Arm lift (brachioplasty) in London
Arm lift also known as ‘arm reduction’ or ‘brachioplasty’ is a surgical procedure to address soose skin on the upper arms, often described as as ‘bingo wings’ and is an increasingly prevalent issue affecting a growing number of people. The condition of loose on affecting the upper arms can affect both women and men and is common in those who have lost large amounts of weight. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing loose flabby looking arms.
Arm lift, also known as brachioplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that specifically addresses the upper arm contour through through a combination of liposuction and skin removal to both tighten and smoothen the skin of the upper arm. Even with the adoption of a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise, loose arm skin can still develop. Massive weight loss is well known to result in a substantial loss of skin elasticity and a resulting aesthetically unappealing upper arm contour.
In those with good skin elasticity and localised fat deposits affecting the upper arms, liposuction alone could be a suitable treatment option.
All our surgeons are on the GMC specialist register.
Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for the brachioplasty procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face to face checks by our expert postoperative support team
RealSelf Top Doctors
RealSelf top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and after investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activity. RealSelf top doctors are rated among the very best surgeons in the United Kingdom and USA.
Why choose Centre for Surgery for your brachioplasty procedure
- Over 10 years experience in all types of arm lift surgery – full arm lift, mini arm lift and BodyTite
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed brachioplasty surgery takes time and should not be rushed. Our surgeons perform a maximum of one brachioplasty procedure in a day. We do not cram 3-4 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform an arm lift to get the very best results.
- Our surgeons live and work in the UK. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise.
Ideal candidate for arm lift
A good candidate for an Arm Lift should have the following:
- Loose and redundant skin affecting the upper arm
- Maintenance of a normal or near normal body weight
- Is medically fit and well with no serious medical conditions that could affect healing
- Patient is a non smoker
- Has realistic expectations for what the arm lift procedure can achieve
Different types of arm lift
Arm liposuction is the ideal technique for contouring of the arms for those with good skin elasticity. Arm liposuction results in minimal scarring and the recovery time is much quicker compared with a traditional brachioplasty. For those with significant redundant skin often from previous weight loss will not be ideal candidates for arm liposuction. Younger patients with minimal skin laxity in the upper arms are ideal candidates. Arm liposuction can help to achieve a more toned arm contour.
Mini arm lift or mini brachioplasty
A mini arm lift is a short scar version of a traditional full brachioplasty and is able to address moderate degrees of skin laxity. The incision for a mini arm lift is located in the armpit area and is therefore well concealed when compared with a full brachioplasty. Patients can easily wear short sleeved clothing without visible scarring. The postoperative discomfort after a mini arm lift is much less compared with a brachioplasty. Liposuction is often combined with a mini arm lift for the removal of fat deposits in the upper arms. For patients who would like to avoid a scar going down the arm and have lesser degrees of skin laxity may be ideal candidates for a mini arm lift.
Your surgeon may also wish to combine the BodyTite/Morpheus8 combination with a mini arm lift to extend the benefits of a partial skin excision. In this case the procedure would be performed with TIVA anaesthesia.
Traditional brachioplasty or full arm lift
Brachioplasty surgery aims to remove the maximum amount of excess skin and extra fat in the upper arm area to result in significant tightening of the skin and an improvement in upper arm contour. The incision for a brachioplasty is located on the inner side of the upper arm and runs from the armpit to the elbow. Although the scar burden can be significant, the scar is often well positioned on the inside of the arm. Brachioplasty surgery is the most commonly performed type of arm lift surgery for those with moderate to severe skin laxity often from significant weight loss.
Patients who have undergone masssive weight loss whether from bariatric surgery or weight loss through diet and exercise may be candidates for an extended brachioplasty procedure. Often after massive weight loss the resulting skin laxity can be very significant and can extend beyond the upper arm to the side of the chest. A traditional brachioplasty will not be able to correct the deformity from weight loss. The incision for an extended brachioplasty extends from the elbow all the way to the side of the chest wall to effectively address the skin redundancy from massive weight loss. Significant improvement in the upper arm and chest wall contour can be achieved.
