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Arm Lift/Brachioplasty

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, removes excess fat and skin from the upper arms to create a tighter and firmer contour, allowing patients to feel confident showing off their arms.

Arm Lift Surgery May Be Right for You if…

  • Flabby or hanging skin is damaging your self-confidence

  • You have excess fat in the upper arms

  • You have experienced significant weight loss

  • Your arms are aging your overall appearance

  • You only wear long-sleeved tops or cannot find clothing that properly fits because of your arms

Arm Lift Techniques

Arm Lift With Liposuction

  • Ideal for patients with excess upper arm fat

  • Can be performed without skin excision if the patient has good skin elasticity and tone

  • A thin, hollow tube suctions out unwanted fat through small incisions

  • Results in less visible scarring

  • Liposuction can be performed above the nerves and muscles for less swelling and numbness when combined with skin excision

  • Reduces the circumference of the arm

  • Contours the upper arms for a firm and toned appearance

Arm Lift With Skin Excision

  • Ideal for patients with mild to severe skin laxity

  • May be combined with liposuction to improve the tone of the arm

  • Incision length varies depending on the patient’s specific needs

  • Short incisions located in the armpit and just down the lower arm are ideal for patients with less laxity

  • The traditional arm lift incision runs from the armpit to the elbow

  • Extended incisions that run past the elbow may be needed for patients with significant weight loss and skin laxity

Frequently Asked Questions

Candidates for arm lift surgery are dissatisfied with the appearance of their upper arms and are looking for a change. Candidates should be healthy, have realistic expectations of their results, and not smoke. Patients who do smoke or vape should quit all tobacco and nicotine products for at least four weeks before the surgery to reduce the risk of complications.
While arm lift surgery is safe and complications are rare, there are some potential risks that come with any procedure:
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Infection
  • Numbness that may be permanent
  • Hematoma (blood collection)
  • Seroma (fluid collection)
You can reduce your chances of these by following all of Dr. Nelson’s pre- and post-operative instructions.
Bruising and swelling are common after an arm lift. You will be wrapped in a compression garment after your procedure, even if you didn’t undergo skin excision. This compression garment should be worn for several weeks to decrease swelling and promote blood flow in the arms. The recovery period of your arm lift surgery will depend on the extent of your procedure. Patients who underwent liposuction or a small arm lift can return to work and resume all normal activities after four or five days; however, a patient with an extended arm lift may not be able to return to work and physical activities for up to two weeks. You should initially avoid tight clothing or any garments that are difficult to put on or take off since lifting your arms above your head can put excess strain on the healing incisions.
The cost of your arm lift includes several variables and factors such as the extent of correction needed, the techniques used, anesthesia fees, surgical fees, and facility fees. Dr. Nelson will provide you with an accurate arm lift cost estimate during your consultation.
Scarring is always a concern since the arms are visible and scars are difficult to hide. Dr. Nelson understands this concern and performs arm lift surgery with every attempt to make the incisions less noticeable. In order to make the scarring less visible, Dr. Nelson places the incision low on the inner arm and makes the cut in an “s” shape. Although there is no way to prevent their formation, scars can be minimized by keeping the healing incisions out of the sun and avoiding any excess tension on the skin. Silicone strips and gel can also help to reduce the appearance of scarring. It is important to remember that all scars will fade with time.
The results of an arm lift can be long lasting if they are properly maintained by a healthy lifestyle. Arm lift surgery will improve skin tightness and remove excess fat, but it will not stop the natural progression of aging or prevent additional fat from forming. Even with aging, however, your arm tone and tightness will always be better than if you did not have the surgery.

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