Arm Lift

What is an arm lift?

Referred to medically as a brachioplasty procedure, an arm lift involves the removal of fat and tightening of loose or drooping skin under the upper arm. 

What does an arm lift improve?

Aging, weight fluctuations, sun damage and genetics may leave a person with sagging skin on the upper arms. Fatty deposits that cannot be eliminated through proper nutrition and exercise may also be an issue. Both can cause a person to become self conscious in tank tops and short sleeves.

An arm lift can:

  • Reduce fat and loose, excess skin on the upper arms and around the elbows.
  • Create smooth, slim contours on the upper arm, proportionate to the rest of the body.

How is the procedure performed?

An arm lift is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The procedure requires an incision either on the inside or back of the arm, depending on the physician's preference, and the length depends on the goals of the procedure. Fat is removed, sometimes via liposuction, and internal tissue is tightened, reshaped and secured with internal sutures. Then skin is smoothed over the new contour, with excess skin removed, and incisions are closed with either stitches or absorbable sutures.

What are the risks?

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Infection
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Poor healing
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Potential damage to underlying tissues
  • Sutures may not absorb, and surface through the skin causing irritation, drainage and redness
  • Scarring
  • Fat necrosis (when fatty tissue found deep in the skin dies)
  • Pain
  • Unsatisfactory results

What can be expected after the surgery?

Will I have bandages/drainage tubes?

Elastic bandages and/or a compression garment may be used over the treated areas to reduce swelling and help shape skin into the body's new contours. Also, drainage tubes may be used to remove excess fluid.

How soon until I can return to work?

Every patient is different. Heed the surgeon's advice about when to return to work and resume your typical activities following surgery.

How soon until I see results?

Results may be apparent immediately, though it should take some time for swelling to subside. A scar may remain where incisions were made.

Is an arm lift covered by insurance?

An arm lift is considered a cosmetic procedure and is generally not covered by insurance companies.