body weight could influence your suitability for arm lift surgery

If your sagging arm skin has developed due to accelerated weight loss then you should only really consider arm lift surgery once you have tried using other (less invasive) methods and given your skin a reasonable amount of time to see if it will tighten up on its own. However, many people find that the skin around their arms begins to sag due to ageing however much they exercise and watch their weight. If you are unlucky enough to have sagging skin around your arms and currently have a high BMI (or be obese) then you will probably need to lose weight before you will be considered for arm lift surgery. This is simply because arm lift surgery is generally carried out under a general anaesthetic and this involves risks for obese patients (due to the additional pressure on your cardiovascular system). Other risk factors for complications due to the general anaesthetic include respiratory disease and smoking. You should also be aware that, whilst arm lift surgery will act to remove areas of excess skin around your arms, it will only remove a small proportion of fat so it cannot be used as a way of losing upper body weight. If you are carrying a large amount of fat around your arms (as well as sagging skin) then you should consider other cosmetic procedures (such as liposuction). In addition, if you are currently overweight (with a high BMI) then a simple change in your lifestyle may be enough to remove your arm fat and sagging skin. Obviously this isn’t an easy option, but it is certainly a cheaper and debateable a healthier and more natural option.

How your smoking could influence your suitability for arm lift surgery

If you smoke then you should be aware that you will be at a higher risk of developing complications due to the general anaesthesia used during your arm lift surgery. You might even consider using the surgery as a prompt to quit. This is because smoking actually reduces your body’s ability to heal the wound created by arm lift surgery. This means that, if you smoke, you will have an increased risk of developing infections and skin loss and will be more likely to be left with a larger and less attractive scar.

How your past or chronic medical condition could influence your suitability for arm lift surgery

There are a number of medical conditions (past and current) that will increase your risk of developing complications due to arm lift surgery (especially due to the use of general anaesthetics). If you have previously had an inflamed blood vessel (phlebitis) in the lower leg or had previous surgery where you experienced slow or problematic healing then you might want to try an alternative method before resorting to arm lift surgery. You may even find that you cannot find a surgeon who would be happy to operate on you. However, you may still be able to have an arm lift surgery under local anaesthetic and you will need to discuss this option with your surgeon.

Other chronic conditions that may cause you to be unsuitable for arm lift surgery under general anaesthetic include diabetes, severe arthritis, severe asthma or if you have a current mental health condition. If you have a chronic medical condition or a past medical condition that you are concerned about, then you may wish to discuss your concerns with your GP before you approach a cosmetic surgeon. This could potentially save you the cost of an initial surgical consult if your GP suggests that arm lift surgery is not appropriate for you!


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