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Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, can reshape the arm for smoother skin and contours by reducing excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow. The result is a more proportionate and toned appearance.

Who Is a Good Candidate?
Weight fluctuations, heredity and aging can cause upper arms to droop and sag. Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone, but if the skin has lost elasticity, the underlying tissues are weak or there are localized fat deposits, you are a good candidate for brachioplasty.

In addition, a good candidate for brachioplasty is an adult in good general physical condition whose weight is relatively stable and who is not significantly overweight. Patients should not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase surgical risks. The ideal candidate will also have realistic goals for improvement.

What to Expect
Based on the amount and location of the excess skin to be removed, your plastic surgeon will determine the incision length and pattern. Generally, incisions are placed on the inside or back of the arm and may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. Sometimes the incision may be more limited. If fat is to be reduced as well, liposuction will be used.

Once the incision is made, excess skin is removed and the underlying tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Then the remaining skin is smoothed over the new contour.

The incision will be closed with absorbable sutures or sutures that will be removed one to two weeks later.

Initially after surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. Often an elastic bandage or compression garment is used to minimize swelling and to support the arm as it heals. A small, thin tube (drain) may be temporarily placed under the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.

Recovery Information
You will be given specific instructions after your plastic surgery, including:

  • How to care for your arms
  • Medications to apply or take orally
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your surgeon

For more information about this cosmetic procedure, visit The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Find a Doctor
To locate a board-certified cosmetic surgeon affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, search the online physician database or call 678-312-5000.