If you have excess or sagging skin in your upper arms, you might be a good candidate for an arm lift.
What you need to know about Arm Lift Surgery
Are you bothered by the loose skin on your upper arms? Have you been trying different workouts and diets to tone your arms and not seeing positive results? If so, you are an ideal candidate for an arm lift.
An arm lift is also known as Brachioplasty. It is a surgical procedure that reshapes your upper arms and underarm area by reducing excess skin and fat.
Once the surgical incisions have completely healed, you will achieve firmer, younger-looking arms.
What Causes Sagging Skin?
Several factors can lead to the development of sagging skin on your arms that give them a “batwing” appearance. These include the following;
- As you age, collagen production starts to diminish. This in turn causes your skin to lose its firmness and elasticity.
- This is because collagen is the main structural protein that holds your tendons, cartilage, and skin in place.
- Weight fluctuations
- Significant weight loss can have a negative impact on the appearance of your upper arms and other body parts.
- When you lose a large amount of weight, you will likely develop loose and sagging skin on your upper arms because carrying extra weight for an extended period of time can damage your collagen and elastin fibers.
- As a result, your skin does not return to its original appearance after extreme weight loss.
- Prolonged sun exposure
- The ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause photoaging, a condition in which your skin loses a significant amount of collagen.  Because collagen holds and tightens your skin structures together, sun-induced collagen loss can lead to the development of sagging skin on your upper arms.
Are you an Ideal Candidate for an Arm Lift?
During your consult, Dr Patrick Briggs will assess your body type, health history, and cosmetic goals to determine if you are a good candidate for an arm lift.
In general, you can have the procedure if you are:
- Bothered by the excess skin on your upper arms.
- Mentally stable.
- Willing to adhere to postoperative instructions.
- And if you don’t have a history of any illness that can affect your wound healing ability.
- Don’t smoke.
- You must also have realistic expectations regarding the procedure.
What are the Benefits of an Arm Lift?
The procedure can offer the following benefits:
- Better body proportion
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
- More clothing options
- Well-toned appearance of your upper arms
Arm Lift Before and After Photos
Visit the clinic to see the real patient photo gallery of Before and After Arm Lift surgery photographs representing typical results our patients get. Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly.
How is an Arm Lift Performed?
The procedure is usually done using general or local anaesthesia to prevent any discomfort and promote patient cooperation.
Once the anaesthesia has taken effect, Dr Patrick Briggs will create an incision depending on the amount of extra skin present in your upper arms.
To reshape your upper arms, Dr Briggs will remove excess skin and fat. Liposuction may be used to suck the fat out of the target area. Once your desired arm appearance is achieved, Dr Briggs will close the incisions using dissolvable stitches. This provides greater support to the tissues of your arms during the healing process.
Dr Briggs will then apply a dressing over your wound to protect it from any injury.
Download a free guide
Take advantage of our FREE GUIDE TO YOUR PROCEDURE that includes resources for plastic surgery patients. They’ll assist with your journey from thinking about having plastic surgery to aftercare and recovery.
If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on 1300 264 811 between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays.
What to Expect After an Arm Lift?
Immediately after the procedure, it’s normal to feel pain and soreness on the surgical incisions on your upper arms.
Before you are discharged, Dr Patrick Briggs or a nurse will provide you instructions regarding care of your surgical incisions, proper wound dressing change, signs and symptoms to watch out for, and when to return for follow-up.
Depending on your condition and the extent of your surgery, you will be advised to avoid heavy lifting for 1 to 2 weeks.
After 6 weeks, your surgical scars will be firm and may appear pinkish.
After 6 months, you should be able to notice a significant improvement in the appearance of your upper arms.
Minimizing Scars Arm Lift Surgery
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.
Experienced plastic surgeons are extremely careful about scar placement and minimisation, with surgical scars generally fading over time with most scars being barely visible after 12 months.
We will arrange weekly post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team after your procedure to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and organise scar minimisation treatments.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customised selection of Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils, Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help minimise scars. Ask the Coco Ruby Team!
Note – The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure and your health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person – resting helps to heal.
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
Armlift FAQ’s and Questions about Arm Reduction
How bad is the pain after an arm lift?
Arm lifts usually are not very painful, though in some cases tenderness or aches are felt on the surgery site.
Rest is very important following your arm lift. You may have some minor pain during the first couple of days, but it is usually tolerable.
Our surgeon will be able to talk with you in advance about some pain management options and provide you with a prescription for pain relief.
Can you sleep on your side after an arm lift?
It is recommended to sleep on your back rather than on your stomach or the sides. The patient can prop their arms using a pillow during sleep for comfort.
How long do arm lift scars take to fade?
The incisions are usually placed in the inner arm to hide scars. Scar after arm lift surgery is permanent.
Your scarring will fade with time and blend with the surrounding skin, however, this may take up to one year.
For better results, the scar should be protected from UV rays.
Cost of an Armlift – prices and fees
Dr Briggs’s team can give you a price range for your surgery depending on the type of procedure, hospital and how long you want to stay in the hospital.
At your initial consultation, you will be given a detailed quote for your chosen procedure. This will include a Surgeon’s fee, an Anaesthetist fee, surgical Assistant fee and hospital fees.
An approximate out-of-pocket expense for your arm lift surgery can be provided over the phone when you speak to a Patient Care Advisor.
Funding Arm Lift Surgery
– Medicare, Payment Plans and Super
Some Arm Lift procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely cosmetic surgery Arm Lift procedures are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance so you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Many patients ask about payment options and medical finance – You can learn more about payment options for funding your Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) procedure on our Funding Surgery page here.
Your super fund may also be able to help pay for your procedure in certain circumstances – visit the Super for Surgery page to find out about the early release of super on compassionate grounds.
How to find the best Arm Lift surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend on the surgeon you choose. Since an arm lift is a major procedure, you’ll need a top arm lift plastic surgeon. A reputable arm lift surgeon has the following qualities:
- A Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is a Member of ASPS5 star online reviews from patients.
- Extensive experience in different types of brachioplasty.
- Patient Before and After Photos .
- Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
- A great support team with long term follow up.
Is an Arm Lift Safe?
Evidence supports the safety of an arm lift in patients with loose and sagging skin in their arms.
A 2018 study assessing 27 studies reported a lower complication rate among 1065 patients who had an arm lift using different techniques.  Researchers reported a lower incidence of unsightly scarring, fluid build-up, and bruising in patients who had the procedure. In addition, no major complications, such as blood clots and infection, were observed.
If you want to improve the contour of your upper arms, schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained surgeons to know more about your treatment options.
What are the Risks and Complications of an Arm Lift?
Like other surgical procedures, an arm lift has its risks and complications, such as:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Changes in skin sensation
- Delayed wound healing
- Difficulty moving one or both arms
- Fluid accumulation
- Increasing pain at the surgical site
- Nerve damage
- Poor cosmetic results
- Possible need for revisional surgery
- Pus draining at the wound site
- Skin irritation caused by sutures
- Unsightly scarring
Commonly Combined Associated Surgery
An Arm Lift Surgery can be performed on its own or in combination with other surgical procedures such as liposuction. Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) can also be performed with a procedure on another part of the body – for example, breast and tummy surgery is commonly combined as a Mummy Makeover.
As a guide, it is best not to exceed a total of 4-6 hours of surgery and also to work on associated parts of the breast, body or face. See the BLOG on Combining Different Surgeries.
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.