Show off your tight, toned arms.
Brachioplasty, or “arm lift,” is a surgery to remove excess skin and fat from the arms. The procedure involves incisions made along the length of hanging skin and fat and may be combined with liposuction. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight may be good candidates for a brachioplasty. The best candidates are patients who are at their stable, goal weight and with good underlying muscle tone.
Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia and patients frequently go home the same day; however, an overnight stay may be required if combined with other procedures. The scars can be variable and unpredictable in appearance and widen or separate during the healing process. Due to swelling and bruising, the final result is seen in three to six months. The results are lasting with healthy maintenance of weight.
What to Expect
- The surgeons at Plastic Surgery of Westchester are well-versed in all techniques for shaping and tightening the arms. During your pre-operative consultation, they will discuss the best options for improving the contour of your arms.
- If you have had a weight-loss surgery, you should be at least one year out from the procedure. The best results are achieved when you are at your goal weight for approximately 3 months prior to brachioplasty.
- Please give your surgeon a list of your medications and insight into any pre-existing medical conditions (don’t forget about a history of heart or lung problems, autoimmune diseases, wound healing problems, blood clots, or bleeding disorders). They will ensure that you are medically-optimized prior to your surgery.
- Vitamins and anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin, Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, etc.) should be discontinued no less than 1 week prior to surgery.
- Smoking is a contra-indication to brachioplasty. We hope that you don’t smoke! Please refrain from any nicotine or tobacco use (including patches, gum, and vapor cigarettes) for no less than 4 weeks prior to and 4 weeks after your surgery. Remember, any history of smoking can increase your risk for certain complications such as wound healing problems and infection.
- You will be placed into a compression garment or wrap for both arms immediately after surgery. You will likely also have a drainage tube for each arm, and the drains are removed around 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Drain removal is done in the office during one of your post-operative visits and is painless.
- Time for overall healing varies among patients but can take 2 to 3 weeks. Pain and discomfort will improve during that time. You must refrain from any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
- For best results, you may wear your compression garment for 8 to 12 weeks.
- When you are better healed, your surgeon will discuss and demonstrate massage and scar care techniques to keep your results looking fabulous!
- As always, please bring a list of your questions and concerns to your pre-operative visits. It is important to understand your overall health and expectations in order to individualize your treatment plan.
Am I a candidate for a Brachioplasty?
If you have concerns over the appearance of your upper arms, then you are a candidate for a brachoiplasty procedure. The type of procedure depends on your skin quality, amount of skin or fat excess and your overall goals. As with any elective procedure, the best patients are in good health and of stable weight prior to the procedure.
Will my insurance coverage this procedure?
This is considered an elective, cosmetic procedure. It is unlikely for a brachioplasty to be covered by any insurance even if you have a history of massive weight loss.
How do I prepare for a Brachioplasty?
Start by scheduling a complimentary consultation with one of our highly-skilled Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. During this visit, they will review your health and surgical history, history of weight loss, and list of medications. Please refrain from smoking and all other nicotine-containing products for at least 4 weeks prior to your desired surgery date. You must also avoid any non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, etc.) for 1 week prior to surgery. Significant weight changes should also be avoided.
Where will my procedure be performed?
For most patients, this procedure can be performed in our fully-accredited AAAASF surgical suite. You will able to go home the same day with a chaperone.
How is a Brachioplasty performed?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The length of the incision varies depending on the degree of skin and fat excess present. The incision is either limited to just the armpit or upper arm, or may extend the full length of your arm, into your armpit, and sometimes onto the side of your chest. In some instances, liposuction is performed at the same time to further contour the arm.
What is involved in recovery?
You may experience some swelling or discomfort in the first 1 to 2 weeks. During this time, you will also need to care for drainage tubes. The compression garment or wrap on both arms stays intact until your first follow-up visit in 4 to 5 days, then may be removed when showering. You will continue to use some type of compression garment for several more weeks.
What results can I expect?
You will see an immediate improvement in the appearance and contour of your arms. The results will continue to improve with time as the initial bruising and swelling resolve and the incisions heal. Consistent use of the compression garment or wrap can expedite the healing process. However, the incisions will take no less than 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal in most cases.
Is there anything to do to minimize swelling, bruising, and scarring?
Your surgeon will have you continue your compression garment for about 8 to 12 weeks to reduce swelling and encourage skin tightening. Arnica, an herbal supplement sold in most health food stores, can also help reduce swelling and bruising. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend professional post-operative massage therapy.
Facilities & Hospital Affiliations
Our surgeons have hospital privileges at Montefiore Medical Center, Jacobi Medical Center, Westchester Medical Center, Montefiore New Rochelle and New York Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. They also perform procedures in their fully accredited operating room in Harrison, NY.
Our state of the art facility is professionally designed and decorated for your comfort. We are always interested to know if there is anything we can do to enhance your experience. We appreciate your suggestions and pledge to work as a team to make your time here a rewarding experience.
- Montefiore Medical Center
- Jacobi Medical Center
- Westchester Medical Center
- Montefiore New Rochelle
- New York Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital
Accreditation and Associations
We maintain an AAAASF accredited surgical suite, equipped like a hospital operating room with the privacy and ease of an office setting, offering full general anesthesia for more complex procedures as well as sedation and local anesthesia for other procedures. We enjoy a strong relationship with some of the finest hospitals in the area, offering overnight and extended post-operative stays if medically advisable. This is ideal for our out of town patients, those with little post-operative help, or those desiring a more private recovery. We can also arrange your stay at a variety of hotels within minutes of our facility and arrange an overnight “sitter” if desired.
Schedule your Arm Lift Consultation
Please contact us with any questions or if you would like to setup a time for a one-on-one consultation with one of our surgeons.