Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess fat and skin from the upper arms for a more toned, slimmer appearance. Over time, the soft tissue in the upper arm becomes lax and may begin to droop and sag, resulting in arms that appear loose and hanging. Many people are embarrassed by the appearance of sagging upper arms, and seek treatment to restore a slimmer, more youthful appearance.
The arm lift procedure is ideal for patients who have a significant amount of excess, hanging skin or fat in the upper arm area, maintain a stable weight and have realistic expectations for surgery. It is also important that patients are healthy overall, with no major medical conditions that may be affected by surgery.
Please note: Although many doctors perform arm lifts you need to know that plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons typically hold different credentials and that board-certification matters. Learn more about specialization here.
Dr. Restifo is a Harvard-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon with over twenty-five years of experience performing surgery with excellent results. He does arm lifts regularly.
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During the arm lift procedure, an incision is made along the inside of the upper arm, often spanning from the underarm to the elbow. Your surgeon will then remove excess fat using before trimming and tightening the excess skin and suturing it into place. For patients with only a small amount of excess skin, a minimal incision arm lift procedure may be performed, in which a few small incisions are made near the underarm area for a less invasive fat and tissue removal. Your doctor will determine which procedure is best for you after a physical exam and discussion of each patient’s individual goals for surgery.
Once fat is removed and skin is tightened, the incision will be closed with sutures that will be absorbed by the body within a week or two. This procedure may be performed under local anesthesia with sedation and usually takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of removal required. Patients will be able to return home the same day as surgery.
After an arm lift procedure, patients will likely experience swelling and bruising, as well as mild discomfort that can be managed with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Drainage tubes may be placed at the incision site to collect any excess blood or fluid for the first few days after surgery. Compression bandages may be worn as well to help promote proper healing.
The results of an arm lift are visible right away, but will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subsides, which usually takes two weeks. Most patients are highly satisfied with the results of their arm lift procedure and are more than willing to sacrifice a scar for thin, youthful-looking arms. Scars will continue to fade over time to become less and less noticeable.
While an arm lift is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. These may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Loss of sensation
Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you, as well as address any concerns you may have, prior to surgery.