Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Arm lift/ reduction or brachioplasty surgery has increased in popularity over the last few years partly because techniques have improved but also because of the increasing demand from people who have lost a lot of weight.  The surgery aims to correct the flap of redundant skin and tissue seen under the upper arm when held out to the side.

At A Glance

Hospital stay

1 night

Anaesthetic

General

Operation time

1.5 - 2 hours

Back to work

2 weeks

Full Recovery

6 weeks

Driving

2 weeks

Exercise

4 - 6 weeks

Washing

2 days

Frequenty Asked Questions

Is brachioplasty suitable for me?

A patient who is displaying a substantial amount of excess skin will only really achieve a good result using a surgical arm lift.

However, if you have less severe skin excess with good skin elasticity then you may be suitable for liposuction which will address underlying fat excess without skin removal.

What are the surgical options?

There are several different techniques for arm reduction.  In a younger patient with relatively taut skin liposuction alone may be employed.  When the skin is not taut, liposuction can makes matters worse by increasing the apparent skin excess.  

Liposuction is, however, frequently used as part of the arm reduction procedure to help fine tune the arm shape.  The most common form of arm reduction is to directly excise the overhanging fold of tissue.  This leaves a scar that is concealed under the arm and runs from the elbow to the armpit.  In some patients, the excision is extended down the side of the trunk towards the bra strap line to excise excess tissue around the armpit.

What does an arm lift involve?

During an arm lift excess skin and fat is removed between the armpit and elbow, where sagging skin usually occurs. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours to create a more toned and tight look, significantly reducing the size of the arms

What happens before the operation?

When you first meet Mr Sawyer at your initial consultation, he will ask you questions about your specific concerns and take a full medical and surgical history.  Details regarding the operation, the aims, the limitations, the recovery and the risks will be discussed.  Before the operation (if you are having this performed under general anaesthetic), you will usually attend for a nurse-led pre-assessment which will involve specific tests which look at the suitability for a general anaesthetic. Commonly, blood tests and ECGs are performed at this appointment.  If any particular health problems or results from blood tests arise, then these may be discussed with Mr Sawyer's Consultant Anaesthetist before embarking with surgery.

What are the restrictions on activities?

For the first 1-2 weeks following surgery patients should rest.  They should refrain from driving or from undertaking any housework.  After this period, light housework and gentle activities can be undertaken, gradually building up to normal over a 6-8-week period.  Gentle gym activities and jogging can be resumed at 3-4 weeks; however heavy lifting or any vigorous sporting activities (aerobics, tennis, and badminton) should be avoided for 2-3 months following surgery as undue pressure on the wound may have an adverse effect on scarring.  Most patients refrain from work for 1-2 weeks.  However, for those with physical jobs or for whom recovery is delayed, an additional 1-2 weeks may be required.

What wil happen immediately after the surgery?

After an arm lift, your arms will be covered in loose elasticated bandages to minimise swelling and protect the wounds. 

The technique involves a T-shaped or curved incision from the armpit, continuing along the inside of the upper arm. The length of the scar varies depending on the exact contour that needs to be corrected but can be as far as the elbow. The skin is closed with dissolving sutures and a compression garment used over the top.

In June this year I had my second procedure with Mr Adam Sawyer. My first one was October 2018 when I had a tummy tuck and this year I had an arm lift. Last year my initial hesitation had always been on how to find the right surgeon to do my procedure as I had no friends or family who could help me on any recommendations. My first appointment with Mr Sawyer was very good and I was very impressed with his friendliness and positivity on how he could help me. My husband accompanied me to the appointment and all following appointments and the three of us built up a very good rapport. For this reason, in June 2019 when I was considered having an arm lift, I immediately telephoned Mr Sawyer’s secretary to make an appointment. Again my decision was made easier by the relaxed atmosphere of the appointments and the complexity of all the information that we were given on the procedure. It was explained that this could be a painful procedure and to expect bruising. All of which happened!! My follow-up appointments went very well and once again I am very very pleased with the outcome. These procedures, although very personal to each individual, I feel that this has boosted my confidence in how I look, feel and act not to mention the wonderful comments I received my family and friends on the great look of my appearance. I would highly recommend Mr Adam Sawyer to anybody who could benefit from his wonderful art.

Contact us to schedule in your appointment