What Is Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty)?

An arm lift aims to remove loose, hanging skin and buildups of fat on the arms. Patients with excess fat as their sole concern may be better suited for liposuction, which directly targets unwanted fat cells; they may also be able to achieve their desired results with a strict weight-lifting regimen.

That said, most candidates for brachioplasty primarily wish to address skin laxity in the arms – an effect that often results from extreme weight loss, heredity, or simply the natural course of aging. Hanging skin on the arms cannot be removed through diet and exercise alone, which is why many patients consider arm lift surgery to achieve slimmer and more sculpted arms.

Complementary Procedures to Brachioplasty

Arm lift surgery is commonly combined with other procedures. Liposuction is frequently incorporated into arm lift surgery to combat unwanted fat in addition to hanging skin. Alternatively, patients may be interested in an “upper body lift –” a comprehensive surgery that targets the arms, abdomen, breasts, and upper back. This highly customizable treatment can include brachioplasty, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery), mastopexy (breast lift surgery), or other surgical options.

No matter your individual cosmetic goals and medical needs, we look forward to working with you to develop a plan during your preoperative appointment.

What Does the Arm Lift Procedure Involve?

Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility and typically takes around two hours to complete. It is considered an outpatient procedure. If this surgery is combined with another body contouring procedure, then the patient may be required to stay overnight in the hospital.

During arm lift surgery, an incision is made along the inner arm, extending from the armpit down towards the elbow. Once this incision has been made, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat, and any loose skin will be trimmed away. Depending on the extent of the surgery, a draining tube may be placed to help control bleeding.

What Can I Expect in Arm Lift Recovery?

Following surgery, patients should experience a slow return to normal function. The arm should be kept elevated to help control swelling and promote circulation. In most cases, patients are able to return to work and other daily activities in a week; meanwhile, more intensive exercise should be avoided for the first two weeks to a month.

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Does Arm Lift Surgery Cause Scarring?

It is important for patients to understand that scarring is a natural part of the brachioplasty procedure. With this in mind, most patients of Dr. Connors and Dr. Hart find that the scars are a small trade-off for a new, shapelier arm.

If you are interested in a non-surgical procedure to potentially lessen the severity of scars, we would be happy to discuss these options with you during your preoperative appointment. Moreover, we recommend that you avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration.

How Long Do Arm Lift Results Last?

The results of arm lift surgery should be very long-lasting, provided you maintain a healthy lifestyle following the procedure. Because the body can lose its youthful, “toned” effect with age and a lack of exercise, strength training can be an excellent way to build and maintain tone and muscle. Once the arms are fully healed, you are encouraged to resume exercise and weight training, as well as to adhere to a well-balanced diet and cardio routine.

Contact Plastic Surgery Group of Atlanta today to learn more about brachioplasty.

Medical Resources*

American Society of Plastic Surgeons 

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