Arm Lift Surgery

If you’ve developed baggy upper arms, there are options to achieve a slimmer, more toned arm shape. The arms often lose tone and elasticity over time, commonly causing an appearance known as “bat-wing arms.” This can also be exacerbated by significant weight loss, aging, genetics, and other factors. While working out can help strengthen the biceps, dieting and exercise do not usually improve loose, hanging skin that may have developed in the area. Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, targets the loose and excess skin of the upper arms while also addressing fat buildup. By using liposuction to slim the arms and removing excess skin, Dr. Neal Goldberg — a top plastic surgeonin the Westchester area — can help contour your arms and restore some of the firmness and tone that you once enjoyed.

What Can Be Achieved with Brachioplasty?

An arm lift can address the concerns that are impossible to improve with dieting and exercise, such as excess tissue, a loss of skin elasticity, and stubborn fat buildup. In general, patients who undergo brachioplasty can enjoy:

  • A sleeker, tighter arm shape
  • Greater definition in the arms
  • Circumferential improvement in the arm contour
  • Restored firmness and support in the upper arms

In many cases, this procedure can greatly benefit weight loss surgery patients by removing the loose skin left from their procedure. Those who have noticed changes in their arm shape due to pregnancy or aging can also attain improvement from arm lift surgery.

Is Arm Lift Surgery Right For Me?

If you feel self-conscious about your flabby arms, you may be a candidate for arm lift surgery. It is important that you are healthy, don’t smoke, and have adequate skin elasticity. You should also be aware that the surgery leaves a scar on the inside portion of the upper arm. Arm lift surgery candidates must be willing to accept scars as a trade-off for an overall improvement in shape. There are many reasons why you may wish to undergo brachioplasty, but most patients interested in the procedure experience:

  • Hanging skin and/or fat in the upper arms
  • A general loss of tone or weakened musculature
  • Skin laxity in the upper arms as a result of major weight loss

Dr. Goldberg can examine your arm shape and review your medical history to determine whether brachioplasty is an ideal treatment to restore the sleek, smooth contour you desire. In many cases, liposuction is also performed to remove excess fat deposits causing a loss of tone in the region. Your treatment plan is completely personalized to accommodate your unique needs and levels of skin inelasticity.

Dr Goldberg is amazing. From my first consultation until my one-month follow up appointment, he has been kind, caring and supportive. Dr Goldberg is all the good things you’d want your doctor to have all wrapped into one very special person.
He did a brachioplasty on me and I can’t even come up with the words to express my delight. I am beyond happy with the results. Dr. Goldberg explained everything right from the start. He told me what to expect and that gave me a real sense of confidence. I wasn’t even nervous before the procedure.
By the way, I chose Dr. Greenberg strictly based on prior reviews. I absolutely made the right choice. Thank you for making my life better. I’m ever so grateful.


November 05, 2022


What Should I Expect During Arm Lift Surgery?

The surgery will be performed in an outpatient setting performed under local or general anesthesia. After Dr. Goldberg has marked the targeted areas for improvement, he places an incision traveling from the underarm to the elbow in the inside of the upper arm. A shorter incision may be made, depending on circumstances, like the amount of skin and fat to be removed. Liposuction is also conducted during the surgery.

For some patients, liposuction alone is enough. For others, surgical excision of the loose skin is necessary in order to achieve the goals for surgery. Finally, sutures are placed to close the incisions and support the new shape.

Short Scar Arm Lift

Dr. Goldberg can perform a short scar arm lift, an abbreviated version of the full procedure, for patients who have mild skin laxity and fat in the upper arms. With the short scar technique, Dr. Goldberg extracts redundant fatty deposits via liposuction as well as removes excess skin near the underarms. Short scar brachioplasty involves a shorter incision than a standard arm lift procedure, giving patients the benefit of a well-concealed incision in a fold of the armpit rather than across the length of the arm. A short scar arm lift is only effective for individuals with little to no excess skin, as the technique is not designed to circumferentially correct skin laxity.

“Thank you for all your help. You have helped me renew my self confidence.”
- G.A.

Is Arm Lift Recovery Difficult?

You should expect to be in recovery for between 2-4 weeks following arm lift surgery. Symptoms to expect include swelling and bruising, both of which generally subside within two weeks. It is recommended that you keep your arms elevated, limit movement, and take care to keep the compression garment in place while the body repairs itself. Dr. Goldberg may prescribe pain medications to help you control your discomfort. Over-the-counter medications can also help reduce swelling and bruising until these reactions naturally resolve.

