It can often be surprising to find out just how much cosmetic plastic surgery procedures can accomplish. While most people are familiar with the various techniques that can sculpt and shape the contours of the body or alleviate the various signs of facial aging, more and more are also becoming aware of the different procedures that can improve the appearance of the upper arms and thighs. In fact, according to statistics compiled every year by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), upper arm lifts and thigh lifts (along with lower body lifts in general) have seen dramatic increases in popularity over the past decade. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked about these two post-weight loss plastic surgery procedures.
What do arm lifts and thigh lifts actually do?
As we grow older, our skin loses elasticity and becomes less able to return to its original condition after being stretched. This is the reason wrinkling and sagging skin are common problems among older patients. This same process, when it occurs in the arms and thighs, can result in folds of skin that hang loosely from the extremities, particularly if fluctuations in weight have caused significant skin stretching. Both arm lifts and thigh lifts are body contouring procedures that work by trimming away the excess, sagging skin so that the arms or legs have a smoother and shapelier appearance.
Who is a candidate for arm lift and thigh lift surgery?
Although arm lifts and thigh lifts are excellent ways to make the body appear fit and healthy, they are not, in and of themselves, designed to help a patient lose weight. Ideal candidates are those who have sagging skin in the upper arms or thighs that has been left behind after significant weight loss or as a natural result of the aging process, but whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight at the time of the surgery. As with all surgical procedures, patients should ideally be in generally good physical health, have no conditions or habits (such as smoking) which might impair the healing process, and have a thorough understanding of what the procedure will entail as well as reasonable expectations about its outcome.
Will there be visible scars left behind after an arm lift or thigh lift procedure?
Any procedure that requires cutting of the skin will leave behind some form of scar, but the board certified plastic surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery use a combination of advanced technology and surgical expertise to keep that scarring to a minimum. A thigh lift usually only requires a curved horizontal incision in the crease of the groin, which can be easily concealed in all but the most revealing of bathing suits. In cases where there is a large amount of excess skin, an additional vertical scar along the inner thigh may be necessary. Although arm lifts do require that an incision be made along the underside of the arm, the color of these scars will most likely fade over time. It is also possible to further accelerate this natural fading process through the skillful application of advanced laser skin resurfacing treatments. Because the arms and thighs are particularly mobile areas, special care should be taken during recovery to place as little stress on the area(s) as possible. Make sure to follow all of your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions carefully in order to get optimal results.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures that we perform, or in speaking with one of our board certified plastic surgeons about the many different options that are available, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery in Alpharetta, or at one of our other Atlanta area offices located in Sandy Springs (Northside), Newnan, or Cumming, to schedule a full plastic surgery consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.