Upper Arm Lift

At Buckhead Plastic Surgery, Atlanta

For many people, exercise and dieting can't improve the appearance of the arms. Loss of muscle mass and sagging skin give the arms a droopy, sagging appearance. The brachioplasty or arm lift works by removing the loose skin and sagging fatty tissue over the upper portion of the arm while lifting and firming it.

Deciding if You Are Right for a Brachioplasty

The average patient is a female in her late 40s and older. Men also occasionally undergo this procedure, usually after massive weight loss. The patient typically complains their arms have loose sagging flabby skin. The patient also may or may not have lost weight resulting in looser skin. A typical patient may also complain that they cannot or will not wear any type of clothing that shows their upper arm because of embarrassment.

How It's done

Before surgery, the upper portion of the arm is marked. In the operating room, this area is infiltrated with a sterile saline solution containing a local anesthetic as well as epinephrine solution to cut down on any bleeding or bruising. The skin is undermined and pulled up into the desired position, the loose skin is marked and removed.

The deep tissues are then approximated with sutures.  All of the sutures are beneath the skin and do not have to be removed. A compression garment is placed over your arms to start firming and re-contouring your new lifted arms.

Arm Lift Recovery

The recovery is moderately easy. The arms will be tender and usually there is mild to moderate swelling or edema in the lower arm and hand. This swelling usually resolves quickly with arm elevation. Pain medications control this tenderness very well and most patients stop taking pain medication during the day after about three days. A compression garment is worn 4-6 weeks after arm lift surgery. This helps re-establish the contours, decrease edema or swelling and decrease healing time while adding comfort.

Results to expect

The results of the lift are noticed immediately after surgery.  You will notice that your arm is firmer, much more contoured and tight.  It is usually a little larger secondary to the swelling that occurs from surgery.  This swelling resolves over 3-6 weeks and the final results are appreciated somewhere between 3-6 months after surgery.


As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with brachioplasty. Absolutely following your postoperative instructions and returning for post-op care will minimize your risks. Please see informed consent for a more complete list of possible risks.

Recovery Timeline

  • On the first day, the patient will experience moderate discomfort.
  • Tenderness rapidly resolves on days 2-5  and the patient is able to move around very well.
  • Patients usually return to work on days 5-7.
  • At 2-3 weeks, patients start increasing activities and can return to slow progress of exercising.
  • At 6-8 weeks, patients can return to full exercise.
  • Over the lifetime, continue with diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle changes.

Learn More About Arm Lift Surgery in Atlanta

Do you need more information about arm lift surgery in Atlanta? Contact the office of Dr. Alan N. Larsen M.D., double board certified plastic surgeon. We are located in the Buckhead area of North Atlanta. Call (404) 367‐9005 to inquire about a consultation with Dr. Larsen.