What is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, reshapes the back of the upper arm by removing excess or loose skin. This procedure addresses the “bat wing” appearance under the arm that can come from significant weight loss or aging. In some cases, a brachioplasty will include liposuction in order to achieve the best results.

Is an Arm Lift Right for Me?

Diet and exercise can improve the appearance of the upper arms, but in some cases, it just isn’t enough to get rid of the loose, saggy skin that can come from significant weight loss or aging. In that case, you may be a good candidate for an arm lift if:

– Weight fluctuation has left you with significant underarm skin laxity resulting in enough excess skin to remove and/or tighten.

– Your weight has been stable for a minimum of six months. Once you’ve reached a consistent, healthy weight, this will give the surgeon a general idea of how much excess skin needs to be removed or tightened.

– You are in good health overall and don’t smoke. This procedure requires a period of healing. Ideally, the patient would not have any medical conditions that would impair or complicate the healing process. If you suffer from a chronic medical condition, it’s best to speak to your primary care physician to see if this procedure is right for you. If you smoke, most plastic surgeons will ask that you stop smoking entirely, or stop smoking six weeks prior to your procedure, as well as six weeks post-operation.

If you believe you are a good candidate for an arm lift based on the qualifications outlined above, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan to discuss the possibility of an arm lift and the added benefits it could bring to your life.


While recovery can vary from case to case, we recommend at least one to two weeks off of work following an arm lift. Avoid any strenuous activity for the first two weeks. Walking is recommended in order to encourage blood circulation and prevent clotting. Cardiovascular exercise can be resumed after four weeks, but avoid heavy lifting for at least six to eight weeks. After this period, we will schedule a follow-up with Dr. Buchanan, who will advise on if you can resume normal, everyday activity.

How Long Will My Results Last?

Results of an arm lift are visible immediately, and as s long as you maintain a consistent body weight, and do not lose or gain a significant amount of weight rapidly, your results should last long term. With age your skin will naturally lose some of its elasticity, however, subsequent laxity will be far less severe than before your surgery.

How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?

The cost of an arm lift surgery varies significantly depending on the complexity of your case, the number of procedures involved, and where you live. It’s also important to note that the amount above does not reflect additional surgery costs, including:
– Anesthesia fees
– Operating room costs
– Blood or additional medical testing
– Compression garments for post-surgery
– Prescriptions
– Miscellaneous expenses, such as surgeon’s fees

Additionally, the cost of the procedure can be affected by the following circumstances:
– The amount of experience and overall reputation of your surgeon. You’ll find that surgeon’s with many years of experience, or that are highly regarded, will typically cost more.
– The techniques the surgeon uses for the procedure and the complexity of the case.
– Where your surgeon’s practice is located. Typically, larger cities have higher operational costs and are more expensive.

If you’ve considered an arm lift, but feel like you are limited financially, speak to Dr. Buchanan or one of the VIVIFY staff members about financing options. We do our best to work with each patient by offering financing plans to help her achieve her surgical goals.

Will Insurance Cover My Arm Lift?

In most cases, health insurance companies do not cover brachioplasty surgery because it is considered a cosmetic enhancement procedure. However, if this region of your body is causing you discomfort, you should talk to your health insurance provider about coverage. We always recommend doing your research before proceeding with any surgery because it is important to be clear on your financial responsibility before undergoing any surgery.

Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

During your search for a potential plastic surgeon, you should only consider a surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board-certified surgeons spend a minimum of 6-8 years in training after medical school to ensure that they are well-trained in both aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
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