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Brachioplasty – Arm Lift Surgery

Brachioplasty (also known as arm lift surgery) reduces the size and recontours the upper arms. Loose, sagging skin can develop on the upper arms from aging or significant weight loss. The procedure involves excising loose skin, using liposuction to remove persistent fat deposits, then tightening and contouring the remaining muscle and skin to achieve a slim, tighter upper arm.

Philadelphia plastic surgeon, Dr. Evan Sorokin, is experienced in the art and science of body sculpting procedures, such as arm lifts. His careful attention to detail results in superior and natural looking cosmetic enhancements.

Surgical Technique

An arm lift is performed by first creating an incision in the skin of the upper arm. The length of the incision will depend on the amount of fat and skin that will be removed. Patients that have healthy skin tone with some sagging will only need a minimal incision. Patients with severe upper arm sagging will require a longer incision that goes from the armpit down to the elbow. Dr. Sorokin will discuss the incision size with the patient during the consultation. Once the incision is made, the excess skin will be removed and liposuction will be performed, if needed. Before the incision is closed, the muscles and skin of the upper arm will be tightened. The armpit can also be tightened if it is necessary for a normal appearance.

During/After Surgery

An arm lift surgery is performed in about 2 hours, with the patient under a general anesthesia. Most patients are able to leave the same day as the procedure but some patients, especially those undergoing more than one procedure, will need to stay overnight for observation. Once the surgery is complete, the arms will be wrapped in a compression garment to optimize healing and drainage tubes may be added to minimize the risk of infection. Patients should expect to see temporary swelling and bruising after the procedure. Patients should limit their activity for the first 2-3 weeks after the surgery and elevate the arm as often as possible to encourage blood circulation, which will lessen the swelling. Patients should follow Dr. Sorokin’s post-operative instructions closely so their arm will heal properly and regain full function after the recovery period.

Arm Lift FAQ

Lipo vs Arm Lift?

Liposuction removes fat, but a lift removes loose skin. A patient may get a lift alone if there isn’t any excess fat. This is actually pretty common among weight loss patients. Alternatively, a patient may use liposuction to remove fat but if there is good skin elasticity, a lift won’t be needed. Dr. Sorokin may recommend an arm lift, liposuction or both, once he conducts a full analysis during your consultation.

Scar Visibility?

Any time the skin is cut and stitched during surgery, the patient will have a scar. Dr. Sorokin tries to choose an incision site that is the least visible and he keeps the incision as small as possible. That being said, in short sleeves or a sundress, this is a body part where incisions can and do show. Each patient will be given post-operative care instructions that will include ways to help the wound heal properly so that excess scarring can be limited. 

Combination Procedure?

Many patients choose to have their arm lift performed as part of an upper body lift. The upper body lift will combine procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, breast surgery, and an arm lift to reshape and contour the entire upper body for a more powerful transformation. Dr. Sorokin will discuss the procedures needed to achieve the patient’s goals during the initial consultation and the best way to combine or order each procedure.

Muscles Revealed?

Following arm lift surgery, after the arms are healed and Dr. Sorokin has cleared the patient for exercise, strength training will improve the tone and strength of the arms. This will help enhance the overall outcome. Patients should follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen.