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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Loss of elasticity in the connective tissue, or severe weight loss, can cause an undesirable accumulation of excess skin on the upper arm that hangs down when the arm is raised. This can be removed during an arm lift surgery (brachioplasty). Depending on the extent of the clinical findings, the tightening of the arm can be performed using liposuction. Surgical removal of excess skin is frequently required after prolonged weight loss.

Before the Arm Lift

The patient should stop taking any medication containing acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin, ASS etc.) for a period of approximately 14 days before the operation, as these can prevent blood coagulation. The patient should also try to avoid alcohol, cigarettes and sleeping pills wherever possible. Nicotine can reduce blood flow to the organs and impede wound healing. Patients should therefore abstain from nicotine for two weeks before the operation and during the wound healing phase. Owing to reasons of hygiene, the armpits are particularly susceptible to infection It is therefore important for the patient to begin regularly cleaning the armpits using a disinfectant soap for 1 week before the operation.

The Brachioplasty

The operation is usually performed under local anaesthetic with twilight sleep, or under general anaesthetic if the clinical findings are more extensive. The arm lift surgery often includes a liposuction with two to three small incisions (in the armpits and on the inside of the elbow). In the case of pronounced excess skin, the loose skin is removed on the inside of the upper arm and thereby tightens it. A spindle-like incision is made in the skin on the inner side of the upper arm, and the detached piece is removed along with a section of fatty tissue. An additional incision is sometimes made in the armpit. The resulting scar on the inside of the upper arm can be covered with clothing, making it hard for others to notice. In some cases we recommend that patients have an accompanying fat removal treatment.


  • Suture removal is not usually required as dissolvable sutures are used
  • Shower using disinfectant shampoo
  • Wear a compression sleeve for 4 - 6 weeks after the operation
  • Avoid straining the edges of the wounds (do not lift shoulders above a horizontal position for 3 weeks)
  • You cannot carry out any heavy work that involves the arms for at least 4 weeks

Risks & Side Effects

  • Any swelling and discolouration caused by haematoma in the operation area subsides after approximately two to three days.
  • A feeling of numbness is often felt in the treated area, but this usually subsides.
  • Lymph fluid can build up and cause swelling.
  • Lymph fluid can be removed painlessly by means of a puncture.

Before & After Pictures

arm lift before arm lift after
arm lift before arm lift after
arm lift before arm lift after
arm lift before arm lift after
arm lift before arm lift after