An arm lift (also known as a brachioplasty) is a body-contouring surgical procedure that removes excess loose skin from the arm to improve the shape of the arms. The procedure can be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat. This procedure should be performed on patients who are at a stable, healthy weight.
Is there more than one type of arm lift?
There are multiple techniques for arm lifts. The type of arm lift you need is determined by the amount and location of the excess skin and the incisions used for the procedure depends on what areas you would like to be addressed. A way to determine the amount of extra skin you have on your arm is to stand with your arms up like a goal post. The skin that hangs down is the skin that is usually removed. Your arm lift may vary in the following ways:
- In a standard brachioplasty, the skin from the elbow to the armpit is removed. The scar may be visible in sleeveless clothing, but it is placed in an area where it should not be visible if the arms are at the side of the body.
- In an extended brachioplasty, additional skin extending from the armpit to the side of the chest is removed. This is done when patients have had massive weight loss. In the appropriate patient, these surgeries can be combined with a breast and back lift.
- For patients that have limited extra skin, it may be possible to isolate the incision to the armpit area so there is no scar on the arm. This technique is limited and not all patients are candidates for this. Sometimes liposuction can be combined with the procedure, however the best results are achieved when patients are at an optimal and stable weight.
- If the patient would benefit from liposuction of the arm, we may also stage the procedure, so liposuction is done first, the skin is allowed to shrink as much as possible, and then a brachioplasty is performed.