Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Restore Upper Arm Contours

Aging, weight fluctuations and genetics can sometimes lead to the drooping and sagging appearance of upper arms. Exercise may help strengthen and tone this area, but will not affect the lost elasticity, weakened tissue or localized fat deposits. Dr. Dawes can perform an arm lift to reduce excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow. The result is smoother skin and contours, and a more toned and proportionate appearance of the arms. Not every brachioplasty is the same and prior to surgery, Dr. Dawes will review your goals for the procedure and demonstrate the expected change in arm contour. The scar that results from an arm lift is strategically positioned along the inside of the arm where it is relatively less visible. The length of a brachioplasty scar is determined by the location and severity of skin excess.

Is Arm Lift Surgery Right For Me?

The best candidate for brachioplasty is the patient at the extremes- either with generally good arms with some looseness, or someone with very loose skin. If the skin excess is located close to the armpit (axilla), the operation can require only a scar in the armpit that is well hidden. If you have dramatic skin laxity that bothers you, you may require a brachioplasty which will leave a scar running to the elbow. This will allow you comfort and an improved contour.

As with other cosmetic procedures, arm lift surgery is a personal decision. It should be done only to help you feel positive about your appearance rather than to fit a particular image or ideal. Brachioplasty may be combined with liposuction if a reduction in arm size is also desired. During your consultation, Dr. Dawes will help you determine the best surgical options to achieve your arm goals.

Good candidates for arm lift surgery are individuals who:

  • Have considerable upper arm skin laxity
  • Are not significantly overweight and maintain a stable weight
  • Are healthy, with no underlying medical conditions or illness which may impair healing
  • Are non-smokers

How Arm Lift Surgery is Performed

An arm lift reduces excess sagging skin, helps smooth underlying tissue, and reduces localized pockets of fat. During this procedure, Dr. Dawes makes an incision on the inside surface of the arm. Internal sutures are used to tighten and reshape the underlying and supportive tissue.

The length and pattern of the incision vary, depending on the amount and location of the excess skin. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures or stitches that are removed within one to two weeks.

Recovery Expectations

You can expect moderately severe pain, which should gradually improve over 3-4 days and should be relieved with medication. Swelling usually subsides after 3 weeks, but can occasionally persist longer. You can expect bruising around the incisions. It will be worst 3-4 days post-op and may persist for up to 3-4 weeks. While still subject to the aging process, the results of arm lift surgery can be long lasting, assuming that a stable weight and general fitness are maintained.

Arm Lift FAQs

You will improve the contour, shape and size of the upper arm.

You can expect to see result immediately, but your final results may not be apparent for a full year after surgery, giving your scar a chance to settle.

Liposuction can be effective provided your skin is not too loose. Dr. Dawes will address these options with you during your consultation.

A brachioplasty is sometimes performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation, breast lift, or gynecomastia surgery. For weight loss patients, Dr. Dawes may discuss a circumferential body lift or abdominoplasty in a addition to the arm lift procedure.

A compression garment will need to be worn immediately following surgery, which we will provide. After a brief period in the recovery room, patients are discharged home. Elevating your arms will help minimize swelling and bruising.

Learn More

Contact us today to learn more about our plastic surgery products & services.

Book a consultation online or call 403.571.3141

“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations” - Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRCSC


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What Happens in a Consultation?

  1. You will meet Dr. Dawes for an individualized, comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Dawes will offer individualized recommendations regarding the best treatment options available to you in a way that will allow you to make a confident, well-informed decision.

  2. You will then meet with a staff member to review your customized quote, discuss financial options and ask questions.

  3. Discuss potential treatment or procedure dates.

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