Dr Anne Collins Cosmetic Surgeon

Arm Lift

Designed to improve the contour of the upper inner arms, by removing the excess skin and fat between the armpit and elbow

As we age, the skin on the upper arms loses elasticity. Significant weight loss can have a similar, negative effect on their appearance. Whilst an appropriate exercise programme can improve muscle tone, it won’t address sagging, droopy skin.

An arm lift or brachioplasty is a surgical procedure designed to improve the contour of the upper inner arms, by removing the excess skin and fat between the armpit and elbow. In most cases, the scar is confined to the upper inner arm, but occasionally it is extended into the armpit. The procedure is commonly combined with liposuction, which utilises a suction technique to remove unwanted fat.


An arm lift is a body-contouring rather than a weight loss procedure. As such, you will get the best results if you have lost any unwanted weight prior to the surgery and have achieved a stable weight in a healthy weight range. It is absolutely imperative that you have stopped smoking for at least 3 months, if not 6 months prior to your surgery. Smoking has catastrophic effects on wound healing and greatly increases your risk of complications in general.

This will depend on your own goals and desires, which will be determined during your consultation. During the surgery, liposuction is usually performed in the first instance, before excision of the excess skin. The surgery takes between 2-4 hours and usually necessitates a 1 night stay in hospital. The scars are permanent, but are designed to be concealed.

All surgical procedures involve risks, which include general risks like pain, bleeding, wound infection and abnormal scarring and risks specific to the procedure itself. The latter includes swelling, asymmetry, changes in skin sensation, delayed healing, contour irregularities and the need for further surgery.

You will need to keep your wounds clean and dry for 48 hours after your surgery. You should avoid lifting your arms above shoulder level for the first 4 weeks and avoid physical activity that could stretch your scars for 6 weeks. A supportive garment should be worn for 6 weeks. In order to get the best possible aesthetic result, you should tape your scars for the same period of time. Thereafter, massaging your scars and topical silicone will hasten their transition to thin, flat, pale scars.

Your return to work will be determined by the extent of your surgery and what type of job you do. In general, most patients require up to 2 weeks off post-operatively, though longer if your job is more physically demanding.

Each procedure is individually customised, considering your specific needs and aesthetic goals. As a result, the cost can vary from patient to patient. For more information on pricing or to begin your journey with Dr Collins please contact us.

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