Arm Lift

What Is Arm Lift Surgery

One big challenge when getting older or losing weight is finding excess skin. We offer upper arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, as a correction for patients who cannot manage to tighten and tone the arm with diet and exercise. Lax skin from the elbow to the shoulder is very typical, particularly for men and women who have lost weight or are advancing in age. An arm lift effectively excises this loose, hanging skin, commonly referred to as “bat wings.” This exciting surgery provides physical and emotional benefits as well.

The Procedure

Most likely, your arm lift surgery will be performed in our clinic’s operating room, except in cases where several cosmetic surgeries are being performed at one time. An upper arm lift may be combined with other surgeries, such as tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, and thigh lifts—as long as Dr. Sweeney considers it safe and appropriate. An arm lift is typically done with the patient under general anesthesia and can require a few hours to complete.

The loose skin will be excised, starting at the elbow all the way up to the armpit. The incision will be placed in as inconspicuously as possible, although it will leave a visible scar. In cases where liposuction is needed to eliminate stubborn fatty deposits, this can be completed during the same session. After the skin is pulled taut, it will be sutured closed.


A typical recovery time frame for discomfort is about two weeks with lots of rest. Allow your body time to heal. You use your arms for almost everything so most patients should ease their way back to their normal activities.

You will have to care for the incisions by keeping them clean, bandaged, and wrapped with compression garments. A suture removal appointment will be set approximately ten days following surgery. Compression garments must be kept on until you receive permission from Dr. Sweeney to remove them.

For at least a month, all exercise must be eliminated, except for taking short walks. If you observe uncontrolled bleeding, excessive swelling, fluid buildup (hematoma), signs of infection, numbness in the hands or arms, or unusual scarring, please contact our office for assistance.


It’s normal for patients who want an arm lift to create a custom treatment plan with another surgery. This is often referred to as an upper body lift and can combine liposuction, a breast lift, or tummy tuck. Arm lift surgery is also frequently performed after weight loss surgery for those who need additional contouring of a specific problem area. In your initial consultation, each surgery will be talked about so your unique treatment plan can be developed.

Arm lift surgery requires incisions in order to remove excess skin, which leads to stitches and scarring. However, Dr. Sweeney will make every effort to ensure that your incisions are small and placed in inconspicuous areas. Following your arm lift, topical creams that help with healing will be suggested, along with our tips for minimizing scarring. Dr. Sweeney also suggests you limit UV exposure for at least one year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. In general, patients consider the overall benefits of an arm lift are worth the minimal scars created.

An arm lift is performed to correct loose skin and fat. You should follow a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid a dramatic weight loss or gain, which could compromise your surgical results. After your surgery, as soon as you are recovered and Dr. Sweeney has given permission, you should start strength training. This is a good way to improve the shape of your upper arms by strengthening and toning the muscles.

Although there are many great non-invasive skin tightening treatments, they can only give you small improvements. To remove moderate to severe skin laxity, an arm lift is your best choice. In addition to removing loose skin, Dr. Sweeney also uses liposuction on small pockets of fat and smooths the tissue and remaining skin.

An upper arm lift is a cosmetic surgery that uses advanced methods to contour and excise excess skin. If you are self-conscious about your bat wings and would prefer them to appear fit and healthy again, you are a good candidate for this procedure. You need to be in overall good health so that your skin will recover properly. Some of the main symptoms for an arm lift patient are hanging, loose skin on their upper arms, plus minimal elasticity of the skin. It is important to note that you are at your ideal weight before surgery.


Schedule your personalized consultation by clicking the link below to find out what treatment is best for you.