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If your upper arms no longer appear youthful, firm, and sculpted, you can restore your look with custom surgery. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to correct saggy upper arms for a tighter, firmer, more chiseled look.

Who is a candidate for an arm lift?

Ideal candidates for an arm lift have loose skin, fat, and tissue on the underside of the upper arms, from elbow to shoulder. This procedure is safe for patients who are 21 years and older, in good health, and do not actively smoke. If you are considering an arm lift to correct excess skin after a dramatic weight loss, you should reach your goal weight before undergoing this procedure. 

Woman pictured with arm resting against head

Surgical techniques for an arm lift

The advanced surgical techniques used in an arm lift are tailored to your unique physiology and your aesthetic goals. The procedure will reshape your arms by removing excess skin and tissue and re-draping the skin around the muscles to produce a smoother, more toned appearance. Your customized arm lift may include one or more of the following methods:

  • Traditional: The traditional arm lift involves an incision that runs from the armpit down the underside of the upper arm to the elbow. The incisions on the underside of the arms, once healed, are not conspicuous. This approach allows our surgeons to address skin laxity on the entire upper arm and produces excellent results if you have a more extensive level of skin and tissue looseness.
  • Liposuction: In some cases, liposuction alone can resolve the look of the upper arms. Liposuction may be recommended if you have reasonably good skin elasticity and a mild to moderate amount of fatty tissue in the upper arms. After the fat is removed, the skin on the arms, with time, will conform to the altered shape.
  • Limited Incision: In a limited incision approach, the incision is placed in the armpit. As the incision does not extend to the elbow, this technique is appropriate for those with mild to moderate excess skin. The advantage of this approach is that it produces minimal scarring.

The arm lift procedure

An arm lift usually takes about two hours for both arms and includes the following basic steps:

  • The incision locations are marked in the armpits and the underside of the arms
  • The patient is put under general anesthesia
  • The treatment area is sterilized with an antibacterial solution
  • The incisions are made in the armpit and arm
  • The skin is separated from the underlying muscle and tissue
  • The underlying tissue is tightened and sutured
  • The skin is pulled taut, and excess skin is removed
  • The incisions are closed
  • The treatment area is cleaned
  • Medical tape and bandages are applied
  • The surgical process is repeated on the other arm

Why choose us?

Cosmetic surgery is both an art and a science, and the talent, artistry, and experience of your surgeon are the most critical factors in the beauty of the outcome. At Mangat Plastic Surgery, you will be under the care of Dr. Steven Copit for your arm lift – a board-certified cosmetic surgeon with over 27 years of experience. His accomplishments include serving as the Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery and as a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Copit has garnered a reputation for excellence and is a distinguished leader in the field of advanced plastic surgery.

Is an arm lift safe?

An arm lift is a popular procedure for women and men in their later years or who have lost significant amounts of weight. When performed by our accomplished plastic surgeon, the risks are low. Thousands of people undergo arm lift surgery each year to enjoy the benefits of sculpted, firmer upper arms and experience no complications. In rare cases, patients may suffer from the following complications:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Seroma
  • Poor healing of the incisions
  • Asymmetry of the arms

Recovery after your arm lift

Recovery from an arm lift may take several weeks or longer before you can safely resume strenuous activity. You can return to work and resume light activity within the first week or two, after which the swelling and discomfort diminish. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling during the healing process, as well as possible itchiness, tingling, and numbness at the incision sites. 

For the first few days after your arm lift, you will need to keep your head elevated, rest and relax, and apply ice to the treatment area for 20-minute increments every two or three hours. To improve healing, you will wear a compression garment or bandages as much as possible for the first four weeks after surgery. You must avoid any activity that could put stress on the incisions in the weeks following your surgery. Any activity that raises blood pressure poses a risk of increased inflammation and swelling.

Your results

The results of an arm lift are noticeable as soon as the bandages are removed, but the optimal look appears at about three months after surgery. At Mangat Plastic Surgery, we monitor you throughout the healing process and provide detailed aftercare support to ensure your newly-reshaped upper arms look firm, sculpted, and youthful.

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