Arm Lift - An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, reduces excess skin and fat on the undersurface of the arm, in between the armpit and elbow. This is often performed on patients after massive weight loss.
- Arm Lift
Courtesy of Dr. Russell Babbitt
What should I expect?
After massive weight loss, if you're unhappy with the excess upper arm skin, you can undergo an armlift in an outpatient setting. Your operation may take 2 to 3 hours and may require drains. The procedure will leave you with a scar that is unattractive. However, most patients are willing to trade their "bat wings" for finely contoured arms with a scar that is placed on the inside of the arm to keep it as inconsipicuous as possible. If you are more concerned about the scars than ridding yourself of unattractive upper arm skin, you should not have this procedure. Your drains, if you have them, will be removed in 1 to 2 weeks. If you do not have absorbable stitches, these will be removed in 1 to 2 weeks also. Your doctor may have you wear a garment to help your arms with swelling. You can return to work once you feel uncomfortable and are without pain.
How should I prepare?
Refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen and some herbal supplements before surgery as these may increase bleeding. It is best to stop smoking several weeks before and after your procedure. Any form of nicotine may cause problems during the healing process.
What are the risks?
The most common risk regarding armlift surgery is scar widening that is unattractive but the scar is placed in the most inconspicuous position possible. Other less common risks are bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, temporary or permanent numbness to the inside of the upper arm or need for revisions. One additional risk is swelling in the hands after removal of the excess upper arm skin. This is due to slower than normal lymph drainage from the hands but as the body acclimates after surgery, the hand swelling will resolve.
How do I ensure my safety?
Be sure you have this procedure performed by an appropriately trained plastic surgeon in an accredited facility. Also, ask to see photos of previous results.
What will recovery be like?
After your procedure, bandages or a pressure garment may be placed on the arms to minimize swelling and improve the contour. Drains and sutures, if present, will be removed in 1 to 2 weeks. You will be taught how to care for the drains before going home. Once you are comfortable with arm movement, you can return to work.
How much does it cost?
In the United States, the average cost of an arm lift is $6,714, according to BuildMyBod's 2019 Plastic Surgery Pricing Report.This includes costs of anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees.
See more detailed pricing for this procedure
Questions & Answers
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