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Arm Lift – Brachioplasty


Over time, the skin around the upper arms begins to sag and becomes undefined due to aging, fluctuations in weight, and natural loss of elasticity. Unfortunately, the loss of elasticity in the skin cannot be corrected simply through exercise and toning. Dr. Marguerite Bernett, a Irvine cosmetic surgeon, uses arm lift surgery as a treatment option to rid the upper arm of excessive skin and tissue and reshape the area for a more toned and smoother appearance. During a consultation, patients will have the opportunity to discuss with Dr. Bernett their cosmetic goals and if this procedure is the right fit for them. Arm lift surgery will allow patients who were once confined to long sleeved shirts, to eagerly show off their beautiful, toned arms.


The best candidates for an arm lift procedure are men or women who have loose and hanging skin from the underside of the upper arm. This skin keeps these individuals from wearing short sleeves or fitting clothing. Patients must be at or near their goal weight, and their weight loss should be stabilized. This surgery is not reserved for weight loss patients alone. Aging and gravity can also have a negative effect on the arms. Patients who are in good health and wish to have their arms toned and tightened may also consider this procedure.


The goal of a brachioplasty procedure is to result in a toned upper arm appearance. Our talented surgeon will evaluate the skin quality and looseness and determine how much fat, tissue and skin should be removed to attain the results the patient desires. The length of the incision made during surgery will vary; patients who have healthy skin tone may only require a minor incision. Massive weight loss patients that present with excessively loose and hanging skin will require a more extensive approach. During surgery, the excess skin is trimmed and removed, and the underlying muscles are tightened. An armpit lift is sometimes incorporated during this procedure for patients who have additional skin and fat deposits within the armpit.


Swelling is expected after brachioplasty surgery although this varies between patients. The swelling starts to resolve during the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. A compression garment or sleeve will usually be needed to control this swelling and help keep the skin and tissue firmly protected. Most patients can resume modest arm activity in 3-4 weeks, with a complete recovery occurring in about 4-6 weeks. While scarring is unfortunately a part of this procedure, the incision resides under the arm so that it is not as noticeable. Our doctor will provide a scar treatment plan so that the incision heals in a healthy and quick manner.


A brachioplasty procedure can cost around $5,000 to $6,500. It is also common to combine brachioplasty with another body contouring cosmetic surgery procedure. In this case, the costs will increase.


If you are in the process of completing your weight loss journey, or if aging and gravity has caused loose skin to hang from your arms, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our talented staff today. As a body contouring board-certified plastic surgeon, our doctor creates tighter, youthful looking arms with lasting results.

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