Upper Arm Lift

Young Female Model with hand raised above her head
The signs of aging affect nearly every part of the body at some point. Rarely do we expect it to have a dramatic impact on the backs of the arms. Jokes of “bat wings” aside, excess sagging tissue on the backs of the arms can be a concerning cosmetic problem. We are pleased to offer patients the opportunity to sculpt the arms with brachioplasty.

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What is an arm lift?

Many people know brachioplasty as arm lift surgery. An arm lift is a plastic surgery procedure that reshapes the arms by removing excess tissue that will not tighten on its own. This can restore the proper proportion between the upper and lower arm.

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Who is a good candidate for arm lift surgery?

Male model showing off arms
Good candidates for arm lift surgery are healthy adults, first and foremost. Those who are in good physical health, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of this procedure are generally the most satisfied with their experience.

People who benefit from arm lift surgery have excess skin that hangs down from the upper arm when they hold their arms out to the sides. There may be a small amount of fat that hangs between the armpit and the elbow, as well. These problems often relate to significant weight loss, which can leave the skin loose and without elasticity to bounce back. Elasticity also decreases naturally with age, so an arm lift may be beneficial even if a patient has maintained a relatively healthy weight throughout their life.

Because the backs of the arms, as well as other parts of the body, may be affected by weight gain or loss, patients are encouraged to seek their arm lift once they have achieved their ideal weight. This way, the surgeon can achieve a slimmer arm profile that will match the rest of the body and will not be lost due to weight fluctuations.

“Where do I start. Dr. Shah and his staff are amazing from the front desk ladies to the nurses and then there is Carol . They are all amazing. I went in for a consult after not being very happy at all with 2 other consults with 2 different surgeons. Dr. Shah and his staff made me feel very comfortable. He listens and explains everything to you. I went in 2 different times because I had so many questions.  Thank you thank you thank you Dr. SHAH. You are truly a LIFE CHANGER!”M.L.

How is a Brachioplasty Performed?

The arm lift may include two techniques, liposuction and tissue tightening.

Upper Arm Liposuction

Liposuction is a fat contouring procedure that can slim the upper arm by removing the excess fatty tissue that is causing heaviness. In mild cases of sagging, liposuction may be the only technique that is performed. In most cases, however, liposuction is an inclusion that is done to reach ideal arm contours in relation to the rest of the body.

The Arm Lift / Brachioplasty Procedure

During the arm lift, excess skin and tissue are removed from the area between the armpit and the elbow. Though the main objective is consistent, technique may vary depending on the degree of laxity that is present and how far sagging extends down the arm.

Some patients can undergo a limited incision brachioplasty, while some procedures require an incision from the uppermost part of the back of the arm to just above the elbow. Incisions allow Dr. Shah to pull tissue into new contours that are proportionate to the lower arm. Excess tissue is trimmed, and the new edges are joined together and secured with stitches. After the incisions are closed, a compression garment or dressing is applied to each arm.

What results can an arm lift achieve?

People who have excess skin and fat on the upper arms may have a difficult time wearing clothing with long sleeves. The shape of the upper arms often diminishes self-esteem and can lead to embarrassment. In many cases, patients complain of general discomfort related to excess tissue. An arm lift can resolve these issues and enable the patient to feel happier and more confident about their appearance.

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What is the recovery like from arm lift surgery?

Blonde female model admiring her smooth arm
The first few days after an arm lift, patients can expect mild to moderate discomfort. Pain medication is prescribed to control this. The bandages applied to the arms after surgery may also limit range of motion. Patients may need help with various tasks until bandages are removed. Swelling may be moderate even if drains are in place. To prevent excessive swelling, patients should sleep with their hands elevated higher than their heart. This can be achieved by placing one or two pillows under the hands.

After about a week, comfort may be improved to a point where pain medication is no longer needed. Swelling and bruising are also typically resolving nicely at this time. However, these side effects will continue to decrease gradually for up to three weeks.

A follow-up visit usually takes place about 10 days after surgery. At this visit, drainage tubes, bandages, and stitches may be removed. While patients are still restricted from lifting heavy objects or stretching the arms, mobility improves significantly. With stitches removed and incisions healing well, patients may resume showering and are usually ready to go back to work and light daily activities at this time. A compression garment may still be worn to assist with optimal healing.

Two to four weeks after surgery, patients may begin a scar therapy plan as approved by our office. Four to six weeks after surgery, all swelling and bruising should be gone and patients can appreciate their new, slimmer arms. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise may be resumed approximately six weeks after surgery. Scars will continue to lighten and fade for several months.

What are the risks of arm lift surgery?

Brachioplasty is generally thought to be a safe procedure. Like all surgeries, it does come with risks. These include:

  • Infection
  • Poor or slow wound healing
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage that minimizes sensations on the skin
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Blood clots
  • Persistent pain in the surgical area
  • Damage to lymphatic tissue that leads to swelling in the arm

“Dr. Shah and his whole team at Signature Plastic Surgery were amazing from start to finish. They made me feel welcomed, relaxed and reassured especially after telling them I suffer anxiety. They allowed me to take up A LOT of their time with questions and told me I was welcome back as many times until I was ready.”C.A.

Schedule Your Brachioplasty Consultation Today!

Interested in learning more about our arm lift procedure? Call 702.684.5502 to schedule your consultation with Signature Plastic Surgery today! Our practice serves Henderson, Las Vegas, & more in Nevada. 

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Signature Plastic Surgery & Dermatology 3035 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy Henderson, NV 89052
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Signature Plastic Surgery and Dermatology