An arm lift or brachioplasty describes a surgical procedure which removes unwanted loose skin and fat from the upper arm, commonly from the level of the inner aspect of the elbow to the axillae (armpit). This surgery may be considered if you have lost significant weight and have loose hanging skin on the upper inner arm.
For some people, the upper arm area is out of proportion to the rest of their body for reasons other than weight changes. An arm lift can modify the shape of the upper arms and create smoother and tighter arm contour.
An arm lift operation may also be referred to as ‘arm reduction surgery’ and is often considered with other surgical procedures referred to as body contouring surgery. This includes a variety of surgical procedures that remove unwanted skin and soft tissue from many parts of the body that can become problematic after significant weight loss.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patients’ journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
An arm lift, arm reduction, or brachioplasty is performed in an accredited hospital under a general anesthetic. The incision and subsequent scar for arm lift surgery is generally made on the inner aspect of the arm at the level of the elbow up to the armpit. Depending on the amount of excess skin and tissue to be removed, the incision and subsequent scar may be extended onto the chest. The incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures that do not need to be removed.
The length of the surgery will depend on the amount of tissue removed and whether or not additional procedures such as other body contouring surgeries are performed.
There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. The decision to have a consultation may be made after talking with family or friends or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages to having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are, and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have, including the cost of the surgery.
At Avery, our goal is to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed for you to feel empowered throughout the decision-making process, surgery and post-surgery.
One or two nights in hospital are generally required following an arm lift to aid with your recovery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery and any additional procedures, 2-4 weeks off work may also be recommended.
There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 2-6 weeks after the operation. You will be required to wear a compression garment or bandages for approximately 6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication or follow up appointments can be adjusted accordingly.
The financial aspects of your surgery are as important as the medical elements when planning for surgery. At Avery, the surgeries we offer fall into three different financial categories: Self-funded – aesthetic surgery; self-funded – plastic and reconstructive surgery; and health insured – plastic and reconstructive surgery.
To make sense of these three financial categories, we have created a detailed price guide to help you understand what may or may not be covered by your health insurer/Medicare and your out of pocket expenses.
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our team on 02 4002 4150.
Arm Lift FAQs
The best time to proceed with any body contouring surgery, including arm lift surgery, is when your weight loss is mostly complete, and your weight has been stable for several months. If you have had surgery to help achieve weight loss, you may be required to wait at least one year before body contouring surgery.
It is possible to have a consultation regarding potential surgery during your weight loss journey, i.e., before your weight loss has stabilised
Like any surgery, there is always an element of risk and a possibility of complications. Complications such as blood clots, infection, bruising, bleeding, poor wound healing and unsightly scarring can be experienced after any body contouring surgery.
As part of the consultation process, Dr Avery will have a more in-depth discussion with you regarding potential complications and how to reduce the risk of these.
Pain following surgery will vary depending on the extent of surgery. Pain immediately after surgery may be reduced by the use of local anaesthetic at the surgical site given during the surgery. The pain will also be managed with tablets or injections as required. Physical measures such as the dressings and supportive garments as well as limited movement and possibly ice packs will all help minimise any pain. Pain is usually well tolerated within a few days after surgery with all these measures. If your pain is increasing following surgery this is usually a sign that you may need a review to ensure your recovery is proceeding as expected.
Dressings and supportive garments will offer support to the wounds and the areas of your body that are still recovering. You will be also be advised to restrict excessive movement of the surgical area in the first two weeks after surgery. A good general rule throughout your recovery is if an increase in movement or activity does not increase any discomfort or swelling, then it is probably safe and this gradual progression back to ‘normal’ will be encouraged.
Most body contouring surgical procedures such as an arm lift require general anesthetic. Dr Avery will talk through the potential risks of a general anesthetic during your consultation.
Please allow an hour for your time with Avery. This will include meeting with Dr Avery and the Avery care team.
Dr Avery only operates at accredited hospitals Lingard Private Hospital and Charlestown Private Hospital. This is to ensure your operation takes place in an environment governed by the guiding principle of safety to ensure your surgical experience is the best it can be.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.