Arm Lift Surgery Surgeons

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Only surgeons who are fully qualified and registered with the GMC (general medical council) are allowed to carry out arm lift surgery. It is easy to check up on your surgeons qualifications and credentials by asking for their GMC number and looking them up. This will tell you what speciality they are registered under as well as confirming there medical degree and any further training that they have undertaken. Most surgeons who carry out arm lift surgeons will be registered as specialist plastic surgeons. This means that within the string of letters after their names it should say that they are a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Plast). This means that they have taken specific exams in plastic surgery and proved to be of a competent standard. However, they may also be registered with other (or different) associations such as the British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (BAPRAS) or British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) who also monitor the quality of cosmetic surgeons in the UK. If your surgeon has any one of these extra fellowships, it means that they (and their clinic) have signed up to maintain a minimum standard of training following the guidelines of the specific association. This is potentially important to you as it provides you with another standard of care that you know you should be able to expect from your surgeon as they perform your arm lift surgery. These guidelines are always designed with your safety, health and comfort in mind.

Due to the highly repetitive work undertaken by surgeons, the more experience your surgeon has undertaking arm lift surgery (specifically) the better they will probably be at it. (Obviously this is not a hard and fast rule, but it’s certainly a good guideline). However, with more practice come more qualifications comes a higher cost, so you might want to a balance between using the most experienced, most expensive surgeon and a younger surgeon who has only just started up their cosmetic clinic. However, due to the stringent training and standards of the NHS in the UK, all surgeons who are legally able to provide arm lift surgery will be highly trained and able to carry out your operation safety and competently.  

In addition, you might want to research the qualifications of the rest of the team in the clinic especially your anaesthetist. The role of the anaesthetist in general anaesthetic operations is an important one as they are the person who is there to ensure that your vital signs continue throughout the surgery.

Arm lift surgery consultation with your surgeon

It is a good idea to enter your initial consultation already armed with a large amount of knowledge gained from information like this guide and information from your surgeon’s website. Be sure to bring a pen and paper with you to the clinic that has your list of questions on as well as some space for you to jot down the answers and any other information that your surgeon gives you. By working down your list of questions and jotting down the answers you will ensure that you get the most out of your consultation and prevent you from forgetting any important information.

Questions that your surgeon will want to ask you

Your surgeon will ask you how long you have had the saggy skin around your arms and how it effects your life. This is important as it tells them why you want the surgery performed and shows them your motivation for going through with the surgery. It is also important that they discuss your expectations for the results of the surgery both in terms of how your think your arms will look afterwards and how your life might change as a result. This will allow them to ensure that you do not have over ambitious expectations and you have a realistic idea of the results of the surgery and time scale of recovery.

Most importantly, your surgeon will take a full past and current medical history from you and they will ask you lots of questions about any current medical problems that you have. It is also important that you tell them about any medications that you are taking (including the contraceptive pill, over the counter medication and herbal remedies) as these could potentially interact with drugs that your surgeon might want to use during your surgery. This is particularly important if they are going to use a general anaesthetic due to its associated risks.

Discussing your aspirations for the operation and the potential results

Your surgeon will ask you to point out on your arms the exact areas of sagging skin that you are most unhappy about. They will discuss the different ways in which they can cut out different amounts of skin to produce slightly different end results (both in terms of final arm shape and recovery time). This is an important time for you to discuss the subject of scarring as your surgeon will be keen to plan the incisions so that the scars are most hidden. It is important that you raise any concerns that you have about your arm lift surgery (however silly you think they may be) especially if they concern any current underlying health issues.

The conclusion of the consultation and explanation of the next steps

At the end of your consultation your surgeon will tell you how they intend to proceed. During this summing up of the consultation, do not be afraid to ask any last minute questions that you may have. There is nothing worse than sitting in the car on the way home from the clinic with unanswered questions running through your head! Your surgeon may suggest that you wait a while (have a “cool down period”) so that you can have a further think about whether you really want to go through with arm lift surgery given the outcomes that the surgeon had told you about. This is most likely to occur if during the initial consultation you discover that you may be prone to scarring or infection or that you will need to undertake the operation under local instead of general anaesthetic. However, if you have done your homework and read up about your risks before the initial consultation then you will be less likely to get any nasty surprises.

Why your surgeon takes pictures of your arms before your arm lift surgery

In order to be able to show you a true comparison of your arms before and after your arm lift surgery your surgeon may take photographs of the sagging skin and the general appearance of your arms. These images will not only highlight the final results after the surgery but they will also be used by the surgeon throughout the surgeon as a reference. This gives the surgical team another way of always checking that they are removing the right amount and area of excess skin in order to give you the best final result.

Most surgeons will also use a marker pen to draw incision lines on your arms both during one of your initial consultations (to help illustrate the method of surgery to you) and just before your arm lift surgery operation. This allows you to be actively involved in the process of decided what areas of skin are to be removed. It is important that you engage with your surgeon in discussing this as it really is your chance to say which areas bother you the most. For example you might find that you have a particularly sagging area under your arm pit that you want removed in which case you will need to direct the surgeon to mark this area for excision. In contrast your arm pit skin might not bother you as much as the area around your elbow (which might be more visible due to the clothing style that you tend to wear etc.). These variations in person preference make your involvement in the marker pen process a really important and dynamic time in your arm lift surgery consultations. This is especially so in the final marker pen lines before your operation as these will be the lines that will ultimately be used by your surgical team!

Many patients report that the “marker pen stage” is the most fun due to the dynamic way they are able to interact with the surgeon and it is certainly the artistic side of surgery! However you should also allow yourself to listen to the advice of the surgeon (who is the expert at the end of the day) as they will be able to tell you the best ways for skin removal to limit scaring. You will also need to understand that there is a limit to how much of a change in overall arm shape can be produced just from removing excess skin (as your underlying body shape made up of your bones and body tissue will also make a difference).

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