Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty)

Brachioplasty (commonly referred to as arm surgery) is a surgical procedure used to reshape a person’s arm to meet the aesthetic goals for their body. Arm lift surgery targets the under part of the arm (or triceps) from the top of the under arm down to the elbow. Excess skin is removed from the arm, reshaping the area to give the arm more tone and definition. The result is a more proportionate and toned looking arm.

Why Seek an Arm Lift?

There are many factors that contribute to loose, sagging arms. Some of the most common reasons for arm surgery are:

  • Fluctuations in weight, including significant weight loss.
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin due to age.
  • Weakened muscles or tissue.
  • Lack of definition.

Exercise can sometimes help with sagging skin under the arms, but often times it is not enough, especially after a significant weight loss. By surgically removing the excess skin and reshaping the arm, a person can have the trim, toned arms they once had, or always wanted.

Arm Lift Surgery Procedure

A general arm lift procedure takes between one to three hours, and may be performed using either general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia (a form of anesthesia that leaves you awake but unaware of the procedure). Liposuction may be included in the procedure, when necessary, to remove any localized fat deposits that will hinder the final results of the arm lift surgery. All incisions are placed under the arm to hide and/or minimize scarring.

While there is some downtime associated with recovery for an arm lift procedure, most people are doing light activities within a couple of weeks and are usually back to their normal routine, including lifting, within six weeks.

Arm Lift Techniques

An incision is made on the inside of the arm from above the elbow to the armpit. Excess skin is removed and, if needed, fat is suctioned from the arm. Depending on the degree of skin excess, the incision can be made from the elbow to the armpit, or just within the armpit.


Brachioplasty is performed under either local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure.

Before Surgery

  • Avoid taking aspirin, Advil, Motrin, or other aspirin-containing products for two weeks.
  • If you are a smoker, stop smoking to aid in healing.

Recovery After Arm Lift

  • Most patients resume normal activity in 1-2 weeks.
  • Full recovery takes several weeks.
  • Depending on the extent of skin excess, the scar may be limited to the armpit, or may extend on the inside of the arm from above the elbow to the armpit.



Next Steps

If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, our team is here to help. Call us at (212) 305-3103 or request an appointment online.