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What Is A Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)?

Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a body contouring procedure that reduces excess hanging skin and help to reduce fatty deposits to reveal a more toned, proportionate, youthful arm. Liposuction is commonly used in conjunction with an arm lift to reduce excess fat. It's common for patient's soft tissue to become lax over time which leads to hanging skin underneath the arm. Often times, patients feel self conscious about the droopy skin underneath their arm and turn to an Arm Lift surgery for results.


Who Are Good Arm Lift Candidates?

Plastic surgery should always be a personal decision that is not influenced by the opinions of others. As with any plastic surgery, patients must always be in good health to be considered for an Arm Lift. So, what makes a "good" candidate besides simply being in good health? If you identify with any of the following, you may be a good candidate for an Arm Lift:

  • Recently lost a lot of weight and are left with sagging skin underneath arms

  • As you have aged, skin underneath your arms have begun to sag

  • You are self conscious about your hanging skin under your arms

How Long Is Arm Lift Recovery?

Following your arm lift surgery, you may experience swelling, bruising, or pain that can be treated with pain medicine prescribed by Dr. Papanicolaou. It's common for patients to receive a drainage tube inserted into their incision in order to remove any liquids after surgery. You'll be required to wear a compression bandage to promote optimal healing. An easy way to prevent swelling after surgery is to keep your arms elevated during your recovery process.

Typically, patients expect a minimum of 1-2 weeks off from work following an arm lift procedure. Your first week should strictly avoid any strenuous activities, but it is recommended to engage in light walking to promote blood circulation. Most patients return to their moderate level of activity one month after surgery. However, each patient's recovery process is unique and it's important to follow Dr. Papanicoalou's guidance as it is customized to your situation.

Are There Different Arm Lift Techniques?

There are two techniques for a Brachioplasty: An upper arm lift and mini arm lift. Dr. Papanicolaou will determine which of these techniques best suits you and your needs based on the severity of your case.

Upper Arm Lift: This procedure targets skin hanging up the upper arm by creating an incision that runs along your arm. The size of the incision will be based on the amount of skin that needs to be removed and the location of the targeted skin. Typically, the incision stretches from your armpit to your elbow and will either be a Z or U shaped line.


Mini Arm Lift: This procedure is for patients that simply want to reduce a small amount of hanging skin underneath the arm. Because this is a less extensive surgery than the upper arm lift, the incision is much smaller. Typically, the incision will be located in the armpit to minimize any scarring.

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