The modified brachioplasty is similar to a traditional brachioplasty in that both excess skin and fat are surgically removed to improve upper arm contour in patients after significant weight loss. Modified incision brachioplasty differs from the traditional technique in the configuration of the scar is shaped differently. The modified incision is more curved and is positioned along the bicep muscle for improved concealment. The modified incision brachioplasty is ideal for patients who are concerned about scar placement and prefer for the scar to be in the inner arm rather than along the bottom part of the upper arm.
BodyTite arm lift
If you are not keen on the idea of having scars from arm lift surgery, Centre for Surgery also offer a ‘scarless arm lift‘ utilising the innovative BodyTite platform. A BodyTite arm lift utilises minimally invasive bipolar RF usign specially designed cannulas to tighten the skin and soft tissues along with Morpheus8 RF microneedling. By using both BodyTite and Morpheus8, your surgeon is able to address mild to moderate skin laxity in a minimally invasive manner and without the downtime of a traditional full brachioplasty. A BodyTite arm lift can be performed under local anaesthetic (with or without oral sedation) in properly selected candidates.
When we get older and lose muscle tone, we may not like what we see in the mirror. If you extend your arm, you may notice a flap of skin that hangs down. In an ideal world, diet and exercise could correct this. But for some people, that is not enough. An arm lift or brachioplasty can improve the beauty and appearance of the arm.
An arm lift is also known as a brachioplasty. During a brachioplasty, the surgeon makes an incision in the arm. Excess skin is removed, and extra fat may be removed as well. Afterwards, there will be pain and swelling, which can take several weeks to go away. There will also be a scar. Generally, the scar will run down the underside of the upper arm. Sometimes, a surgeon will do a mini arm lift. This procedure leaves a scar in the armpit where it less likely to be noticed.
Preparation for arm lift surgery
At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons believe that any cosmetic surgery procedure should be backed with excellent pre-operative patient preparation. We want all our patients to be fully prepared – physically, mentally and emotionally. Our team strives to go above and beyond to ensure you have a safe procedure with a smooth postoperative recovery leading to great results.
The arm lift procedure
You may experience saggy arms for various reasons, such as weight loss or simply ageing. This can cause you to feel self-conscious, particularly when wearing shorter clothes. While exercise helps to keep the muscles tight, skin and fat can be stubborn and remain droopy.
Arm lift step by step
STEP 1: For a full arm lift, a curved incision is designed to run along the lower margin of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. The degree of correction of skin laxity and the size of the arms depends on the design on the incision and the length of the incision.
STEP 2: The surgeon carefully removes any excess fat and skin and dissected beneath the skin in a gently and near bloodless manner.
STEP 3: The excess and redundant skin is surgically removed followed by close approximation of the wound edges using temporary surgical clips followed the application of liposuction to fine tune the size of the arm.
STEP 4: Dissolvable sutures are placed along the approximated skin margins to ensure a cosmetically acceptable scar.
STEP 5: A specialised compression garment is applied to the arms to support the incisions and reduce postoperative swelling.
An arm lift will remove this excess skin and fat, while also tightening the tissues, giving the arm a smoother, more youthful appearance. The arm lift procedure involves undergoing liposuction to remove any excess fat. Next, the excess skin is removed and sutured shut.
After the arm lift, you will have a scar which will run down the underarm. While this scar will be more noticeable after surgery, it will fade with time. If you do not want a scar, you may wish to do a mini arm lift, as the scar will be limited to under the armpit, so it will not be as noticeable.
To help the healing process, you will be asked to avoid smoking. You will also have to avoid blood thinning medications.
Compression garment after arm lift
At the end of the brachioplasty procedure, the surgeon will apply a compression garment onto the upper arms and it is recommended to wear the garment continuously for the first three weeks and this may be longer if your surgeon recommends a longer duration. The arm lift compression garment should only be removed before having a shower. The sterile waterproof dressings should protect the wounds from moisture. The compression garment should be immediately reapplied once your shower is complete. You should not bend your elbows for the first 24-48 hours after the arm lift procedure. At one week, you will see one of our postoperative nursing team for a wound check and change of dressings. Specialised brown tape may be applied at this stage to optimise wound healing and scar cosmesis. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for the first two weeks. Light physical activity is acceptable at four weeks post arm lift surgery.
