An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a great procedure for patients with significantly loose upper arm skin from weight loss or aging. This procedure is most beneficial for patients with excess skin as well as fat. An arm lift removes both excess skin and fat, leaving the upper arms with a tighter contour. Based on the unique case, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Hsu may use liposuction alone or in conjunction with an arm lift to further remove excess fat in the upper arms to give the patient their best results.
In general, candidates for an arm lift include:
- Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity (looseness)
- Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
- Patients who desire more contoured arms
- Patients who do not have excess fat but have excess skin
"I came back to get Microneedling PRP (Vampire Facial) with Mimi & OMG .. how did I ever live without getting PRP for the past few years?! After two session of PRP my skin is NOTICEABLY smoother. My texture has gotten so much better and I have gotten SO many compliments on my skin (& I work for cosmetic skin care company .. so getting compliments on my skin really means a lot to me!!). My foundation also applies sooooo SMOOTHLY! Thanks Mimi and Dr.Hsu !!"- G.C. / Yelp / Aug 02, 2017
"I had work done on my eyes by Dr. Hsu, he did a wonderful job I am very pleased with his work. I advise anyone who would like to get cosmetic surgery go to Dr. Hsu you will be very pleased. Thank you, Wanda Williams"- W.W. / Yelp / May 06, 2015
"This review only contains a rating"- M.M. / Google / Jul 24, 2017
"Went in today for a microneedling session with Mimi. She was absolutely fantastic! She was very thorough and explained the procedure well and answered all of my questions. She was easy to talk to and was very professional. The receptionist was also very welcoming and I didn't have to wait at all. The office is very clean, quiet and private. The only thing is I wish I knew about the parking situation. It gets pricey if you park in the lot, there's meter parking along Doheny."- S.T. / Yelp / Jul 11, 2017
"This review only contains a rating"- O.K. / Google / Jun 26, 2017
In the initial consultation, Dr. Hsu will ask about the patient’s full medical history, including allergies and medications, and the patient’s specific upper arm concerns. After a physical examination, Dr. Hsu will talk to the patient about how an arm lift can and cannot reach their goals. Once the patient decides to have the arm lift, Dr. Hsu will spend time to create the best plan and timing for the patient’s surgery.
Dr. Hsu will pinch the skin to determine exactly where there is excess skin and fat. Based on this, he will create an incision that is inconspicuously hidden on the inner (medial) arm. He will tighten the skin to improve the contour while also preventing the scar from widening or having difficulties healing. He will only cut skin and fat, leaving the muscles and nerves untouched.
Recovery & Post-Op
After the arm lift, Dr. Hsu will wrap the arms in surgical dressings, which need to remain in place and dry until the first follow up appointment. Patients may take prescription pain medication, if needed, but they cannot drive while under the effects of the medication. Most patient return to work after 2 weeks and can ease into strenuous activities and exercise after 6 weeks. Follow up appointments are scheduled for up to a year after the surgery.
From Dr. Hsu
“In my experience, arm lift (brachioplasty) is more often done for functional than cosmetic reasons. Often times, patients who come to me for arm lift are those who have lost a lot of weight. In these patients, the excess skin can actually interfere with exercise. Removing the excess skin can then be a really great goal, because it helps the patient to get back to an active lifestyle and can improve their quality of life.
In the right patient, with dramatic skin excess, the arm lift procedure can definitely help appearance. But I’ve found that for many patients who only have a little bit of excess skin, it is not worth having the scar in order to obtain some minimal/moderate benefit in arm contour. For these patients, some of them are reasonable candidates for liposuction, if there is some excess fat that can be removed, since that can sometimes tighten the skin to some degree as well.”
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $6,500 - $8,500
- Recovery Time
- 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 3 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 6-12 Months
- Procedure Recovery Location
Arm Lift FAQs
The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following the procedure, although initial results will be somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. As long as the patient’s weight does not fluctuate, the results of the upper arm lift should last for many years. The body will continue to age, including the skin, which may lead to loose skin in the future. If the patient gains considerable weight after the surgery and then lose the weight, loose skin will return. In either scenario, subsequent arm laxity will be far less significant than before the arm lift surgery.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Most patients take about a week off from work and other obligations to heal. To help the recovery process, patients should keep the arm elevated and avoid heavy lifting for at least a few weeks after surgery. Patients can experience soreness, tenderness, tightness, bruising, swelling, and redness as their arms heal.
Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as Dr. Hsu's best judgment. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, and may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow. If fat is to be reduced during the arm lift, it will be treated with liposuction. Depending on the patient’s specific conditions, incisions may be more limited. The incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following the arm lift.