Arm Lift

Plastic Surgeon Serving Indianapolis, Indiana


When it comes to body image, many people pinpoint large arms with loose or heavy skin as the one issue that makes them the most self-conscious. It is the area of the body that is the most difficult to hide, especially during the summer months, and most clothes that are able to hide the arms are unflattering.

Diet and exercise are proven ways to lose weight and tone various parts of the body. But as we age, the upper arms may retain excess fat, become prone to skin laxity, and prove impossible to trim, even with weight training. This can be incredibly frustrating.

About Arm Lift Surgery

Arm lift surgery addresses flabby skin and lumpy fat along the upper arms. This condition may be constantly present, but is often most noticeable when the arms are extended. The technique used for arm lift depends entirely on how much skin and fat needs to be removed.

Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Fata may recommend a traditional arm lift during which an incision is placed along the groove between your biceps and triceps. With this incision, excess fat is removed through liposuction before unnecessary skin is excised from the body. Results from a traditional arm lift can be profoundly transformative.

In cases where less skin will need to be removed, Dr. Fata may suggest a short-scar arm lift. With this method, the incision is placed in the armpit, entirely hiding the scar after recovery. A short-scar arm lift, also known as a hidden arm lift, will not be as effective at removing excess skin but can be used to eliminate minor skin laxity.

If the issue impacting your arms is fat alone, liposuction may be the best option. Dr. Fata uses advanced liposuction techniques that encourage skin shrinkage and may be very effective in cases where only minor sagging is present.

Arm Lift Candidates

Arm lift addresses loose skin and excess fat in the upper arms. The best candidates for arm lift surgery are people who have not been able to address these issues through diet and exercise.

Patients who have a large amount of excess skin and fat will get the best result with a two-stage procedure: the arms are first treated with liposuction and after waiting a couple of months, the residual excess skin is removed.

Arm lift surgery is not a tool for weight loss and is best for people who are close to their goal BMI. However, it is one of a series of lift procedures that may be performed following major weight loss through bariatric surgery. An arm lift is not a good solution for people with thick, heavy arms and large amounts of fat.

Ideal arm lift candidates will need to be in generally good health, be willing to give up all tobacco products, and be able to take time to rest after their procedure. Arm lift recovery can take a few weeks, during which time some restrictions on activities will be necessary. During your follow-up visits, Dr. Fata will carefully assess your progress to help you determine when it is safe to resume all normal activities.

Arm Lift Costs

At Renaissance Plastic Surgery, your arm lift will cost around $5,470. This fee is all-inclusive and covers the surgeon fee, the surgery center fee, the anesthesiologist fee, and all follow-up care by Dr. Fata. During your initial consultation, we can discuss financing options including financing through local banks, to help ensure you are prepared for the cost of arm lift surgery.

What are the risks of an arm lift?

Complications resulting from an arm lift are very uncommon, but they do occasionally occur and must be considered before you have surgery. There are two categories of risks for an arm lift: the general risks associated with all surgical procedures and the risks that are specific to an arm lift.

The general risks include the risks associated with general anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and scar formation. The scars are longer and more noticeable in an arm lift than in some other cosmetic surgery procedures so you need to be sure that this is acceptable to you. Delays in healing may also occur because the closure has to be tight enough to get a good result. There may be some numbness of the upper arms or forearms if nerve branches are included in the skin removed. In rare instances, there may be a compromise of the nerves, muscles or blood vessels because of compression due to excess swelling.

An arm lift is a safe and predictable cosmetic surgery procedure in the right patient, but because of the length of the scar, it should be reserved for patients whose excess skin and fat create a significant abnormality.

Are the scars visible after an arm lift?

Unfortunately, the scars are visible after an arm lift because the scar extends from the armpit to the elbow. The scar is placed along the inside surface of the arm so it is not noticeable when your arms are resting at your sides. Although the improvement can be dramatic in the right patient, I always counsel my patients that if they will not accept noticeable scars, they probably should not consider an arm lift.

Combining Procedures

An arm lift can be performed on its own or in combination with other procedures. Some popular combinations include:

Liposuction may also be used on various parts of the body to produce appealing contours that are more complementary to the new shape of your arms. During your initial consultation, Dr. Fata will listen to your concerns to help you decide if additional procedures might prove useful in your case.

Can I have liposuction instead of an arm lift?

Liposuction can remove a lot of the excess fat in your arms, but the quality of the final result depends on the ability of your skin to shrink after the fat has been removed. This ability of skin shrinkage after liposuction depends on several factors, but one of the most important factors is the location on the body. Unfortunately, the skin of the arms rarely has the elasticity to shrink after liposuction and most patients will be left with loose, baggy arm skin. However, small amounts of reduction of the arms can be accomplished with liposuction alone.

Contact Us to Learn More

To learn if you are a good candidate for arm lift surgery, please call Renaissance Plastic Surgery at 317-575-9152 today or submit an online contact form. We serve patients throughout the Midwest as well as Carmel and Indianapolis, Indiana, and will be glad to schedule a confidential consultation for you.