Recovery after brachioplasty
An arm lift is performed as an outpatient surgery, so you will be able to return home the same day as your surgery was completed. After the procedure, you will have bandages applied to the incision area. The bandages and stitches will be removed two weeks after the surgery.
You will notice some bruising and swelling, which is a completely normal side effect after an arm lift. This should fade after approximately a few weeks. You will have to avoid any excessive physical activity and heavy lifting for at least two weeks to avoid any undue stress on the incisions. You will be able to return to work after one week, however, you will still have to avoid any strenuous physical labour.
How to improve appearance of arm lift scars
Arm lift or brachioplasty surgery has increased in popularity as any effective method of improving arm contour after all degrees of weight loss from mild to massive. Many patients are concerned about the appearance of scars after arm lift surgery but with modern surgical techniques this has become less of a concern. Most patients accept the trade-off between achieving a dramatically improved upper contour at the expense of what can be a long scar along the upper arm. Our surgeons use advanced surgical techniques to give a straighter looking scar that is located along the inside of the arm and this results in a well concealed scar that is not obviously visible to others even when wearing short sleeve shirts.
Arm lift scars very from one patient to another and there are a number of factors which can influence the degree of scar formation:
- Positioning of scar
- Skin colour
- History of hypertrophic or keloid scars
- Exposure of healing incisions to strong sunlight
All arm lift incisions leave scars as a result of the procedure to remove excess skin and fat. Modern methods of scar management help to improve the appearance of scars. It is important to wear the postoperative garment as instructed by the surgeon in combination with specialised postoperative brown tape along the arm lift incisions. This protocol helps to prevent stretching of the scar and reduce the incidence of red and raised scars over time. At 4 weeks after surgery, your surgeon may recommended the application silicone gel sheets once the incisions have fully healed and this will help to optimise scar cosmesis further. It is extremely important to keep the incisions out of direct sunlight and to use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher applied to the scars. You should avoid direct sunlight exposure to the treated areas for 6 months post arm lift surgery.
Risks and complications of arm lift surgery
With any cosmetic surgery procedure, there are recognised medical risks, arm lift surgery is no different. It is very important for the patient to adhere to all pre-operative and post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and minimise the risk of complications developing. Your surgeon will fully discuss with you the possible risks at your consultation.
Possible risks that you are exposed to include infection, fluid accumulation, haematoma, skin necrosis, poor scar healing, and blood clotting. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the chances of revisional surgery, which is different from post-surgery follow-ups and future surgery. In the period leading up to the brachioplasty procedure, you will be asked to give up smoking if you are a smoker. Aspirin can act as a blood thinner and you will be asked to stay off it.
Potential complications of arm lift brachioplasty
- Anaesthetic risks
- Postoperative haemorrhage
- Seroma or haematoma
- Delayed wound healing
- Hypertrophic scarring
- Requirement for a revision procedure
Prior to undergoing any procedure, make sure you know about the heightened risks of travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery.
Arm lift results
Arm lift cost
There are a number of factors which will determine the overall cost of your arm lift brachioplasty procedure and the final quotation will be given after your face to face consultation with your plastic surgeon.
- Mini brachioplasty or full brachioplasty
- Brachioplasty combined with other procedures eg. breast lift
- Primary or revision arm lift
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to a consultation for a brachioplasty.
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing your cosmetic surgery provider. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instilling in you the confidence that everyone on our team will look after you to the best of their ability – before, during and after your procedure.
