A Guide to Brachioplasty/Arm Lift

One of the most common forms of plastic surgery due to dramatic weight loss or simply the effects that time wages on our bodies is an arm lift or also called Brachioplasty. Both men and women experience loss of tone, the obvious end result appears as excess skin on the underside of the arm hangs. Another reason for this form of skin hang could be because a body chooses to deposit fat in that particular area of the body but no matter what the reasons, thousands choose to say good-bye to that hanging skin using the modern technology of plastic surgery.

The whole point of an arm lift procedure is to remove the excess skin or fat from the underside of the arm. The skin is then pulled tightly around the arms and the problem is resolved. Sometimes an arm lift procedure may not be necessary if a patient has over all good skin tone, there are times when liposuction can restore those areas without surgery but when liposuction isn’t an option, an arm lift is. There are plenty of things a potential patient should know before opting for this procedure, education is key and this article will cover all the aspects of an arm lift procedure.

The Risks Associated With An Arm Lift Procedure,

Everyone knows that when undergoing a procedure involving surgery of any type, there is always a certain level of risk involved and plastic surgery is no different. Complications from an arm lift are like many surgeries with swelling, bruising, infection and bleeding possible but each patient is unique and these things are not exactly common. Other risks that is unique to a patient’s condition concern the healing of surgery wounds. Complications from a wound that doesn’t heal normally could result in infection or scars that could lead to more surgeries.

Smokers are always advised to stop smoking at least three weeks before surgery because smoking actually increases the normal risks and could create more because smoking alters the circulation of blood in skin.

Most complications can be avoided when the surgeon knows the complete medical history of the patient, the types of medications the patient routinely takes, the lifestyle and the expectations of the patient.

The Events Of A Consultation,

The plastic surgeon will initially evaluate the patient’s circumstances during the initial consultation. The plastic surgeon will interview the patient learning about a patient’s complete medical history and lifestyle. The surgeon will also examine the area, the skin tone, the amount of fat present and an overall physical examination. The surgeon will most likely recommend what type of procedure should be performed, in this case, sometimes liposuction will be recommended along with an arm lift procedure.

The consultation isn’t only for the surgeon to evaluate the patient however. This is also the patients time to ask any pending questions, ask about the steps of the procedure, what to expect and ask for any background information, view before and after pictures and to get to know the surgeon.

Pre-Operative Arm Lift Period,

A patient can expect a trip to the hospital or a lab to draw blood for routine testing. Most often times a surgeon will give a patient a list of things to do in the upcoming weeks of the arm lift procedure. Including the discontinuation of smoking, medications that can complicate the procedure and the surgeon will advise the patient of any special instructions. The surgeon will photograph the areas where the procedure will be performed, have all of the necessary paperwork in order to be signed by the patient and answer any additional questions. If a patient has any allergic reactions to specific pain relievers, the surgeon needs that information at this time.

Special instructions will include what to wear and what not to wear the day of the surgery. A patient should expect to have transportation arranged the day of the surgery to and from the location. No hair clips, contact lenses, jewelry or any type of body decoration should be worn and loose fitting clothing is a must, also an extra change of clothes just in case. Some patients are advised to prepare only a couple of weeks ahead of time while others may be advised to prepare a couple of months in advance of the procedure. This is usually because of the medication attributes or the physical condition of the patient and is nothing to be alarmed about.

What To Expect The Day Of The Arm Lift Procedure,

A patient should expect the usual time of an arm lift is anywhere from two to three hours for both arms to be done. The doctor will mark the skin targeted, a nurse will record your pre-op vitals signs, and blood pressure and the anesthesiologist will review the patient’s medical history and ask any questions as well.

After the procedure is completed the patient will usually remain in the recovery area for up to three hours, sometimes longer, for observation purposes. The incisions are closed with absorbing sutures, incisions are dressed and a compressive article is applied to the incision area. A patient should make sure that their arranged transportation is well aware of the elements involved in the procedure as well.

As hospitals, most plastic surgeons will not release a patient to use transportation such as public bus, train, and taxi’s or even to a minor. A patient should clarify the transportation plans with the office before the day of the procedure arrives.


It’s important to fill any and all prescriptions a patient will need prior to surgery and recovery plans should be made in advance. It’s ideal that a patient ask a friend or relative to stay with them at least the first night following the procedure and have transportation arranged for follow up appointments as well.

Patients should always follow the advice of a surgeon. The surgeon knows when a patient can return to work, begin driving, and begin exercising again and routine medications. It’s important to avoid taking herbal supplements or any types of medications that are not approved by the surgeon. Usually recovery takes only a couple of weeks but patient’s need to keep appointments with the surgeon to make sure the procedure has been a success.


An arm lift is an excellent alternative for anyone who feels uneasy about skin that hangs on the underside of the arm for any reason. Pricing, depending on the area of the country a patient lives in can be anywhere from $3000-$6500 and even though the cost varies, a little research about where to have an arm lift performed could be in the best interest of a patient. When considering follow up appointments and recovery, it’s a good idea for a patient to stay as close to home as possible.

Patients should review all of the aspects of not only the procedure but of the surgeon as well. Checking the licensing, reputation carried with current patients and the availability of the surgeon. Each patient normally has different expectations of a surgeon, so making sure the right surgeon has been chosen is a must.

A patient should weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages before considering surgery of any type and an arm lift is no different. Technology is growing each and every year. At one time an arm lift wasn’t an option and just to think one can be done in just a few hours on an outpatient basis, is astounding. An arm lift in the future may be done even faster but for now, qualified surgeons continue to help more and more people each day to improve their image and feel better with procedures like an arm lift.

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