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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

The skin of the upper arms can become loose for many reasons, including significant weight loss and the natural process of aging. If excess skin in this area is a concern, Arm Lift surgery can be performed on the upper limbs to achieve a slimmer and more toned appearance. Medically referred to as Brachioplasty, Arm Lift surgery from our experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Moises Salama, is tailored to address the unique anatomic needs and aesthetic goals of each patient. Particularly popular with people who have undergone Bariatric surgery, Dr. Salama’s technique can address the effects of weight loss that cannot be easily improved with diet and exercise.

What are the benefits of an Arm Lift?

Sometimes called “batwings,” excess skin on the upper arms can make many people feel self-conscious, especially when wearing short-sleeve or sleeveless tops (common apparel in sunny Miami!). Arm Lift surgery can often alleviate this discomfort by eliminating the loose skin and removing pockets of fatty tissue. The result is a slimmer, firmer upper arm that looks appealing in form-fitting and arm-bearing clothing.

Who is a good candidate for Arm Lift surgery?

In addition to having reasonable, achievable goals, patients should be in good overall health and at or near their goal weight. It’s also important to understand that this procedure often requires a long incision to be made along the upper arm. Someone considering this procedure must understand that the surgery scars are visible even though they lie on the inside or underside of the upper arm to keep them as hidden as possible. During your initial consultation, Dr. Salama will take the time to discuss your concerns, answer questions, and develop a customized treatment plan. He will indicate where and how extensive the incision will be so that you can make the best possible decision for your cosmetic needs and goals.

What will the incision look like?

Dr. Salama is extensively trained in the latest surgical techniques for improving the appearance of the upper arm. In most cases, the incision will be made along the inside of the arm extending from the armpit to the elbow. In some cases, the incision may be shorter depending on your anatomic characteristics and desired outcome. While this mark will at first be noticeable, the natural healing process should gradually minimize the size, shape, and color of the scar. Additionally, we offer a range of laser resurfacing options to help revise the appearance of the scar to make it smoother and less conspicuous. That said, you should not expect the scar to be eliminated entirely.

What should I expect during the procedure?

As with many of our procedures, there are several approaches that can be used to achieve the discussed goal. Broadly speaking, there are three main techniques for Brachioplasty:

  • Limited Incision: If the excess skin is crepe-like and concentrated near the armpit, a limited-incision Brachioplasty may be the right choice for you. Dr. Salama will pull up and tuck the excess skin through a small opening made within the underarm area and leave behind a smoother, firmer upper arm.
  • Traditional: This is the standard way to perform an Arm Lift, and it uses a long incision that extends from the underarm to the elbow on the inside of the upper arm. This gives Dr. Salama room to address excess fatty tissue while removing unwanted loose skin across the upper arm and creating a firmer, more aesthetically appealing outcome.
  • Extended: An extended Arm Lift is similar to a traditional Arm Lift, but the incision is extended down the body. Some patients have excess skin that continues from the arm to the torso and this procedure can help address that concern.

Additionally, if patients want to further slim the appearance of their upper arms, liposuction can be used to reduce pockets of fatty tissue in this area. Dr. Salama will explain during your initial meeting if this option can enhance your outcome.

How long does recovery last?

Brachioplasty typically will be an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to return home the same day as the operation. You may be asked to wear a compression garment to aid in the healing process, and Dr. Salama will provide post-operative instructions that describe how to care for your bandages and optimize your recovery experience. Once you return home, we encourage you to relax and rest. Most patients can return to their daily routine after about a week or two. During this period, we will provide medication to manage your pain. Swelling, tenderness, and bruising in the treated area is to be expected, and these effects should gradually subside. You should avoid exercises that directly stress your upper arms, but walking is encouraged. Sleeping with your arms elevated on some pillows often can help reduce healing time. After about six weeks, you can return to your regular routine. Your scars will continue to lighten and fade for up to a year or more.

How much does an Arm Lift cost?

The cost of any cosmetic procedure, including Arm Lift surgery, will vary depending on the technique used and the unique details of your treatment. At our facility, the total cost will include the anesthesia fee and facility fee. When requesting a quote from another practice, we recommend you ask what’s included in the estimate, as many surgeons only provide their fee. We want you to be as well-informed as possible going into a procedure and we’re happy to answer your questions.

For more information about Arm Lift surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Salama, please contact us today.