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What Is a Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)?

Brachioplasty surgery is a relatively new arm lift procedure that was up over 20% in 2017.1 This cosmetic arm lift surgery improves the contour and appearance of the upper arms by eliminating excess fat and loose skin which has not responded to diet and exercise.

When performed by a double board-certified surgeon like Dr. Do in Houston, this procedure is a safe and effective way to improve your self-confidence and reverse the stubborn effects of aging, childbirth, or rapid weight loss.

What Are the Benefits of Brachioplasty vs. Liposuction?

Your arm lift surgeon will help determine if you will benefit from brachioplasty, liposuction, or a combination of procedures which will create the best results. While liposuction is helpful in removing excess fat, when there is also excess skin present it may not be enough by itself to restore a healthy arm contour.

Brachioplasty surgery provides a better result for individuals with skin which has lost its elasticity over time. Treating skin laxity and eliminating loose drooping skin is the primary benefit of the arm lift surgery procedure.

Am I a Good Candidate?

You may be a good candidate for brachioplasty if you are:

  • An adult with excess skin and fat on the underside of the arms
  • A person of any age who is maintaining a stable weight
  • A healthy individual without conditions that might complicate surgery or slow healing
  • A person with realistic expectations and a positive outlook
  • A mature woman or one who has recently been pregnant
  • A non-smoker between the ages of 19 and 64

Risks Associated with an Arm Lift Surgery Procedure

The risks associated with the procedure are the same or similar to any other surgery. These will be clearly explained to you ahead of time and you will be asked to sign documents indicating that you understand these factors. Managing your risk starts with choosing an experienced and board-certified surgeon.

All surgery carries these risk factors:

  • Bleeding, scarring, tissue damage, or infection
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Persistent pain
  • The need for additional surgery

The Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Procedure

It will take about 2 hours for the arm lift surgeon to complete your procedure, which will entail:

  1. Skin Contouring. Using the smallest possible incisions, usually on the inside or back of the arm, your surgeon will remove excess fat and skin to achieve your desired result. The incisions are closed with stitches which will dissolve on their own within 1-2 weeks.
  2. Bandaging and Dressing. A small tube may be put in the incision to allow any fluids to drain safely. Bandages will be applied, and an elastic bandage or compression sleeve might be used to speed healing.
  3. Waking and After-Care. You will receive instructions before you are ready to leave the institute about caring for your incisions and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments. You should plan for someone else to drive you home safely.

Arm Lift Surgery Recovery

Follow the specific recommendations of your brachioplasty surgeon as you recover from the procedure. Most people can resume normal activities and go back to work in 1-2 weeks. Rest, eating well, and staying hydrated will help speed your recovery.

Choosing the Best Surgeon in Your Area

Dr. Do is a double board-certified surgeon in Houston who has held leadership positions at prestigious local medical centers and lectured at the state and national level in the cosmetic surgery field. With numerous awards and the expertise to serve as an Oral Examiner for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Do is the clear choice to make your aesthetic goals a reality.

Procedures That Complement Brachioplasty Surgery

Based on your individual needs, these other common procedures might also be helpful:

  • Lipo Body Contouring
  • Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
  • Thigh Lift
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Mommy Makeover
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The results

The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising. You will be encouraged to move your hands and fingers to avoid any stiffness.

You will need to wear a tight fitting body garment for the first few weeks to support the area. You should not engage in any strenuous activities until your surgeon releases you to do so. Your scars will be permanent but will eventually fade. You should allow 9 – 12 months for your scars to flatten and lighten in color.


*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person