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How Does an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Work?

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How Does an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Work?

If you dread short-sleeved tops that reveal sagging upper arms, you have options to remove this excess skin. An arm lift or brachioplasty removes and tightens loose skin and fat for slim, sculpted arms. If the appearance of your upper arms holds you back, an arm lift may be right for you. 

What is an Arm Lift?

The skin on the upper arms may sag due to weight loss, loss of muscle mass, or the effects of aging. No amount of exercise will tighten loose skin, so even if you work to develop toned, muscular arms, your loose skin may hide them. An arm lift or brachioplasty restores tighter, more sculpted arms so you feel more confident.

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*Individual Results May Vary

How Does an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Work?

Dr. Tenley Lawton performs arm lifts under general anesthesia, and the procedure typically takes two to three hours. She customizes each brachioplasty based on the amount of loose skin and the anatomy of your arms. The procedure uses an incision from the underarm area to the elbow, although the length of this incision varies depending on the details of your treatment plan. 

Many people who have an arm lift have issues with the appearance of that area. However, Dr. Lawton may also perform an arm lift as part of a body lift. Individuals with significant weight loss can experience sagging skin in many areas, including the upper arms. Discuss all your areas of concern during your consultation. 

What is Recovery Like After an Arm Lift?

You can expect some bruising, swelling, and soreness after your arm lift. You should plan for one to two weeks away from work. Activities, especially those that require raising your arms, will be limited for the first three to four weeks. Most people have fully recovered in six to eight weeks. 

Follow Dr. Lawton’s incision care instructions to ensure proper healing and minimize scarring. You will have a scar under your arm after brachioplasty, but in general, people find that this scar bothers them much less than sagging skin and flabby arms. 


The first step is to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Lawton or one of our trusted providers at Tenley K Lawton M.D. in Neport Beach, CA. Simply fill out the form on this page and we will reach out to you promptly to schedule your appointment.

What Results Will I See With My Arm Lift?

You will notice an immediate change in the shape of your upper arms after your arm lift. However, swelling will keep you from appreciating your full results for a few weeks. The incision may look red at first but will fade to pink and then blend with your skin tone over several months. Your arms will keep their sculpted look for many years as long as you maintain a consistent weight. Over time, skin laxity may progress, and you may notice some sagging return. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Brachioplasty?

The best candidates for an arm lift want to address sagging or flabby arms. Candidates should be in overall good health, have reasonable expectations, and understand that they will have a scar under the arm that will remain somewhat visible over time. If you plan to continue losing weight, you should wait to have an arm lift until you have achieved your goals. 


*Individual Results May Vary


Dr. Lawton strives to provide the best experience for everyone who chooses her practice for their aesthetic needs. Read why our patients love their results & experience with Dr. Lawton and her team of expert providers.

Take the Next Step

Would you like to learn more about arm lifts? Simply fill out the form on this page or call Tenley K. Lawton, M.D. at (949) 640-0999 to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton. Proudly serving Newport Beach and the greater Orange County, CA, area.

*Individual Results May Vary.

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