Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Loose, hanging skin under the arms can be frustrating, often negatively impacting a patient’s confidence and limiting their wardrobe options. Fortunately, an arm lift can help tighten and sculpt the arms for a smoother, slimmer, and more youthful appearance. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Steven Holzman, MD, can assess the condition of your upper arms during a consultation and develop a surgical plan to best achieve your aesthetic goals.
What Is an Arm Lift?
Arm lift surgery—also called brachioplasty—is performed on the upper arm area to remove loose skin and excess fat while tightening the remaining tissue for a firmer, more defined appearance. The procedure is often performed to help patients after massive weight loss, or on those that may have developed flabby skin under the arms as a result of factors such as genetics, aging, smoking, or overexposure to the sun. While exercise and lifting weights may help to tone the arm muscles, a brachioplasty addresses the hanging skin and fat pockets that prove resistant to lifestyle changes.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?
The best candidates for arm lift surgery are generally in good overall health without any existing medical conditions that will inhibit healing during the recovery process after surgery. Cosmetically, arm lift surgery candidates should have a desire to:
- Attain a smoother, recontoured upper arm appearance
- Eliminate redundant skin and fat from the elbow to the armpit
- Wear clothing that exposes the arm area without feeling self-conscious
Brachioplasty candidates should also have a clear understanding that this particular surgery does leave a scar on the underside of the arm. That said, Dr. Holzman has extensive experience performing body recontouring procedures, and he makes every effort to ensure the incision and corresponding scar are as inconspicuous as possible.
How Is an Arm Lift Performed?
Generally, arm lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Dr. Holzman will carefully create an incision along the inside of the upper arm to begin the process of removing the loose and/or redundant skin. If the treatment plan determines liposuction is needed to eliminate excess fat deposits, a small cannula—or suction tube—will be inserted through the incision to break up, remove, and recontour the fatty tissues. After the first arm is completed, the same process is then repeated on the other arm to create as symmetrical a result as possible. Typically, patients can expect the brachioplasty procedure to take between two to two and a half hours.
If brachioplasty is being performed as part of a comprehensive post-weight loss body contouring plan, additional procedures—such as a thigh lift or tummy tuck—may sometimes be performed at the same time. Dr. Holzman can discuss the possibility of combining procedures with you in greater detail during a consultation. Combining procedures offers the advantage of shortening the overall surgery time.
What Is Arm Lift Recovery Like?
Following arm lift surgery, it is common for patients to experience some soreness, swelling, bruising, and discomfort where the incisions were placed. Patients are typically advised to wear a surgical wrap or compressive dressing for several days to protect the incisions and support the aesthetic adjustments that were made. Elevating the arms and using cold compresses can also aid in the recovery process, along with proper rest. Once the surgical dressings are removed, patients should wear compression sleeves for the next one to two months to help hold the shape of their new upper arm contours. In most cases, patients may return to work after one to two weeks, but you should refrain from arm stretches and strenuous lifting for four to six weeks. Dr. Holzman will be able to provide a more personalized timeline based on your surgical plan.
How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for an arm lift is $4,861. However, at Holzman Plastic Surgery, we understand that pricing needs to be as precise as possible so patients may make the most informed decision about their treatment. After an in-person consultation with Dr. Holzman, he will take the time to thoroughly review your goals and create a personalized treatment plan. From there, our friendly staff will be happy to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of the costs associated with your surgical plan. We can also assist you in exploring financing options, as needed.
Contact Holzman Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation.