Arm Lift – Brachioplasty

UPMC Stofman Plastic Surgery Group provides Arm Lift procedures to patients from Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.

The Arm Lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. The goal of the procedure is to:

Reduce localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
Tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
Reduce the excess sagging skin that droops downward

Why Have An Arm Lift?

Fluctuations in weight, growing older and even heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance.
Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address the excess skin that has lost its elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits.
If the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an Arm Lift may be right for you.
An Arm Lift:

  • Reduces excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow
  • Reshapes your arm, resulting in smoother skin and contours
  • Results in a more toned and proportionate appearance

Is An Arm Lift Right For Me?

Good candidates for an Arm Lift include:

  • Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity
  • Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations

The Arm Lift Procedure

  1. Anesthesia
    During this process, medications will be administered for your comfort during the procedure. Options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia, and our surgeons will discuss with you the best choice that is right for your procedure.
  2. The Incision Process
    The length of the incision and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, and our highly-trained surgeons will assess what is necessary for optimum results.

    • Inner Arm Incision
      Depending on your specific conditions, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
    • Back of Arm Incision
    • Minimal Incision
    • Closing the incisions

Your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following your arm lift.


The smoother, tighter contours that result from brachioplasty are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although initial results will be somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. Your new, shapely and toned upper arm is dramatically improved both in appearance and feel.

Important Facts on the Safety and Risks of Brachioplasty

The decision to have Arm Lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Our expert surgeons will discuss the risks and benefits with you during your initial consultation and answer any questions that you may have regarding your procedure. Each person’s situation is unique, as well as the reasons for the surgery, and it is important to be as thorough as possible in your communication with our surgeons.

The Recovery Process

Following your surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with our office.
Following instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. It is important to understand that the practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

How Long Will The Results Last?

The results of Arm Lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.

How Much Does An Arm Lift Cost?

Because many factors can influence arm lift prices in the Pittsburgh region, it is difficult to generalize. Most health care plans do not typically cover an Arm Lift Procedure, and you can learn more about brachioplasty costs from the committed staff at UPMC Stofman Plastic Surgery Group.

Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to address any concerns you have with our experienced staff. All successful surgeries begin with open and honest communication between doctor and patient. Are you considering plastic surgery? Contact us to schedule a consultation and let us educate you about your options and the procedures available.