Arm Lift

Arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excessive fat and skin over the underarm and elbow. It helps in toning your arms and providing an appealing contour to them. Advancing age, weight fluctuations and genetic factors result in sagging and drooping of the upper arms that can hamper your appearance.

Exercise can only strengthen the underlying muscles of the upper arm; it does not improve the skin laxity or manage the fat deposits underlying weakened tissues. However, arm lift can successfully deal with all these problems and the results of arm lift surgery are long-lasting.


The common steps involved in arm lift procedure are as follows:

  • The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
  • An incision is made over the skin; the length and pattern of which depends upon the location and amount of excess skin to be removed as well as the judgment of the plastic surgeon.
  • In general, incisions are placed on the inner side of the arm or on the back of the arm that may extend from the underarm (axilla), to the elbow.
  • During the procedure, the excessive fat is removed through liposuction.
  • Internal sutures help in forming new contours by tightening the underlying supportive tissues.
  • A small, thin tube is placed under the skin for the drainage of excessive blood or accumulated fluid.
  • Finally, the incisions are closed either by sutures, skin adhesives or tapes.

Post-operative care

The basic post-operative instructions after arm lift surgery include:

  • Keep the incision dry and clean.
  • Regular dressing of the incisions to help in healing
  • Regular intake of the prescribed medications
  • Avoid heavy activities, for a specified period during recovery, as recommended by your surgeon.
  • Avoid excessive force, or motion during the healing of the surgical incisions.

Risks and complications

The possible risks and complications associated with arm lift surgery include:

  • Inauspicious scarring
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Skin loss
  • Skin discoloration
  • Looseness of skin
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Infection
  • Induced asymmetry
  • Persistent pain
  • Relentless swelling of the arms
  • Poor wound healing
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revision surgery