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Arm Lift Surgery - Brachioplasty

Arm lift surgery corrects sagging arms and tightens the skin of the arms. With age, upper arm skin can become loose and flabby. The procedure removes loose skin and excess fat deposits from the upper arm. If the patient has significant fat deposits in the upper arm then liposuction of arms may be used with or without the armlift.

An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove sagging, excess skin under the upper arms that may be due to significant weight loss or loss of elasticity as a result of the aging process. Arm lifts are not recommended as a weight loss procedure, and work best on patients who are not significantly overweight.

What Are The Different Types Of Arm Lift Procedures Available?

Arm lift procedures vary somewhat based on how much skin removal and reconstruction is required to achieve the desired result. Differences will mostly revolve around the size and location of the incision.
  • Upper Arm Lift : - This procedure involves an incision that either runs the full length of the inside of the upper arm, or at the back of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. This procedure removes excess sagging skin of the upper arm and improves the contour of the arm. In some cases, an upper arm lift may be combined with liposuction for best results. The fat is suctioned away from the area first, and then the excess skin is removed and the incision is closed.
  • Mini Arm Lift : - This procedure is very similar to the upper arm lift, but less skin must be reshaped and the size of the incision is smaller and located in the armpit area. This procedure is less common than the upper arm lift, since the majority of patients require more contouring and reshaping for the best results.


An incision is made along the underside of the upper arm and unwanted skin and tissue are carefully removed to reveal the more natural contour of the arms. The incision is made in the most inconspicuous place. Patients should not smoke at all at least 1-2 weeks before and after surgery. Arm lift is done under general anesthesia. Surgery takes 1-2 hours. Patients spend 1 night in clinic.

Before a brachioplasty is scheduled, the patient will meet with the doctor for an initial consultation. During this appointment, the patient's complete medical history will be reviewed and questions will be asked about medications and lifestyle choices that could affect the safety and outcome of the procedure. These might include pre-existing health conditions, prescription and over the counter medications, vitamin supplementation, alcohol and nicotine use and previous surgeries.

Patients will also be asked about their expectations for the procedure to ensure that they will be satisfied with the results. Patients will usually be asked to stop smoking well in advance of the procedure, and refrain from taking any sort of aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications that could increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure.

In most cases, an arm lift is done as an outpatient procedure. A general anesthesia is frequently used, although some patients may have the option of IV sedation instead. The entire procedure takes an average of about two hours.

First, the incision is made and if liposuction is to be completed during the procedure; it will be done at this time. Next, the surgeon will apply sutures to tighten the underlying tissue and the skin will be closed, forming a new contour to the upper arm. The doctor may use sutures that will eventually dissolve on their own, or stitches that will need to be removed within a week or two after surgery.

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There may be mild pain for a few days after surgery, which can be managed with medications. There may be some swelling for about 2 weeks . Stitches are removed after 12-14 days for arm lift (7 days for liposuction only). Recommended stay in Prague and back to work in 7-14 days (7 days if liposuction only). Activity should be minimised for 3-5 days after surgery and strenuous exercise avoided for 2-3 weeks. Scars are hidden in the most inconspicuous place under the arms.

Arm Lift Plastic Surgery Reason

Loose Arm Skin : - Loose upper arm skin is often related to weight loss. Ever been overweight, people more than likely develop heavy upper arms. The skin on the upper arm stretches in order to accommodate the increased volume of the upper arms. After weight loss, skin often fails to tighten, and so it sags. The way to improve such problem is through an arm lift (Brachioplasty).

What Are The Risks Involved With An Arm Lift?

Brachioplasty, like any type of surgical procedure, does not come without risks. These risks might include bleeding and infection at the incision site, blood clots, skin discoloration and swelling, and changes in skin sensation. If a general anesthesia is used, there are also risks associated with the medication given.

Some of the common side effects of arm lift surgery include: -
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Numbness
  • Scarring
  • Swelling

Some of the more serious complications that may result from arm lift surgery include: -
  • Contour Abnormalities - If the surgeon removes too much fat or skin, it can result in contour depressions. Contour abnormalities may also occur due to scarring. In either case, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty or ultrasonic liposuction may be used to correct the abnormality.
  • Hematoma - Occurs when blood accumulates beneath the skin and will not drain with the help of tubes. If this occurs, an additional surgery will be necessary to stop the bleeding and to drain the hematoma.
  • Nerve Compression - Occurs if the nerves are compressed during or after the surgery, which can make it difficult for you to move your arms and hands.
  • Numbness - While a certain amount of numbness during the first couple weeks following surgery is considered normal, it is possible that numbness will continue for several months or may even be permanent.
  • Pulmonary Embolism - Occurs when a blood clot gets into the lungs. You can reduce the risk pulmonary embolism by using anti-coagulant medication and engaging in early mobilization.
  • Skin or Fat Death - Skin or fat along the incision line may die, which delays the healing process and may require a skin graft to repair. Risk of skin or fat death increases if you are a smoker.
  • Serum Collection - Serum may collect in the area following the surgery, which will require making several visits to the plastic surgeon's office in order to get the serum removed.

Individuals who are overweight, who smoke and who suffer from diabetes or other health conditions are more likely to experience complications from arm lift surgery.

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