Arm lift

Without proper diet and regular exercise, our body expands to accommodate that extra weight. Our skin stretches to its limit and sometimes when it reaches far beyond its limit, the appearance of stretch marks occurs. So what exactly happens when we lose all that unwanted fat and extra weight? Our skin may never return to the same state as it was before it expanded way beyond its limit. The result of a massive weight loss is loose skin in some of our body parts particularly in the arm area.

The arm is the most exposed part of the loose skin after massive weight loss. Others may be forced to hide these areas to avoid embarrassment by wearing long sleeves. We don’t want anyone to see our flabby and shaky loose skin in our arms, do we? Sometimes drooping and saggy arms are not caused by excessive weight loss. They can also result from natural heredity and old age.

When exercise can no longer tone our skin because it has already lost its elasticity, the only solution for the sagging arm area is brachioplasty or more popularly known as the arm lift. It is a surgical procedure that redefines the under portion of the upper arm, particularly from the underarm area down to the elbow part. By surgically reducing the excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow and reshaping your arm for smoother skin and smoother contour, your upper arms becomes more toned and proportionate in appearance. This is the main purpose of an arm lift or brachioplasty. Probably, the only downside of this kind of cosmetic procedure is the scar left on the inside of your upper arm. This is less visible though because it is partly hidden unless you raise your arms.

The arm lift procedure will depend on how severe your arm’s loose skin is. When the amount of loose skin is mild, the arm lift procedure only tightens the excess skin from the armpit area. This will leave a very well-concealed scar in the armpit. Otherwise, if the excess skin is relatively large in size, the arm lift procedure will need to make an incision from the armpit to the inside of the arm near the elbow part. This classic surgical procedure will result in a long scar. If there are some excess fat that needs to be vacuumed, a liposuction procedure can be included in the arm lift procedure.

Also known as brachioplasty, an arm lift reshapes the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. An arm lift can lift and tighten up loose skin in the upper arms.


The best candidates are those patients that have a steady weight and are healthy. They cannot have any diseases that may compromise their health or the healing process. It is also very important that they are non-smokers and that they keep clear and realistic goals to improve their looks.


An arm lift usually takes one to three hours to perform, depending on the extent of the surgery. In most cases it will involve general anaesthesia. For some people with small amount of flab liposuction might suffice however most patients also require incisions.

If you only have a small amount of extra skin located near the armpit you might only need a minimal incision arm lift. If you more excess skin you might need an incision that runs from the elbow, along the armpit and sometimes onto the side of the chest. Once the excessive skin is trimmed and tightened, stitches and absorbable sutures will keep the incision in place.

One to two weeks after the surgery the stitches will be removed. Although it has remarkable and quick visible results, there are also complications associated with arm lifts as with any surgical procedures. Some risks of arm lift include risk of contracting infections, scarring, loss of sensation, or bruising from abnormal built up of blood vessels.


The result will be visible immediately, although there will be some swelling and bruising. You will probably feel some pain and discomfort after the surgery, and should therefore ask your surgeon for pain medication. The swelling will peak after about 4 days, and will thereafter slowly disappear. One week after the surgery the stitches are removed, and after approximately the same amount of time you will be able to shower. Most patients are able to go back to work two to three weeks after the arm lift procedure. You should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks.


As with all surgeries, there is a possibility of complications, for arm lifts these includes:

  • infection
  • anaesthesia risks
  • scarring
  • swelling
  • loss of sensation
  • hematomia

Frequently asked questions?

How long do the results last?

The results achieved with this procedure are long-lasting as long as you keep a steady weight and carry a healthy lifestyle regarding physical activity. Anyway, time will affect the results, though not in the same way as if you hadn’t done the surgery.


Another option to be considered for those patients that do not posses too much adipose tissue or flaccidity is the ultrasound or laser liposuction. These provide a greater skin retraction, which may be beneficial for these patients.

After care

An arm lift procedure is a rather major operation and therefore, it is advisable to take one or two weeks off work to recover. Try to avoid lifting heavy objects or doing any taxing activities. Naturally, moderate exercise is beneficial to your recovery as it promotes good circulation.

See Before & after snaps of arm lift surgery:

Image for Arm Lift

Image for Arm LiftImage for Arm Lift

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