An arm lift, medically known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at improving the appearance of the upper arms. Over time, or due to significant weight loss, the skin on the upper arms can become loose and flabby. An arm lift is designed to address this by removing excess skin and fat, resulting in a more toned and contoured appearance. Here are some key points about arm lift surgery:

Ideal Candidates

  • Individuals with significant upper arm skin laxity
  • Those who have lost a large amount of weight and have excess skin
  • People with relatively stable weight who are not significantly overweight
  • Non-smokers or those willing to quit, as smoking can hinder healing


  • Consultation: The first step involves a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss goals, expectations, and potential risks.
  • Anesthesia: Arm lift surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia.
  • Incision: The surgeon will make incisions on the inside or back of the arm, which may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow, depending on the amount of excess skin.
  • Removing excess skin and fat: The surgeon trims away the excess skin and may use liposuction to remove excess fat.
  • Closing the incisions: The skin is then smoothed over the new contour of your arm, and the incisions are closed with sutures.


  • Initial recovery typically takes 2 to 4 weeks, during which time patients may need to wear compression garments to minimize swelling and support the healing tissues.
  • Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks as per the surgeon’s advice.
  • Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are common but usually improve within a few weeks.

Risks and Complications

  • As with any surgery, there are risks, including infection, bleeding, and scarring.
  • There may also be risks related to anesthesia.
  • Numbness or changes in skin sensation may occur but are typically temporary.


  • The results of an arm lift are visible almost immediately, but it may take several months for the final results to fully develop as the swelling subsides.
  • Scars are a trade-off with this procedure, and their length and visibility can vary.
  • The results are generally long-lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness.


An arm lift can significantly improve the shape and tone of the upper arms, boosting confidence and comfort in clothing and swimwear. It’s important for anyone considering this procedure to have realistic expectations and to discuss all aspects of the surgery, including potential risks and recovery, with a qualified plastic surgeon.