Arm Lift

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.



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