Arm Lift / Brachioplasty 

Conveniently located to serve Houston

What is an arm lift?

An arm lift, also known as a Brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that will remove excess skin and fat under the arm, as well as tighten and smooth the skin of the under portion of the upper arm.  It will minimize areas of fat in the upper arm region, sometimes referred to as “bat wings.” This plastic surgery procedure is for both men and women. 

Due to aging process and weight loss the upper arms may develop extra skin that hangs down under the arms. Unfortunately, this excess skin cannot be corrected or tightened through exercise alone. 

Am I a good candidate for a Arm Lift?

An arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms affect your everyday activities, and your confidence. Arm lift procedure is also great for those who want to wear tank tops or shirts and have smooth contoured arms to show off. Some patients may experience discomfort and skin irritation from having so much excess skin under their arms, and can benefit from this procedure too. In general, arm lift candidates are:

  • Adults with significant upper arm loose skin 
  • Adults with stable weight 
  • Adults without any major underlying medical history
  • Nonsmoker 

What to expect during brachioplasty surgery:

An arm lift is performed in an outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia or general anesthesia.  The length of the incision will depend on the amount and location of excess skin and fat to be removed. During your initial consultation, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Payne will evaluate how much skin to remove and answer any questions that you might have. We will go over any adverse health conditions to confirm if you are a candidate for surgery. 

The incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm and may extend from the elbow to the underarm or armpit area.  If necessary, excess fat will be removed with liposuction. The underlying tissue will be tightened and reshaped as well.

Any significant amount of excess skin will be removed and an incision will heal with a scar on the inside back of the arm. 

Post operative Arm Lift

 After your Arm Lift surgery, you will need to wear a compression garment 24/7. Instructions on how to wear compression garment will be discussed on your postoperative visit. You may shower but please do not submerge in any body’s of water such as swimming pool, hot tub and bath tub etc. Drains are usually not necessary for surgery on the arms. There may be small incisions in different areas of your arm that will drain. Ideally, lymphatic massages would help eliminate the buildup of fluid. Avoid foods high in sodium during recovery. We recommend no strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks after arm lift surgery.

Upper Arm Lift Recovery

Since this is an outpatient cosmetic surgery we recommend for our patients to avoid any strenuous activity for a few weeks after surgery. Normal activities may resume after 6 weeks. You will need to wear a compression garment on the arms to help with the final results to achieve a toned appearance. Sutures are typically placed under the skin and will dissolve on their own. We recommend to schedule your pain medications after surgery to minimize the pain experienced with arm lift procedure. 

What type of anesthesia will be used during my Arm Lift?

An arm lift cosmetic surgery is performed under light sedation and general anesthesia. 

Can I have other surgery with an arm lift procedure? 

Body contouring cosmetic procedures can be combined into a single surgery such as a body lift with an arm lift and thigh lift. Most commonly the body contouring procedures are combined with a tummy tuck. Occasionally a breast augmentation can be done in combination with an arm lift. 

Will I have bruising or swelling after the procedure?

You should expect to have some swelling and minimal bruising, but every patient is different. You will see immediate results in contouring and shapeliness, but it may take 2-3 weeks or longer for swelling to fully dissipate. 

Will I have scarring?

Over time the scarring should begin to fade. We will also recommend post-surgical skin care regimen to aid in the healing process which will be discussed at your post op visit. Proper care of the area will help fade any incision scars, as well as protect the area from sun damage.

When can I go back to work or do physical activity?

We want you to refrain from too much physical activity, and heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks. That means no strenuous exercise! But you can return to work within the first week.

What to expect after an arm lift?

The skin under your arms will appear more firm and smooth immediately, however you won’t see your full results until swelling has completely subsided.  Most patients will have phenomenal results, and feel confident showing off their arms again.  If you maintain a healthy weight, your results should be long lasting and provide the tank top worthy arms you have always wanted. 

Are Brachioplasty Results Permanent?

Visible results can remain after your upper arm lift surgery but results are long lasting overall as long as your weight is maintained. As your body ages, it is natural for your body to have sagging skin, loss of elasticity and loose skin. However, the upper arm skin and fat that is removed can be permanent. When you maintain a healthy weight the results will last. 

How Much Does a Brachioplasty Cost?

The cost of a Brachioplasty in Houston typically start at $6,000, depending on the details of your treatment plan.

With a surgical plan that involves such a personalized series of procedures, an accurate cost estimate cannot be made until your needs and goals are assessed in a consultation. Dr. Payne and our patient care coordinator would be happy to give you a personalized quote when you visit our practice. While a Brachioplasty doesn’t typically qualify for insurance coverage, financing options provided by CareCredit® can be a useful way for qualified patients to pursue their procedure right away while making costs more manageable.

Dr. Eric Payne who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons can guide you through the process of deciding the best options for your Brachioplasty surgery. Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have, so please contact our Houston-area practice to speak to a member of our office or to schedule a consultation.