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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

A Brachioplasty or "arm lift", is a procedure designed to remove the redundant skin and fat from under the arms. Loose upper arm skin folds can be unsightly, and interfere with one’s ability to fit in sleeved tops, as well as causing underarm skin rash and irritation. Candidates for Arm Lift plastic surgery are often embarrassed by their large and “jiggley” arms which they can’t improve.


Excess skin of the upper arms can develop from a number of causes including, weight loss, genetic predisposition, natural aging.  The majority of candidates for Brachioplasty are those have lost massive weight.  While these patients reap many health and psychological benefits from this weight loss, one of its aftereffects is sagging skin that hangs from the arms and other parts of the body. After years of having excess subcutaneous tissue, stretching of skin causes loss of skin elasticity; therefore, no amount of diet or exercise can restore firmness and tone to the upper arms.


Fortunately, Dr. Smith can help restore a person’s ability to wear sleeveless blouses and shirts comfortably, to show their arms without feeling self-conscious, and to conduct their lives with greater freedom and confidence.


Not everyone with large arms is a good candidate for an arm tuck or Brachioplasty. Those who predominantly have excess fat, are often better served by first undergoing liposuction of arms, and then to consider a Brachioplasty only if their arm skin does not shrink with liposculpture. Also, people with Hidradenitis Suppurativa-- a persistent ongoing infection of the sweat glands in their armpits, should not undergo Brachioplasty until treated appropriately. Finally, Brachioplasty is contraindicated for women who have had Radical Mastectomy or extensive breast cancer surgery, due to the risk of developing chronic arm swelling.


The style of Brachioplasty performed by Dr. Smith depends upon the amount and location of your excess skin. If excess hanging skin is located within two inches from the armpit, your cosmetic surgeon can potentially pull up and tuck this excess skin into the armpit with an Axillary Brachioplasty or Mini Arm Tuck. For those whose excess skin extends like a “Bat Wing” from the armpit to the elbow, the only option is the complete removal of the arm flab in a Standard Brachioplasty or Standard Arm Lift.


An important consideration for Brachioplasty patients is the resulting scars. With a Mini Arm Tuck, the scar is limited to a semi-circular line hidden in the armpit. Standard Brachioplasty, however, results in a permanent scar extending the length of the upper arm, from the armpit to the elbow. This scar is either placed on the inner side of the arm, which is hidden in a normal pose; or at the bottom of the arm just, like the seam of a shirt. The severity of the scar’s appearance varies from patient to patient and cannot be predicted. Therefore, it is extremely important to decide whether having a permanent scar is a good “trade off” for having smaller and firmer upper arms.


Arm Lift Frequently Asked Questions

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