Upper Arm Lift (brachioplasty)

Brachioplasty (upper arm lift) addresses problems related to aging and or rapid loss of weight which can lead to unattractive, saggy and flabby loose skin in areas of the upper arms.

Below our MD before and after arm lift

Libby before armlift

Brachioplasty procedure


Brachioplasty post op

Upper arm lift (brachioplasty) is a procedure often postponed due to fears of scarring. Usually we are asked if liposuction would be effective. Unfortunately liposuction is not suitable for the aesthetic treatment of upper arms. If the skin of the arms is already considerably loose unfortunately  liposuction surgery would simply exacerbate the problem. The loose skin would lacks the ability to respond to the decreased volume of adipose tissue underneath. Apart from making the skin looser there would also be unevenness with the formation of dimples and folds.

In Such cases the recommend surgical approach is to remove not just the excess fat tissue but a corresponding amount of excess skin in a procedure known as brachioplasty or arm lift.
During the brachioplasty- arm lift procedure an incision is first made ​​in the longitudinal direction on the inner part of the arm and then the saggy loose skin is removed from the inner arm region. Where a larger amount of skin tissue  needs to be removed sometimes there can be quite severe swelling, which in some cases needs a drain to help remove blood and tissue secretions for approximately 24 hours following surgery. Upper arm lift surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and takes Approximately 2 hours.

After the intervention a compressive dressing is applied in the form of an elasticated bandage or special flexible garment. This garment is essential for healing and prevent unevenness in the final result. The garment should be worn day and night for 4 to 6 weeks.
Summary: Duration of the procedure: 2 hours

  • Its recommended one month prior to surgery to avoid the following: anything which acts to thin the blood these are known as salicylates which as well as in some painkiller tablets are also present in many fruits  and some vegetables for example: Almonds, apples, apricots, berries (blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries) cherries, cucumbers (pickles), currants, grapes.(any product made from grapes – wine, wine vinegar, jellies, raisins etc. including: NECTARINES, & ORANGES).  Also excluded are : PEACHES, PLUMS, PRUNES, TOMATOES and all tomato products.  ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL WHATSOEVER.  (Grapefruits, lemons and limes are permitted).
  •  The following should not be taken 2 weeks prior to and after surgery:  Effamol G, Evening Primrose Oil, Wheatgerm with vitamin E, Salmon oil capsules, Cod liver oil capsules, Multi-vitamins with E.   No homeopathic, Naturopathic preparations including: Ginseng, Imedeen, Redwine-Garlic Ginseng.No anti-inflammatory drugs eg. Medications for the treatment of swelling, bruising, pains etc including:- Indocid, Surgam, Brufen, Voltarol, Froben, Cilnoril, Neurofen, Tandril and partivularly aspirin.
  • It is assumed that no acute illnesses occurred in the period of at least three weeks before the planned operation (viral illness, cold, etc.). Report any and all illnesses to the clinic.

In the lead up to your operations (7 days prior) try to drink between two three litres of mineral water every day. Where possible (we understand its tough) but ideally cut out the cigarettes or cut down to 2-3 per day. On the day of the operation if you taken a cigarette the operation will be cancelled. Before you ask- they can tell if you have or not! Alcohol should be avoided 7 days prior. Make sure you wash your hair as it could be a few days after surgery before the surgeon approves  it.

Type of anaesthetic: General

Stay at the clinic:  One night

Suture removal: 10 to 12 days after the surgery or absorbable sutures

Final results:: 2 to 3 months

Comment on scarring issues. Libby Babbage our MD has undergone this procedure (see above) and can confirm although scarring is quite prominent immediately following surgery, within 2 years its scarcely noticeable.

Notwithstanding this, the incision is placed at a precise position where it cannot be seen either from front or behind. The only time it would be visible is if you raise your arm in the air.