Arm Lift Surgery

Brachioplasty, also known as an Arm Lift, removes excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow. Performed at our Dallas, Houston, and Austin metro locations, this surgical procedure contours and reshapes your arms resulting in a smoother, toned, and proportionate appearance.

A Brachioplasty or arm lift procedure can restore a person’s ability to wear sleeveless blouses and shirts comfortably, to show their arms without feeling self-conscious, and to live their lives with greater confidence and freedom.

Loose upper arm skin is most often related to weight loss because most people that are overweight develop heavy upper arms. To accommodate the increased volume of the upper arms, the skin stretches and after a prolonged period of time causes loss of skin elasticity. Therefore, no amount of diet or exercise can restore firmness and tone to the upper arms.

The type of Brachioplasty performed depends upon the amount and location of the excess skin. If excess hanging skin is located within two inches from the armpit, the surgeon can potentially pull up and tuck this excess skin into the armpit with an Axillary Brachioplasty or Mini Arm Tuck. If the excess skin extends from the armpit to the elbow, the only option is the complete removal of the arm flab with a standard brachioplasty or arm lift.

Before and After Arm Lift

Dr. Cameron Craven
before arm lift Before
after arm lift After
Dr. Daniela Atencio

How is arm lift surgery performed?

The doctor begins by marking the area of excess skin with the patient either standing or sitting. The anesthesia is administered. Incisions are made on the inner and under surface of the arm. The pattern of skin removal usually follows an elliptical or triangular shape. The surgical opening may run from the armpit to as low as the elbow.

While the excess skin and fat is removed, the remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place. Occasionally, a drain is used to lead excess fluids out from the site of incision, allowing the skin better to adhere to the tissue beneath. The incisions are then bandaged.

How long does the surgery take?

An Arm Lift procedure usually takes about three hours. After a monitored time in the recovery room, patients go home the same day.

Where will the procedure be performed?

The procedure takes place in our accredited surgery centers at our Round Rock, Downtown Austin, and Westlake locations. Arm lift surgery is also now available in Houston.

Is there scarring?

An important consideration for Brachioplasty patients is the subsequent scars. With a Mini Arm Tuck, the scar is restricted to a semi-circular line hidden within the armpit. A Standard Brachioplasty results in a scar that extends from the armpit to the elbow, running the length of the upper arm.

Who is not a candidate?

An arm lift is usually not recommended for patients who have had a mastectomy. The drainage of fluid from the arm through the lymph system may already be damaged, and further surgery can lead to persistent swelling. Patients who have recurrent infections in the armpit, or suffer from excessive sweat formation may also not be good candidates.

Liposuction or Brachioplasty?

Liposuction of the arms is typically recommended for those patients who primarily have excess fat with tight skin.  If the arm skin does not shrink following liposuction, the patient may want to consider a Brachioplasty procedure.  Liposuction is not a good solution if your problem is due to loose skin. When the skin is loose, Brachioplasty surgery is usually the best choice.

What can I expect after brachioplasty?

After the procedure you will feel groggy. Your arm will be placed in a special compression garment to help the newly-sculpted skin adhere to the tissue underneath. You will probably have several layers of stitches on the upper arm, possibly with a drain inserted to help the skin to adhere to the underlying tissue. Stitches are generally dissolvable and do not require removal.

What is the brachioplasty recovery period like?

For the first week following surgery, you will have to avoid strenuous activity, including arm elevation and lifting. You will be able to shower on the second day after surgery. The swelling is mild to moderate, and peaks at two to three days. Swelling may take several months to resolve completely.

While each person’s recovery is unique, the recovery period after an Arm Lift generally lasts one to two weeks. You’ll probably be able to return to work or your regular routine in a week, and resume exercise within two weeks. Strenuous workouts and contact sports can be engaged in after about four weeks.

What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

  • Improved proportion in the contour of the arm above the elbow.
  • Greater confidence and comfort in clothing.
  • Reduction of flabbiness, extra skin and fat, especially in the upper inner arms.
  • Long-lasting results.

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