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Woman pinching skin on upper arm

Arm Lift

Loose, sagging skin and stubborn fat on your upper arms can make you feel self-conscious, cause discomfort, and limit your mobility.

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is designed to remove excess skin and fat for toned upper arms and improved confidence.

Let's check out the benefits an arm lift can provide...

Contouring Surgery Provides Dramatic, Lasting Effects

Refine Your Appearance

In addition to removing excess skin and fat, your surgeon can contour the underlying tissues. This can slim the upper arm and improve definition and shape for a more athletic appearance.

Restore Your Self-Confidence

After an arm lift, many patients feel more confident in their appearance. Along with improved self-esteem, an arm lift can give you a broader range of clothing options.

Celebrate Your Fitness

Stubborn fat tissue and stretched skin can hide the results of exercise, dieting, and weight loss. After surgery, many patients experience improved mobility and more noticeable results as they work to tone and build muscle.

So how does an arm lift work?

Arm Lifts Are a Common Procedure with Benefits that Far Outweigh the Risks

Arm lift stat

*According to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal

In addition, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 18,157 arm lift surgeries were performed in the U.S. in 2017.

Can an arm lift actually help me?

Brachioplasty Can Target a Range of Issues in the Upper Arms

Sagging upper arm Excess Sagging Skin

Aging, weight changes, and genetics can cause the underside of your upper arms to sag or appear loose due to excess skin.

Sagging upper arm Loose Supportive Tissue

When the underlying supportive tissues becomes stretched or weak, your upper arms can lose definition and shape.

Woman touching upper arm Pockets of Fat

Localized pockets of fat are difficult to target with exercise and can add to a loose appearance in your upper arms.

I have those issues, but do I qualify for the procedure?

Good Candidates for an Arm Lift Are Healthy and Want to Target Substantial Concerns

Significant Skin Laxity

Arm lifts are typically only recommended for significant loose skin and fat.

Stable, Healthy Weight

Weight fluctuations can affect your results, so you should be at or near your goal weight.

Overall Good Health

Certain medical conditions can interfere with healing and increase risks during surgery.


Smoking can affect your body's ability to heal, so it is highly recommended smokers quit.

Realistic Expectations

It is important to discuss your goals with your doctor to ensure the procedure is right for you.

Can an arm lift help if I've lost a lot of weight?

Arm Lifts after Major Weight Loss

Woman's back with arms raised Many individuals who have lost large amounts of weight are left with excess skin and tissue hanging under their arms. Sometimes referred to as "bat wings," this condition can interfere with the ability to enjoy the full results of your accomplishment.

Arm lift surgery is one of the most popular procedures following massive weight loss. However, surgeons typically recommend patients wait until they have reached a stable weight before pursuing this treatment.

So how does an arm lift work?

I've heard there's a lot of scarring after an arm lift...

You May Qualify for a Less Invasive Technique

Woman undergoing skin treatment Older techniques often left arm lift patients with large scars. Today, some patients might qualify for just a small incision discreetly placed in the armpit. This type of arm lift is typically combined with advanced techniques such as ultrasound- or laser-assisted liposuction, meaning your surgeon can offer more dramatic results with a less invasive procedure. These improved liposuction tools can facilitate easier fat removal and provide a level of skin tightening that was not attainable in the past.

So what really happens during treatment?

Arm Lifts Are an Outpatient Procedure

Administer Anesthesia

Most surgeons prefer general anesthesia so patients remain unconscious throughout surgery.

Create Incisions

Your doctor will create an incision along the inside or back of the upper arm, usually from the underarm and to just before the elbow.

Modify the Tissue

Loose tissue will be removed and the doctor may use liposuction for excess fat. The underlying muscles and remaining tissue will then be refined for flattering results.

Place Sutures

The incision will be closed in a way that results in minimized scarring. You will return home the day of your surgery, and you may need up to two weeks of downtime before resuming work and non-strenuous activity.

What happens after surgery?

Initial Recovery Takes about a Week, But You May Need Longer to Fully Heal

During your recovery, you may need to wear dressings over the incisions as well as an elastic bandage or compression garment to reduce swelling. Some patients also need a small tube to drain excess fluid or blood.

After an arm lift, most patients:

  • Return to work after about a week
  • Have sutures removed after two weeks
  • Return to normal activities after about a month

While the results of arm lift surgery are visible almost immediately, it will take some time for swelling and bruising to fade. It also may take six months or more for scars to substantially heal and begin to fade.

Look at the definition this patient achieved with an arm lift...

Before and after arm lift surgery With Some Maintenance, Results Can Last for Many Years

The results of arm lift surgery are typically long-lasting. However, your skin may lose some firmness as you age and some sagging may return. Keeping your weight stable and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help protect your arm lift results.

I'm still not sure...

Join the Thousands of Happy Patients

"Every year, thousands of people undergo successful upper-arm-lift surgery and are pleased with the results." The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)

I'd love to have smooth toned arms, but...

Can I Afford It?

arm-liftCreated with Sketch.

An arm lift costs $4,223 on average. This is an elective procedure, meaning insurance coverage will not typically apply unless excess tissue is contributing to a medical condition, such as chafing or infection.

However, many surgeons offer financing options that make it possible to afford an arm lift on any budget.

Is there any alternative to an arm lift?

Discuss Your Treatment Options with a Doctor

If you only have mild to moderate loose skin in the upper arms, noninvasive skin tightening may be an option for you. This treatment stimulates collagen to tighten skin and improve definition. Others might consider fat freezing procedures, such as CoolSculpting®. While the procedures require no downtime, you may need to undergo several treatments to achieve your goals.

It is important to understand that these options cannot address very large fat deposits or refine loose muscle tissue. In contrast, you only need to undergo surgery once to achieve lean, toned contours, and the procedure can address skin, fat, and muscle alike.

I'm ready to learn more...

Reach Out to a Surgeon Today

If your upper arms make you feel self-conscious and lifestyle changes have failed to give you substantial results, stop worrying and take the first step toward the confidence and appearance you want. Contact your doctor to schedule your consultation today.

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