Womans arm

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty): Is it Right for You?

Many people desire to have sleek, toned arms; however, even with a regular healthy diet and exercise routine, it can be hard to achieve and get rid of stubborn arm fat and loose skin. Many cosmetic procedure options are available for slim, toned arms. One of those options is an arm lift procedure.

Arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper arm area, giving it a firmer and more youthful appearance. Over time, the upper arms can develop sagging skin and fat deposits, especially after weight loss or aging. For many individuals, this can cause discomfort and insecurity about their appearance, leading them to consider an arm lift.

However, before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to carefully consider whether it’s the right choice for you. This article will provide information about arm lift surgery, including the benefits and risks, what you can expect during the procedure, and what kind of results you can achieve. 

What is an Arm Lift Procedure?

An arm lift procedure is designed to reshape and contour the upper arm. This procedure is typically recommended for individuals with loose, saggy skin and excess fat in the upper arm area, often due to weight loss, aging, or genetics. The procedure aims to tighten and smooth the skin and underlying tissue to create a more youthful, toned appearance.

The Procedure Process

The arm lift procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete, depending on the extent of the surgery. The exact method of the arm lift procedure will vary depending on the individual’s needs and the surgeon’s preferred techniques, but it generally involves making an incision along the inside or back of the arm, often extending from the underarm to the elbow.

During the procedure, the surgeon will remove excess skin and fat to create a smoother, more toned appearance. In some cases, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat initially prior to the skin excision, which can be especially helpful for individuals with significant bulk in the upper arm area. The incision is then closed with sutures, and a compression garment is applied to help reduce swelling and support the arm as it heals.

Arm Lift Recovery

Recovery after an arm lift procedure is a crucial component for overall success. Proper care and attention during the recovery period can help ensure optimal results and minimize the risk of complications.

You can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the first few days after the procedure, but these symptoms will generally subside within a week or two. Your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort during this time. You’ll also need to wear a compression garment for several weeks to help reduce swelling and support healing.

You’ll need to avoid lifting heavy objects and engaging in strenuous physical activity for several weeks after your surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on when you can return to normal activities, but most patients can return to work within two to three weeks.

It’s important to keep your incision area clean and dry to prevent infection. Your surgeon may also provide specific instructions for wound care, such as applying ointment or keeping the area covered. You’ll need to attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress and ensure that your arm is healing properly.

In general, it’s important to listen to your body during the recovery process and take things slow. The exact length of the recovery process will vary depending on the extent of the procedure, but most individuals will be able to see the final results of their arm lift within six to twelve months.

Arm Lift Results

The results of an arm lift procedure can be significant and long-lasting, providing a more youthful, toned appearance to the upper arms. Most individuals can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of their arms, with excess skin and fat removed to create a smoother, slimmer, more toned appearance.

While arm lift procedure results are usually long-lasting, it’s important to maintain a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle to help preserve the results. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.

Patients should remember that individual results may vary, and not everyone will achieve the same results from an arm lift procedure. Factors such as age, skin elasticity, and the amount of excess skin and fat can all impact the final results of the procedure. That’s why it’s important to discuss your goals and expectations with your surgeon and to have a realistic understanding of what the procedure can and cannot do.

In general, an arm lift procedure can be a highly effective way to improve the appearance of the upper arms, providing a more youthful, toned appearance and increased self-confidence. If you’re considering an arm lift procedure, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your surgeon and clearly understand what the procedure entails and what results you can expect.

Benefits & Risks of Arm Lift

Like any other cosmetic procedure, an arm lift procedure comes with many lasting benefits but can also come with potential risks. It’s important to be aware of these before moving forward with it. 


There are several benefits patients can experience after an arm lift procedure, including:

  • Improved Appearance: The main goal of the surgery is to improve the appearance of the upper arms. You can expect to experience a firmer, smoother, and more youthful appearance, boosting confidence in your appearance.
  • Long-Lasting Results: The results of arm lift surgery are typically long-lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and keep up a healthy lifestyle. Removing excess skin and fat means that, unlike weight fluctuations, the skin will not stretch and sag again in the same way.
  • Improved Self-Confidence: Many people feel self-conscious about their appearance, especially when it comes to sagging skin on their arms. The surgery can give you a boost of self-confidence and improve your overall quality of life.
  • Concealed Scarring: Arm lift surgery leaves a scar along the inside of the arm, but it’s usually well-hidden and can be easily concealed with clothing. Additionally, over time, the scar will fade, becoming less noticeable.


As with any surgical procedure, arm lift surgery carries some risks. Some of the most common risks include:

  • Bleeding: Bleeding can occur during or after surgery, leading to swelling and bruising.
  • Infection: There’s always a risk of infection with any surgery. Your surgeon will take steps to minimize the risk of infection, but there’s always a chance that it could happen.
  • Numbness: You may experience temporary numbness in the arm after surgery, which should resolve within a few months. In some cases, the numbness can be permanent.
  • Scarring: While the scar from arm lift surgery is typically well-hidden, there’s still a risk of scarring. Some individuals may develop raised or discolored scars that can be difficult to conceal.
  • Poor Wound Healing: Some individuals may experience poor wound healing, which can result in noticeable scarring or a delay in the healing process.
  • Unsatisfactory Results: While arm lift surgery can produce excellent results, there’s always a chance that you may be unhappy with the look. For example, you may not like the appearance of the scar, or you may not see the improvement you were hoping for.

The Bottom Line

An arm lift is a highly effective procedure for removing stubborn fat and loose skin to give patients a smooth, lifted, and toned appearance to the upper arms. An arm lift is a great option for patients who want fast and permanent results and are willing to maintain a healthy lifestyle after their procedure. 
If you’re considering an arm lift procedure, be sure to discuss your goals and expectations with your surgeon and to have a clear understanding of the risks and benefits involved. Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering an arm lift, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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