Growing older, heredity, or fluctuations in weight can cause the upper arms to have loose skin and fat. When these conditions cannot be corrected through exercise, the upper arm lift procedure, also called a brachioplasty, removes this loose skin and fat. This is done through liposuction and in some cases through surgical removal of extra skin.

When is an arm lift beneficial?

Intermountain Medical Group plastic surgeons recommend arm lift surgery when the skin tone of the upper arm is poor and patients have a significant amount of extra skin to be removed. This is commonly done after significant weight loss as the skin will not shrink on its own. An arm lift can also reduce the folds of skin and fat on the upper chest near the armpit.

How is an arm lift performed?

Generally an outpatient procedure, an upper arm lift involves your plastic surgeon making incisions on the inside or back of your arm. Incision length may vary depending on the amount of excess skin, and could span from the underarm to just above the elbow.

Before the incision is made, excess fat may be directly removed with liposuction. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened, reshaped, and smoothed with internal, absorbable sutures. Your surgeon may also use sutures that will need to be removed within one to two weeks after surgery.

What results can I expect?

Patients who have undergone an arm lift benefit from a leaner arm contour. The incision left by an arm lift procedure is often completely concealed within the armpit or on the inside of the arm in an inconspicuous location. Downtime and recovery are minimal with an arm lift.