Arm Lift


One such change that can occur in your upper arm results in a droopy, sagging, batwing-like appearance. Fitness may strengthen and improve your underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits. If the underside of your upper arms has developed sagging, droopy skin, or appears loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an arm lift may be right for you. Dr. Guarda performs an arm lift procedure which reduces excess skin and underlying fat that occurs between the underarm region and the elbow, reshaping the arm to result in smoother skin and more normal contours. An arm lift results in a more toned and proportionate appearance, enhancing your self-confidence and expanding your fashion choices. The tradeoff to your improved image is a resulting scar on the inside of your upper arm.
Arm Lift

Are you wondering what is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a surgical procedure that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. Technically called brachioplasty, the procedure is performed to:

  • Reduce your excess sagging skin that droops downward when the arm is extended away from the body
  • Tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of your upper arm

In addition, any localized pockets of fat in your upper arm region may be reduced through brachioplasty, most commonly in conjunction with liposuction techniques.
The conditions treated with brachioplasty may develop in both men and women, most often due to a loss of elasticity in the skin and underlying tissue of the upper arm. This may be the result of significant weight loss and skin that has been so stretched it loses the ability to retract. Conditions may also result from the natural changes that occur with aging, heredity or a combination of these conditions.


An arm lift cannot correct weakened muscles of the upper arm; in fact many individuals who seek brachioplasty are relatively fit individuals who are bothered by a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise. In general, an arm lift procedure is performed if you are:

  • Adult of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who is not significantly overweight
  • Healthy individual who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smoker
  • Individual with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what an arm lift can accomplish
  • Individual committed to leading a healthy lifestyle of proper nutrition and fitness

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how an arm lift can help you achieve a smoother, more normal contour of the arm. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about brachioplasty in a non-pressured environment, and will include:

  • A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your individual case
  • The options available for an arm lift
  • The likely outcomes of brachioplasty and any associated risks or potential complications
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon

Dr. Guarda, an expert plastic surgeon, will answer your questions.

Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the outcome of arm lift surgery. These will be carefully evaluated in your consultation with Dr. Guarda. The success of your procedure, safety and overall satisfaction require that you:

  • Honestly share your expectations
  • Fully disclose health history, current medications, the use of vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Commit to precisely following Dr. Guarda’s complete instructions

Arm Lift


By making the decision to consult with Dr. Guarda, a board-certified plastic surgeon, and following all the instructions given, you are taking an important step in helping to ensure your safety.

Dr. Guarda is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® which designates his specific training in plastic surgery of the face and entire body.

My arm lift

You must be glad to know that an arm lift is a safe and satisfying procedure that can greatly improve the appearance of your upper arm. Dr. Guarda being this procedure with an incision placed in the inside of the upper arm. The incision may extend from the underarm (axilla) to the elbow, or be more limited in length. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the preferences and surgical judgment of Dr. Guarda. If fat will be reduced during your arm lift, it will be excised or treated with liposuction techniques. The underlying supportive tissue is then tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Overlying skin is then smoothed over the new contour of your arm, with excess skin reduced. Your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following your arm lift.

The trade-off to an improved body contour and image through arm lift is a resulting scar on the inside portion of your upper arm. In addition, uneven contours can develop in the arm following your brachioplasty. In some cases, skin elasticity is so poor that a relapse of the skin is possible.

Preparing for surgery

Dr. Guarda will carefully explain the technique for your arm lift. Prior to any surgery, you will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • Pre-surgical considerations, diagnostic testing and medications
  • Day of surgery instructions and medications
  • Specific information related to the use of anesthesia
  • Postoperative care and follow-up

In addition, you will be asked to sign consent forms to assure Dr. Guarda that you fully understand the procedure or procedures you will undergo and any associated risks and potential complications. Possible risks of arm lift include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed or poor wound healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation and irregular or asymmetric contours or scars. Any surgery carries risks associated with anesthesia. These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent.

It is important that you address all your questions directly to Dr. Guarda. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss your feelings without any hesitance with Dr. Guarda.

Brachioplasty may be performed in Dr. Guarda’s accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or a hospital, possibly with an overnight hospital stay. Procedures are most commonly performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may also be used. These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and Dr. Guarda’s preference. Dr. Guarda and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.

Following surgery

Once your arm lift is completed, dressing or bandages will be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Before you are released following surgery, you and an accompanying responsible family member, friend or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your plastic surgeon

Arm Lift

Progress and healing

Following your arm lift, your arms will be swollen and bruised, and you will experience some discomfort. Discomfort is common, but don’t worry, it can be controlled with medication. You will be instructed to keep your arms elevated for several days following surgery and return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize the potential for blood clots and other complications. You will also be instructed to avoid lifting or bearing any weight on your arms for several days to weeks. Dr. Guarda may also advise you to limit your range of motion until internal healing is complete. You will be ready to return to work and light, normal activities within a few days, as long as you do not engage in any lifting or vigorous exercise. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome.

Your incisions will heal within 7 to 14 days, after which time sutures will be removed if necessary. Additional healing will continue for many weeks as swelling resolves and incision lines continue to improve. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skins surface will resolve over time. You must practice diligent sun protection until the healing process is fully completed or skin in the treated area may develop irregular pigmentation and scars may become raised, red or dark. It may take a year or more following a given procedure for incision lines to refine and fade to some degree. Continue to follow Dr. Guarda’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

Here is the good news: The dramatic improvement in arm contour following arm lift surgery can greatly enhance your body image. A smooth, toned arm that matches your body image and personal goals does, however, come with visible scars. This is a fair trade-off to achieving a body contour that matches your body weight and proportion.

The results of arm lift will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.