Skip to main content
Midbody shot of woman hold her slim arms to her face


Brachioplasty is another name for a surgical “arm lift”. Is a procedure aimed at restoring a more aesthetic contour to the upper arm and it achieves this by combining techniques aimed at reducing redundant or excess skin while also commonly debulking excess fat that contributes to a weighty upper arm appearance.


Who is a good candidate?

The procedure is ideally suited for healthy, non-smokers who have skin laxity and droop anywhere on the upper arm. There are several variations of arm lift surgery, and the procedure is tailored to address the individual needs of the patient.

What is the post-operative recovery?

Recovery is around a week or so, although the swelling can persist for several weeks following the procedure. Most patients feel that the majority of swelling has started to resolve after the first month or so. Despite the swelling, there is an immediate contour change in arm appearance following surgery, and patients wear a compression sleeve-type garment to assist with swelling for several weeks after the procedure. Overall, scar maturation usually occurs during the course of the first year following the procedure.

Backshot of a woman hold her hair up and showing her bare back
Woman in a white fitted business shirt

How is the procedure performed?

There are several surgical options used to help restore improvement in arm contour. The most common procedure involves an incision placed along the lower inner aspect of the arm that runs from the armpit region to an area just behind the elbow. If skin laxity is largely contained to the upper aspect of the arm, more limited incisions may be feasible, including some incision that are completely concealed within the armpit creases. During the consultation, the specific incision pattern best suited to give you an ideal result will be discussed, as will the possible need for adjunctive procedure like liposuction to other aspects of the arm.

All procedures are performed in the comfort of our accredited on-site operating room under a light general anesthetic. Use of IV sedation alone is an option for some patients and we will be happy to provide guidance regarding how to ensure your comfort and safety during the brachioplasty procedure.

What type of result can I expect?

The arms have a substantial improvement in contour and shape that is appreciable during even the first post-operative day. Swelling can persist for several weeks following surgery and final contour may not be appreciable for several months. Scars are typically well-concealed and efforts are made to keep the incisions in inconspicuous locations, although their final appearance is somewhat variable. Scar management is an important part of the post-operative process, and these details will be reviewed during follow-up visits.

What are the potential risk and complications?

Risks include standard aspects seen with all surgery, like bleeding and infection. Fortunately, these are rarely seen. More frequently encountered complications include things like small areas of delayed healing that may require short-courses of antibiotic ointment to assist with healing or unfavorable scarring that may benefit from steroid injections during the early post-operative period.

Are there additional relevant considerations regarding this procedure?

What can be done to help minimize the appearance of surgical scars along my inner arm? During your post-operative visits, Drs. Grotting and Cohn will review the use of different scar crèmes that may help with minimizing scar visibility. Compression garments and scar massage have also been shown to assist with favorable scar maturation. Having a realistic expectation regarding the time course for complete scar maturation and appearance is important and this will be reviewed at the time of your initial consultation.

Dr. Grotting's Office exterior and office sign

James C. Grotting, MD, FACS


I have the utmost respect for the integrity and skills of Dr. Grotting and his staff. Dr. Grotting is a perfectionist , and gives the look of not having a facelift. I am so glad that I chose him!