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Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Brachioplasty, also referred to as arm lift, is a cosmetic surgery that aims to reshape or contour the arms. It is often used to fix loose skin and fat in the arms, usually as a result of extreme weight loss. This procedure is most common among those people who are undergoing weight loss programs.

Who is a good candidate?

The best candidates for an arm lift are people with undesirable fat deposits and excessive loose skin. Please note that liposuction is a better choice for those people with mild to moderate loose skin.

arm lift


An arm lift procedure brings permanent results provided that no severe weight loss occurs (natural processes of ageing may impact on the results).

Whilst this procedure will bring renewed confidence, it is vital that you have realistic expectations and that you discuss these with your surgeon during your consultation. Your surgeon will also perform diagnostic examinations and/or laboratory investigations prior to hospital admission and surgery. This is to ensure that you are fit for surgery. This is in line with standard hospital procedure.

How the Procedure is Performed

The Arm Lift procedure is performed whilst the patient has a twilight sedation administered. The procedure itself takes around 2-3 hours to complete. An incision is made, often in the armpit and can range in length depending on the correction required and the treatment. Any unwanted fat and skin is then removed. The skin is then redraped to uncover an improved balanced appearance and the enhanced natural contours of the arm.

Limitation’s and Risks

There is risk in all surgical procedures and it is important that you are aware of the risks involved in your procedure before going ahead with the surgery. During your appointments you should discuss any concerns with your surgeon and not be afraid to ask questions. Your surgery will be unable to proceed unless you sign a pre-surgery consent form.

It is also your obligation to advise your surgeon of any important medical information that could affect your surgery and/or increase your levels of risk. The type of medical information that you should disclose includes medical complications, previous surgeries, current and recent medications and family disease.

Every patient is different with risks for each person varying based on different factors. The below risks can occur with undergoing an Arm Lift.

  • Fluid accumulation under the wound
  • Infection
  • Development of Keloid- where the scar “overgrows” the original scar
  • Opening of a section of the wound
  • Hematoma- accumulation of blood located under the skin
  • Hypertrophic scarring- production of collagen results in the scar to be around and above the surrounding skin

Side Effects

As with any surgery, there are always possible risks and potential complications. Scarring is a characteristic of this surgery and the healing of scars will depend on your body’s natural ability to restore itself and can take a solid six months to fade. Medications such as topical silicone gels can be used to promote healing.

Recovery Time

Recovery following this procedure usually takes 2-6 weeks. Whilst recovering, high impact activities should be avoided as this can unnecessarily prolong the recovery time. Exercise should be kept to a mild to moderate level. A compression garment will need to be worn for approximately 3 weeks following surgery. This is essential in supporting the healing process, particularly in reducing the possibility of fluid buildup and swelling.

Returning to work: Within 3-7 days
Exercise: May be continued in 2 weeks

Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.

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