Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Loss of skin elasticity in the upper arm is a problem that can be seen with increasing age or after significant weight loss. The primary method to tighten the skin of the upper arm and remove excess fat is called a brachioplasty. The most common way this is done is by an incision that extends from the armpit to the elbow located on the inner arm or on the back of the arm. This technique allows for maximum skin and fat removal. Variants of this technique may use a less extensive incision where less skin and fat removal is necessary.

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Intended Results:

  • Improved contour of the upper arm
  • Decreased size of the upper arm by removal of excess skin and fat
  • Decreased skin laxity of the upper arm by tightening the skin envelop
Procedure Description:
  • Arm reduction is usually performed in an accredited office facility, outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital
  • The surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with conscious sedation
  • Liposuction is performed on the arm if significant fat removal is required
  • An incision is usually made in the armpit extending to the elbow on the inner arm
  • Excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with sutures
  • The arms are usually wrapped with an elastic dressing
Recuperation and Healing
  • Recovery may be at home with a responsible adult, in a recovery facility or overnight in the hospital
  • A compression garment may be worn on the arms for approximately two weeks
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and may take several weeks to resolve
  • Stiffness of the arms, especially when bending is common and usually resolves within a few months
  • Areas of numbness of the upper and lower arm are normal and usually resolve within a few months
  • The incisions can be treated with scar creams and ointments
  • The scar will take 8 -12 months to look its best