Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Arm lift or brachioplasty is a common procedure in plastic surgery. Massive weight loss, genetical predisposition and/or age can lead to big arms with sagging skin, localized fat deposits or contour irregularities. Although mild conditions can be treated with less invasive procedures, such as VASER® High-Definition liposuction, more severe cases require an arm lift.

What an arm lift can do:

An arm lift is a surgical procedure that aims to tighten upper arm skin and reshape the region, giving a youthful, fit and elegant appearance. An arm lift will:

  • Reduce excess sagging skin

  • Reduce localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region

  • Tighten and smoothen the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm

Arm lift candidates:

Not everybody is a good candidate for arm lift. In general, arm lift candidates are: 

  • Patients with moderate to severe upper arm skin laxity or patients who want to significantly reduce the size of their arms.

  • Patients with a relatively stable body weight. 

  • Nonsmokers, healthy individuals without any medical conditions that could impair healing or increase surgical risk.​

The procedure

Arm lift is performed under general anesthesia. Having marked the areas of fat deposits, Dr Pagkalos starts with high-definition liposuction to reshape the upper arms. After all unwanted fat is removed, an incision is made to correct skin laxity.

Incision length and pattern during arm lift surgery depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed. Incisions are generally placed on the inside of the arms (Inner arm incision) or on the back of the arms (Back arm incision) and depending on patient’s individual needs, may extend from the underarm (axilla) to just above the elbow. There some cases with minimum skin laxity located mostly in the underarm region, where a limited incision, right below the armpit, can be used to tighten the skin. Unfortunately, although having such a limited incision sounds appealing, very few patients can actually benefit from this approach.

Preserving critical anatomical structures, such as upper arms blood supply, nerves and the lymphatic tree is of great importance in arm lift. Meticulous dissection and gentle tissue manipulation is what makes the procedure safe and the recovery easier.


Patients are advised to wear compression garments for a period of 4 weeks after surgery. Bruising and swelling are expected to last for approximately 3 weeks and patients are given instructions on how to take care for their incisions, orally administered antibiotics and healing aids.

Brachioplasty incisions take four to eight weeks to heal completely.

Arm lift is considered to have an easy recovery although patients should avoid strenuous activities that stretch the skin or weight lifting until fully healed.

Follow Dr Pagkalos’ instructions is essential to the success of an arm lift.


A smoother, tighter contour will be apparent almost immediately after the procedure.

In most cases, final results can be seen in 3 weeks, although the shape of the upper arms will continue to improve within the upcoming 3 months. With proper patient care, incisions should start to look better in approximately 3 months and scars will fade over time, but they will never completely disappear.

The results of an arm lift will be long lasting, provided that the patient maintains a stable weight and general fitness. As our body ages, it is normal to lose some of the firmness achieved with arm lift, but most of the improvement will be relatively permanent.

Although incisions is often a serious drawback for most patients, arm lift is safe procedures with high patient satisfaction since it can transform upper arm appearance and give results that are impossible to achieve by other means.