Arm Lift

A procedure to remove excess skin and fat from your arms.


An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits in the upper arm.  With age, upper arm skin can become loose and flabby.  Dr. Baroody will discuss arm lift surgery with those who want to tighten this skin and look as good as they feel. In some cases, Dr. Baroody may suggest that liposuction be used alone or in conjunction with an arm lift to remove excess fat in the upper arms.


Brachioplasty, or arm lift, is most beneficial for men or women who are bothered by large fat deposits or loose arm skin that do not respond to diet or exercise. Loss of skin elasticity, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, may also be improved.  Although many people who undergo the procedure have had a gastric bypass or lap band procedure, those who lose weight by other methods are also commonly treated.  Diet and exercise should be implemented weeks before surgery and a steady weight established.  Not only will weight loss improve your overall result after surgery but will also decrease your risk of experiencing a complication.


Arm lift surgery is becoming more commonly performed and may result in dramatic improvements; however, every surgery inherently carries potential risks and complications.  Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but may occur.  Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics.  Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation.  Because of the dramatic increase in the risk of complications, smokers must stop at least four weeks prior to surgery.  You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Baroody's instructions before and after surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.


During your initial consultation, Dr. Baroody will evaluate your general health, the extent of subcutaneous fat, and the tone of your skin.  Be sure to inform Dr. Baroody of your past medical/surgical history, all medications you are taking, allergies to medications, and history of tobacco use.  According to your anatomy, the most appropriate body contouring procedure(s) will be recommended.  Whether you would most benefit from liposuction alone or Brachioplasty (arm lift) with or without liposuction, Dr. Baroody will consider the potential results and the risks to offer the procedure best for you.


You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and avoiding certain vitamins/medications.  If you smoke, you must quit at least four weeks before your surgery and are not to resume for at least four weeks after your surgery. You must also avoid second-hand smoke.  If you smoke or develop a cold/infection of any kind, your surgery will be postponed or cancelled.  Whether your surgery is performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery.  You will need someone to stay with you for a day or two after you leave the facility.


Dr. Baroody performs the procedure in both hospital and outpatient settings.  Brachioplasty (Arm lift) surgery may be performed in New Milford Hospital or Orthopaedic and Specialty Surgery Center.


Dr. Baroody performs the procedure under general anesthesia and will temporarly numb your arms with local anesthetic prior to awaking.


A standard Brachioplasty (arm lift) usually takes 2-3 hours, depending on the extent of work required.  Although smaller incision modifications may be used, most commonly, the incision will be from the arm pit to the elbow.  Next, Dr. Baroody removes the excess skin and fat of the arms.  The incisions will be closed with absorbable and a few non-absorbable sutures and dressings will be applied.


For the first few days, your arms will be swollen and you will likely feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication.  You will be seen the next day and the dressings will be removed and changed.  Your arms will be dressed with ace wraps or a compression garment.


It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again.  Some return to work after one to two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.  Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles.  Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably.  Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color.  They will never disappear completely.  The scars may be optimized with silicone creams, steroid injections, and laser treatments.


Arm lift surgery produces excellent results for patients with excess skin and fat of the upper arms. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.  If you are realistic in your expectations and prepared for having a permanent scar, an arm lift may be right for you.