Arm lift or brachioplasty

The other name for the arm lift is Brachioplasty. It is an operation to tighten the skin of the arm following a sagging skin.

Principles of the arm lift

The purpose of the procedure is to remove the excess skin, reduce the underlying fatty infiltration and re-drape the whole.

Depending on the amount of skin to be resected, the scar of a brachial plasty can be :

  • in the shape of a "T", with a horizontal branch, at the level of the armpit, and a vertical branch, located on the inner side of each arm, from the armpit to the elbow,
  • pure horizontal,
  • pure vertical.

We systematically perform a liposuction before the skin resurfacing.

Arm lift in practice

This procedure takes place in the operating room under general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will be seen in consultation at the latest 48 hours before the operation, if a general or "vigil" anesthesia is chosen.

The operation can be performed on an outpatient basis, i.e., the patient is discharged the same day after a few hours of monitoring.
However, in some cases, a short overnight stay in hospital may be preferable. It is strongly recommended to stop smoking at least one month before and one month after the operation (smoking can cause a delay in healing).
No medication containing Aspirin should be taken in the 10 days preceding the operation.

Questions and Answers about Arm Lifting

What are the complications of an arm lift?

They are rare. A hematoma (blood clot) may occur in the hours following the operation and may require a return to the operating room. The occurrence of an infection is favored by the proximity of a natural fold (the armpit) and is prevented by rigorous pre- and postoperative hygiene until complete healing.

Disorders of the inner arm may be observed: normal sensitivity usually returns within 3 to 6 months after the operation.

Finally, the most frequent complication is the reopening of a part of the scar (delayed healing). The care and dressings are then prolonged without any consequence on the future scar.

Is the arm lift a painful operation?

There may be some pain in the first few days due to liposuction.
However, the scar on the arm is not very painful and a return to normal life can be envisaged from the 7th day.

When can I return to sport after an arm lift?

As soon as complete healing is obtained, between 15 and 21 days after the operation.

Can the arm lift be covered by social security?

Yes, in the aftermath of massive weight loss (more than 20 kg), especially after bariatric surgery (gastric band or bypass).
If the sagging skin is age-related, the surgery is not covered.

How much does an arm lift cost?

If the procedure is covered by social security, we charge an additional fee of 2000 € which may be covered by your complementary health insurance.
In the case of a purely aesthetic procedure, the operation costs between 3200 and 3800 €.

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Docteur Yaël Berdah and Docteur Marc-David Benjoar
Plastic surgeons in Paris France

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