What Is An Arm Lift, and Why Is It A Good Option?

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


Arm lifts, also called brachioplasty, are a prevalent type of plastic surgery. The idea here is to treat any sagging underarm by reducing the extra arm skin. Not only that, but arm lifts will also help tighten the tissue and make it smoother while removing the excess arm fat. Many patients choose brachioplasty because it's a great way to make your upper arm area feel more defined and toned.

When do you need an arm liposuction?
Liposuction can be a great idea if you have extra arm fat or skin. Fat is removed from the arm during the process, and everything is sculpted to look slender. That's the ideal option for women. On the other hand, men want to have their muscles bulging, so the best choice for them is high-definition arm liposculpting.
Making the right incision is very important. Typically, the arm lift scar is hidden when you keep your arms by your side. Arm lift surgery is easist if the scar is placed on the back of your arm, around the triceps region. Most plastic surgeons avoid scars between the biceps and triceps since it can be very challenging.
There are also armbands and creases found in the middle of the arm. These are not parallel to the arm's axis. Thankfully, you can get rid of them with Z-plasty, then liposuction and a zigzag to RF-orient the creases and remove them. Removing these armbands with plastic surgery is possible.

Can you remove forearm fat?
Yes, arm lifts can also be used to remove the unwanted fat that appears in the forearms. The ideal way to deal with this issue is an upper and lower arm reduction. An incision is made from the armpit to the elbow, and then to the wrist. It's important to note that this region has more extra skin than fat.

Is any checkup needed before the arm lift surgery?
It's essential to ensure that you are medically stable before this type of surgery. This is why medical professionals will do a chest x-ray, EKG, blood checkup, and several other tests. These are important, especially if you want to tackle some of the more lengthy procedures.
If you want a consultation for arm lifts, you need to email or call your plastic surgeon’s office and share some pictures for review. Virtual or real office consultations can be established. If all your tests are normal, an arm lift surgery can be scheduled.

Who is the ideal candidate for arm lift?
Many different types of patients desire arm lifts. However, the arm lifts procedure is helpful for someone that lost a lot of weight, around 100 pounds or even more. A brachioplasty can be perfect for you if you have lots of extra skin or arms with plenty of fat. If you smoke, you will have to quit smoking three months before the surgery since smoking can be problematic for your blood flow.

Can there be any complications?
Sometimes during or after an arm lift surgery, complications can occur. One of the most common complications is that the wound opens. The second most common complication is that you can have an infection in the armpit. You could also develop a sermona or fluid collection, although this is very rare.

How much time does the arm lift surgery take?

Arm lift/reduction surgery will vary based on the patient. For example, if the incision is made from the elbow to the armpit, the brachioplasty will take 3-4 hours. If the incision is from the armpit to the wrist, the arm and forearm reduction can take 6 hours. Liposuction can take up to 2-3 hours. When you wake up, you will not feel much pain since doctors tend to use a pain pump that delivers lidocaine to numb the area.
You can go back to daily activities within 3-5 days. Around a week after the arm reduction, you can even go back to the office. You will be restricted from performing certain activities. Your plastic surgeon will give you the exact details based on your type of surgery.

Check out this video of the arm lift procedure. Click here!

Can you combine arm lifts with other procedures?
Yes, combination surgeries depends on what procedures you want to add. It's common for some women that choose an arm lift also to request a breast lift or breast augmentation with an implant. Some patients go for a tummy tuck. Usually it comes down to the patient, and the doctor will let them know if the combination is advisable or not.

It's essential to perform your due diligence and understand what an arm lift entails and what challenges can arise. Generally, arm lifts are safe, but they still have their share of complications. That's why you want to choose a professional doctor that can help guide you through the process and ensure everything is performed successfully!

If you are considering an arm lift/reduction or brachioplasty, please call Dr. Katzen at (310)859-7770. Dr. Katzen is a board certified plastic surgeon and has successfully performed hundreds of arm reductions. Dr. Katzen has offices in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Dubai. Virtual or in person consultations can be established. Call today to get skinny arms.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.