Arm lift specialists at Centre for Surgery
Our surgeons are highly skilled in all types of arm lift surgery which result in a significantly improved upper arm contour and this reflects their deep expertise in body contouring surgery. Our surgeons have strong philosophy of establishing a good doctor-patient relationship to facilitate the attainment of excellent outcomes after arm lift surgery. At your consultation, your surgeon will listen carefully to understand your lifestyle and your goals for treatment and this is fundamental to formulating the correct treatment plan for you. Your medical history and any current medicines you may be taking will also be reviewed. It is important for all patients to be fully informed on all the available arm lift surgical techniques so you can make a decision based on your preferences. Your surgeon will be able to answer any questions you may have and you may think of during your consultation. If you are keen to see before and after photos, your surgeon may be able to show a range of photos of patients that have undergone similar brachioplasty treatment to give you an idea of the potential results that can be achieved. The pros and cons of brachioplasty surgery will also be discussed in detail with reference to your anatomy and medical history. If arm lift surgery is advised as a suitable procedure for you to correct arm contour then the surgeon will design a bespoke treatment plan. Our patient coordinators will act as your personal point of contact throughout your patient journey. Your patient coordinator will be able give you the costing for your procedure and will be in regular contact with you should you have questions about any aspect of the arm lift procedure.
What is an arm lift?An arm lift or brachioplasty is a surgical procedure which is designed to address the size and contour of the arm through the surgical removal of excess skin and excess fat deposits.
The exact type of arm lift procedure is dependent on a number of factors including the degree of skin laxity and also whether there is combined excess fat and loose skin or just one of the two. The two commonly performed surgical techniques for arm lift surgery are liposuction and surgical removal of skin and these are often performed in combination. Arm lift surgery is most commonly carried out under TIVA anaesthesia as a day case and the procedure takes between 2-3 hours to perform.
Bruising after arm lift surgery is relatively common and can take up to 4 weeks to fully settle. Wearing short sleeve clothing after this time is perfectly acceptable. Final results are typically seen at approximately 3 months. Scars after arm lift surgery are can be reduced with our expertise in scar revision treatments which may include a number of combination treatments include laser and micro needling.
What areas does an arm lift treat?Arm lift or brachioplasty surgery is designed to address the contour of the upper arm area but neighbouring areas can also be treated for a comprehensive rejuvenation.
Additional areas include:
- Armpit / axillary region
- Upper back as part of a bra line back lift
- Breast as part of a breast lift
- Back of the elbow
- The forearms
Are the results of an arm lift permanent?As long as patients keep to a stable weight then the result of arm lift surgery should be permanent. With the ageing process the laxity of the skin increases and the taut feeling after having had a brachioplasty may be less with time. As long as patients maintain a stable weight with a good diet and regular exercise then the results of arm lift surgery will last many years.
Am I suitable for an arm lift?Ideal candidates for arm lift surgery include:
- Patients who have localised areas of fat in the upper arms
- Significant skin laxity
- Untoned arm appearance caused by a combination of excess fat and lax skin
- Arms which look larger which are disproportionate to the overall body shape
- ‘Bingo wings’
Who will carry out my arm lift procedure?Arm lift surgery is carried out by one of our skilled and experienced plastic surgeons who all have additional training in body contouring surgery. Our surgeons are selected after a rigorous appointments process to ensure only the most skilled surgeons carry out arm lift surgery at Centre for Surgery.
What should I do before arm lift surgery to prepare?Refrain from smoking.
Stop certain medications which thin the blood to avoid increasing the risk of bleeding.
Apply an antiseptic lotion before surgery.
What happens during arm lift surgery?The surgeon will make the incision from the axilla to the elbow. Skin and fat will be removed. Stitches will be used to close the incisions. The procedure takes about two hours.
What anaesthetic is used?An arm lift is performed under TIVA general anaesthesia. This means you will be asleep throughout the procedure.
Will I have to stay overnight in hospital?An arm lift is performed as a day case. This means you will be able to return home once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
What is the recovery period like?After surgery, it is normal to experience some bruising and swelling around the incision. This may last up to three weeks. You may wish to take pain medication to help with any side effects during this period.
When can I start exercising again?You will need to avoid exercise for at least two weeks. This will help to avoid any wound injury and complications.
How long will I need to take off work?You can return to work after one week.
What is the scar like?The scar will be on the inside of your arm. Very fine sutures will be used to make the scar as inconspicuous as possible. The scar will fade over time.
What To Expect
When you have a consultation with your surgeon for brachioplasty surgery, a number of measurements are taken of the arms where fat and skin is to be removed and an assessment will be made of the soft tissue quality. Those who have good skin elasticity may will be a good candidate for liposuction alone. For patients with more significant degrees of skin laxity then an arm lift may be more appropriate. The surgeon will also give information on the location of the incisions for the arm lift and also whether the arm lift is to be combined with liposuction or BodyTite.