While each person’s recovery timeline varies, many patients return to work after 7 to 10 days depending on the nature of their jobs. Strenuous work and/or physically demanding activity should be avoided for four weeks or until Dr. Goldberg advises otherwise. Patients should also refrain from exercise for four to six weeks. You will be given comprehensive post-operative instructions regarding incision care, activity restrictions, and an approximate healing timeline once you visit our practice.

How Long Do Results From an Arm Lift Last?

The outcome of an arm lift can last forever as long as patients maintain a stable weight. The best results are usually seen when individuals commit to an active lifestyle, as this reduces the likelihood of the arm shape changing due to weight gain. Receiving surgery only after there are no future plans for pregnancy can also help prolong the longevity of your arm lift results. While nothing will stop the natural aging process and decreased collagen production will continue to affect the skin, your arm contour should always be sleeker and more defined than it would be if you had never undergone surgery. In this way, improvement can often be seen for a lifetime. We encourage you to explore our patient gallery to view before-and-after photos of the beautiful outcomes possible with an arm lift.

What Will My Arm Lift Scars Look Like?

Depending on the approach utilized for your arm lift surgery, your scars could vary in length and visibility quite a bit. While there is no completely scarless arm lift surgery method, the latest techniques make it possible to create a smaller incision than ever before. If the majority of your unwanted tissue is located near the upper portion of your arm (near the armpit), it may be possible to use a smaller incision than if your excess skin runs the full length of your upper arm. Dr. Goldberg will show you how long to expect the incision to be at your consultation, and we offer a number of non-surgical laser skin resurfacing and scar reduction options to help minimize the appearance of this mark.

How Much Does Brachioplasty Cost?

The average price of arm lift surgery is $11,000**. While this number is useful for planning your procedure, you should know that the cost of brachioplasty can vary depending on the technique used and the complexity of your treatment plan. Additionally, the above number is an example of the surgeon’s fee alone, and it does not include the operating facility fee or anesthesiology fee, which patients are also responsible for. To provide you with more useful information, we will give you the total anticipated cost for your procedure at your initial consultation. We can also discuss plastic surgery financing so you are well-informed about your payment options.

**According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Can Brachioplasty Cause Any Complications?

An arm lift involves the same degree of risk as any other surgical procedure, including the possibility of infection, unfavorable scarring, bleeding, or negative reactions to the anesthesia. The chance of complication exists with any type of surgery and, realistically, concerning side effects occur very rarely. The best way to minimize the likelihood of adverse events is to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience performing your procedure-of-interest. Plastic surgeons accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have been closely vetted in their knowledge of performing aesthetic procedures, often leading to an elevated level of training and care. This advanced experience can give you the confidence of knowing your surgeon can react quickly in the unlikely event of complication.

Are There Complementary Procedures To Brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty is often performed as part of a more comprehensive post-bariatric treatment plan. Due to the substantial weight reduction experienced after a bariatric procedure, many types of weight loss surgeries can leave patients with excess skin throughout the body. While physically healthier after bariatric surgery, some individuals wish to correct loose, redundant skin in their arms, thighs, buttocks, and/or abdomen in order to truly feel comfortable in their bodies. A body lift is a customized procedure that can address sagging skin in your areas of concern to restore a smooth, shapely contour. Depending on your desires, a body lift can include some combination of an arm lift, thigh lift, and/or abdominoplasty. Adding complementary procedures onto your brachioplasty treatment plan offers the advantage of gaining far-reaching improvement for one recovery period.

Can I Get A Non-Surgical Arm Lift?

While there are certain med spa services that can reduce excess arm fat, there is generally no treatment that can correct sagging skin and/or loose musculature in the upper arms without surgery. These are usually the main concerns for patients who have experienced a loss in skin tone or who have undergone significant weight loss. Since contouring the arm typically requires the tightening of lax skin and muscle, brachioplasty is currently the only effective solution to not only circumferentially sculpt the arm shape, but also achieve a natural-looking, aesthetic result.Those who have little to no skin laxity in the upper arms and who simply wish to reduce localized fat may be able to attain their goals with non-surgical fat reduction. If desired, Dr. Goldberg or a member of our team can speak with you about the minimally invasive body contouring options from our medical spa. It’s important to remember that the best candidates for these fat reduction treatments usually have minimal skin sagging; for all other patients, an arm lift may be the best procedure to achieve comprehensive improvement.

For more information about arm lift surgery, call our office for a consultation at 866-481-5585.

*Individual Results May Vary