Dr. Capella is the Chief of the Division of Post Bariatric Surgery in the department of plastic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center and has one of the largest experiences in plastic surgery after weight loss in the world. He has personally performed over 5000 body contouring procedures on weight loss patients. Specifically, Dr. Capella has performed over 400 cases (800 arm lifts). He has the largest published series of arm lifts on massive weight loss patients in the world. A significant part of Dr. Capella's practice is dedicated to this area of plastic surgery. Dr. Capella lectures regularly at national and international plastic surgery conferences on his techniques and has coauthored many books on plastic surgery.
Pre-Operative Period Day of Surgery
Background On Arm Lifts
With the effects of time and frequently following weight loss, both men and women can lose skin tone. This loss of tone can be very obvious as hanging skin on the underside of the arm. The excess skin is sometimes associated with fat deposits in these areas as well. In some individuals, the underside of their arms may appear more full than they would like and this may be because of the presence of excess fat. For individuals who have good skin tone and disproportionate amounts of fat in the arm, liposuction may provide adequate treatment. The use of liposuction alone to contour the arms always creates the risk for contour irregularities. The arm lift procedure is performed to remove excess skin (and usually fat) to restore a more youthful appearance to the arms.
Arm Lift Consultation
During the initial evaluation, Dr. Capella will take a thorough medical history
and perform a directed physical examination. In his evaluation he will assess
the skin tone of the arms and the amount of localized fat present. If he feels
the patient's skin tone is good and that excessive fat is contributing to the
undesirable appearance of the arms, liposuction may be recommended. In the event
that the skin tone is poor, removal of some skin and liposuction may be
recommended. At the consultation, the arm lifting procedure will be explained to
the patient and informational materials will be provided.
Arm Lift Pre-Operative Period
Two weeks prior to your operation, you will need to discontinue medications which can lead to surgical complications. You will meet with Dr. Capella again, at which time any further questions you may have will be answered. You will be asked to sign a surgical consent form for the arm lifting procedure.
Photographs will be taken of your arms. Instructions will be provided regarding the date and time of your procedure. You will need an escort to drive you to and from the surgical facility. You should wear loose fitting clothing that will wash easily in the event they are soiled. Do not wear jewelry, contact lenses, or bring valuables to the operating room. Remove all jewelry from pierced body parts; this can interfere with the procedure and may represent a safety threat to you because of the use of electro cautery during the procedure.
Finally, Dr. Capella will write prescriptions for antibiotics to decrease your risk of infection and a narcotic analgesic for post-operative pain relief. You need to inform us of any history of allergic reactions to medications.
Day of Arm Lift Surgery
On the day of the procedure, Dr. Capella will place skin markings on your arms while you are sitting up. The anesthesiologist will review your medical history. Dr. Capella performs this procedure with general anesthesia.
The lifting of both arms takes approximately two hours and usually involves liposuction. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. No drains are used. Dressings are placed on the incisions, after which an elastic ace wrap is applied. Patients are usually ready for discharge from the recovery area approximately 2-3 hours following the procedure. An adult escort must be available to drive you home. Patients cannot be discharged to the company of a minor or a taxi service.
Arm Lift Recovery Period
Two days following surgery, your dressings may be removed as showering is permitted. Mild soap may be used.
The scars of the surgery often become more red two weeks after surgery and then begin to fade 2-3 months later. The scars never completely disappear and take from 12-18 months to reach their final appearance. It is imperative that you not allow sun exposure to these scars while they are still red. If sun exposure is to occur, however, a sun block with a rating of 15 or greater should be applied.
Risks Associated With Arm Lifts
As with any surgery, complications of arm lifts include infection and bleeding, although these are unusual. Other important complications include poor wound healing, resulting in conspicuous scars that may necessitate a second operation. Smokers are advised to discontinue smoking several weeks prior to surgery as smoking increases the risks of complications and delays wound healing by altering blood circulation in the skin.
You can reduce your risks of complications by closely following our instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to how and when you resume physical activity.