High-resolution photos will be taken and your surgeon may also use computer digital imaging. Your surgeon will take time to discuss the important risks and potential complications of arm lift surgery and what you can expect in the postoperative period.
The surgeon will also take a full medical history which includes previous operations, current list of medicines taken and any potential allergies. This information will be used to decide on your fitness for the brachioplasty procedure. If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for arm lift surgery then we would recommend to spend a period of time to reflect on all the information given. We always recommend a minimum of a '2 week cool off period' for to weigh up your options.
All our prospective patients are more than welcome to have as many follow-up consultations after their initial consultation to make sure you are fully empowered with all the information to make an informed decision for proceeding with arm lift surgery at Centre for Surgery in London.
Before your procedure
Once you have decided that arm lift is right for you, our preoperative assessment team will be in contact to prepare you for brachioplasty surgery.
The following are recommended actions to take:
- For 6 weeks beforehand, it is highly recommended to stop smoking as active smoking is associated with a number of risks including delayed wound healing which could result in wound infection.
- You should also avoid aspirin and all medicines containing aspirin for at least one week prior to the liposuction procedure.
- For 6 hours before the arm lift procedure, you should refrain from eating any food or any type of drink apart from sips of clear fluid (water and tea/coffee without added milk) which is allowed for up to 2 hours before the procedure.
On the day of your procedure
Please aim to arrive for your arm lift procedure at the confirmed time. One of our nursing team will admit you for the procedure and will carry out a number of tasks including checking your blood pressure and other vital signs including pulse and temperature and then getting you changed into single-use clinic wear. The anaesthetist will then come in to assess you to make sure you are fit for TIVA anaesthetic and will also prescribe a number of pre-medications which are given by your nurse to help your recovery after the brachioplasty procedure. You will then be seen by your surgeon who will confirm the procedure to undertaken and you will sign the informed consent form. Skin marking and photos may be taken at this point.
Arm lift is very commonly performed in conjunction with liposuction at Centre for Surgery and is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case. Mini arm lift surgery can be carried out under local anaesthetic in selected patients. The procedure takes approximately 1-3 hours to carry out. During arm lift surgery, your surgeon will make incisions in the marked areas of the arms. The procedures starts with liposuction of the arms followed by the brachioplasty skin excision step. The fat tissue is surgically removed using specialised cannulas to contour the marked body areas before closing the skin with dissolvable sutures.
Once you have woken up from the TIVA anaesthetic, our nurses will closely monitor you for 1-3 hours afterwards to make sure you make a full recovery. You will be given a fruit juice drink or a hot drink as you prefer to build up your energy levels. Once you are assessed as fit for discharge, you will require a responsible adult escort to take you home in a car or taxi and to look after you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
The arms will be placed in a compression garment after surgery to reduce bruising and swelling. You may feel quite stiff and it is common to experience mild discomfort during any arm movements in the first few days after surgery. The surgeon uses dissolvable sutures to avoid the inconvenience of suture removal. The bruising should settle down after about 3 weeks.
After your procedure
After your arm lift procedure, our dedicated postoperative support team are available round the clock to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our team will call you regularly for the first 2 weeks after your procedure to make sure your pain levels are well controlled and your healing is progressing as normal.
The recovery after brachioplasty is usually very straightforward with minimal discomfort that can be effectively controlled with tablet painkillers and the majority of our patients are very comfortable by the end of week 1. Your doctor may recommend a period of approximately one week off work. You should minimise any excessive physical activity for the first 2 weeks after surgery to help with the healing of the incisions and reduce swelling.
You will be required to wear a supportive compression garment for a full 6 weeks to make sure healing is optimal, and so that scars heal with best results.
You will attend for a postoperative check up with one of our nursing team at 7-10 days to review your surgical wound sites and ensure proper healing is taking place. Recommendations on treatments for scar healing may be given for optimal cosmesis. At 6 weeks you should begin to see your final results and you will see your surgeon for a comprehensive review and make sure your results are in line with your expectations.