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Brachioplasty in High Point, NC (arm lift)

Loose and saggy skin can begin to form around our arms due to a lack of elasticity caused by weight loss, genetics, or aging. Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, is a procedure that removes and cuts away sagging fat and loose skin on the underside of the upper arms. By tightening and smoothing out the underlying tissues of the arm, brachioplasty can give your arms a more firm and youthful appearance.

A woman pinching her arm fat

Am I a Candidate for an Arm Lift?

Ideal candidates who wish to undergo brachioplasty can treat one or more of the following issues:

  • Sagging arm skin
  • Unwanted fat deposits
  • Loose or weak supportive arm tissue

How Is My Arm Lift Performed?

Brachioplasty is an outpatient procedure that can typically take up to two hours. You will schedule a consultation with your surgeon who will evaluate your general health and any pre-existing conditions that could indicate any risks, and a decision will be made regarding your treatment.

At the time of the procedure, general anesthesia or intravenous sedation will be administered. An incision is made on the inner side of the arm to remove the excess skin. Typically, the incision extends from the armpit to the elbow. In some cases, brachioplasty may also be treated with liposuction.

Your incision will be closed using absorbable sutures or stitches. This will allow for the underlying supportive tissue on the arms to be tightened and reshaped while the skin is smoothed over. If necessary, you may request to make accommodations to spend the night at our Comfort Cottage with a nurse available to help you.

What Is My Arm Lift Recovery Like?

Following your brachioplasty procedure, dressings or bandages will be placed on the incisions, and your arms may be wrapped with an elastic bandage or compression garment to help minimize bruising and swelling. A temporary tube may be placed under your skin to help drain any excess fluid or blood.

Be sure to follow every instruction your surgeon specifically provides you for caring for your incisions. If pain medication is prescribed, ensure you are taking the appropriate amount of dosage at the right times to minimize discomfort.

You may be able to return to your normal activities within two to three weeks. If concerns or issues arise, make sure to follow up with your surgeon.

What Are the Potential Side Effects and Risks After an Arm Lift?

You might experience some temporary discomfort and swelling after your surgery. Brachioplasty can involve a few minor risks, which can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Wider or thicker scarring
  • Numbness
  • Poor healing
  • Fluid accumulation


Here at Piedmont Plastic Surgery, our team ensures every procedure is uniquely tailored to meet every patient’s expectation. During your consultation, Dr. Willard will give you specific information and instructions regarding your procedure and how the results may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brachioplasty

Do I need someone to drive me home from a brachioplasty procedure?

Yes, it is essential to have someone drive you home because of the anesthesia and postoperative pain medication. You should not drive for the entire time you are taking pain medication.

Do I need someone taking care of me after the surgery?

Because you cannot lift anything initially, it is beneficial to have someone at home with you for at least 24 to 48 hours to help with all the necessary activities and chores. This person can help you get groceries, meal prep, and do chores around the house.

How painful is my arm lift recovery?

Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure, so it will result in some discomfort as you recover. Most patients experience some swelling, bruising, and soreness. This typically only lasts a few days. Your plastic surgeon may give you some pain medication to get through those first recovery days. Most arm lift patients switch to an over-the-counter medication like TYLENOL® after a few days.

What can I do to make my arm lift recovery easier?

Dr. Willard and Piedmont Plastic Surgery will give you tips on how you can make your recovery as smooth as possible. Some tips include:

  • Using pillows to keep your arms elevated most of the day and as your sleep
  • Wearing comfortable, loose clothing that is easy to take on and off
  • Attending check-ups with your doctor and notifying them immediately if you notice any changes, such as increased drainage, redness, or swelling
  • Get as much rest as possible while you heal, and don’t push yourself

Can I reduce the prominence of my arm lift scars?

It is recommended you avoid direct sunlight for the first 12 months after the surgery to prevent discoloration of the scar. You can also purchase scarring creams.

Can I combine my arm lift with other surgeries?

Yes, it is quite common for patients to combine their arm lift with other procedures. This reduces the need to go under anesthesia twice and only requires the patient to take one period off work.

You should note that combining surgeries typically means an increased length of recovery time needed. Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you a timeline for how long your recovery time will be based on the surgeries you are combining. They will also be able to confirm if your desired procedures make sense to combine.

Some of the most popular surgeries combined with a brachioplasty include breast lift surgery, breast augmentation, breast reduction, tummy tuck surgery, and liposuction of the surrounding areas.