Arm Lift

As you age or experience weight changes, you might realise that the skin and muscle tone in your upper arms aren’t what they used to be. Sagging skin, accumulations of fat, and a lack of firmness can influence how you feel in your clothes and can even make you self-conscious when taking part in everyday activities.

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a tailored surgical procedure that can address these specific concerns. Through this procedure, your surgeon will remove excess skin and fat from your upper arms and tighten what remains, giving you a more refined and youthful look. In certain instances, liposuction might also be combined to further shape and contour your arms.

If the feel and look of your upper arms have been on your mind and you’re considering a change, an arm lift could be the solution you’re seeking. A comprehensive consultation will guide you through the best approach tailored specifically to your goals and needs.

At a glance

Procedure Length:
Procedure Length:

Typically 2-3 hours.

Hospital Stay:
Hospital Stay:

Typically an outpatient procedure.


General anaesthesia.


Usually around 1-2 weeks.


Wait 48 hours post-surgery before showering to protect surgical incisions.


Sleep on your back with your arms elevated for the first couple of weeks.


Gentle walking can be resumed after a few days. Rigorous activities should be avoided for 6 weeks.


Avoid for at least 1 week post-surgery.


Should be avoided at least 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery.

Direct Sun Exposure:
Direct Sun Exposure:

Avoid on surgical areas for at least 6 weeks. Always use a high SPF outdoors.

Benefits of an Arm Lift

The appearance of sagging or excess skin on the upper arms can influence not only clothing choices but also your overall confidence. An arm lift procedure offers an effective solution to such concerns, enhancing both physical and emotional well-being. Here are the primary benefits of undergoing an arm lift:

  • Boosted Self-Esteem:

    Achieving a more contoured and youthful arm appearance can significantly enhance your self-confidence, making you feel better in everyday situations, from social gatherings to professional meetings.

  • Expanded Wardrobe:

    With firmer and more sculpted arms, you’ll find it more comfortable and appealing to wear clothing that exposes your arms, allowing for a broader range of clothing options and renewed excitement in dressing up.

  • Functional Benefits:

    Beyond aesthetics, an arm lift can alleviate any discomfort or limitations that sagging skin might cause during physical activities, providing improved freedom in movement and day-to-day tasks.

  • Complement to Weight Loss:

    If through diet and exercise you’ve undergone substantial weight loss, an arm lift can be the finishing touch, removing any lingering excess skin and amplifying the hard-earned results of your weight loss endeavour.

  • Long-lasting results:

    When combined with a balanced lifestyle, the outcomes following an arm lift are not just transformative but also enduring.

Arm Lift Surgery Techniques

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to arm lifts. The best procedure for you will depend on several factors, such as the amount of excess skin, its location, and your overall skin quality. These nuances will be discussed during your consultation, ensuring a tailored approach. Here are the different types of arm lifts that Mr Yapa may perform:

In a traditional brachioplasty, Mr Yapa addresses the surplus skin under your upper arm. This means you’ll have a scar, starting at the underarm and going down towards the elbow. If there’s additional fat to deal with, your surgeon might also recommend liposuction to ensure the best outcome for you. This approach is ideal if you’re keen to rid yourself of a substantial amount of drooping skin resembling a “bingo wing”.

If you’re noticing a slight slackening of skin or a bit of extra fat on your upper arms, the minimal incision brachioplasty, or “mini arm lift”, might be just what you’re looking for. This procedure targets that mild excess, helping to sculpt your arms for a more streamlined look.


The primary focus of this approach is discretion. Perfect for those who may be experiencing early signs of ageing or changes following weight variations, this procedure involves a subtly curved incision tucked neatly beneath the armpit, ensuring that even when you’re wearing short sleeves, nobody will be the wiser.

If you’re noticing that the surplus skin isn’t just on your upper arms but also extends onto your chest, then the extended brachioplasty might be the suitable approach for you. This procedure incorporates the same incision technique used in the traditional brachioplasty, spanning from the elbow to the underarm.


However, what differentiates it is the continuation of this incision beneath the arm, reaching onto the chest wall. This allows your surgeon to address and remove the additional excess skin, ensuring a more natural appearance from arm to chest. It’s a comprehensive solution that may be better suited for those needing a bit more than the standard procedure.

While not a traditional ‘lift’ in essence, liposuction can be a great choice or add-on for those whose primary concern is excess fat in the arms rather than the skin. By removing fatty deposits, it offers a slimmer arm profile, and it’s often combined with other methods when necessary to ensure comprehensive results.

Arm Lift Procedure Steps

If you’re considering an arm lift, it’s helpful to understand the procedural steps involved. Here’s a breakdown of the typical stages of an arm lift surgery:

  • Anaesthesia

    Arm lift surgery is typically performed under general anaesthesia, meaning that you’ll be asleep throughout. If required, it can be paired with other contouring treatments in a combined surgical session.

  • Surgical Removal and Sculpting

    The primary step involves surgically excising the surplus skin and underlying tissue from the arms. In many cases, liposuction is integrated into the procedure, enabling precise fat removal and sculpting for optimal results.

  • Incision Placement and Closure

    After the necessary reshaping is done, Mr Yapa then carefully closes the incision. Depending on your unique anatomy and preferences discussed in your consultation, the incision can be strategically located either inside the arm or towards the lower or back part of the arm., ensuring both aesthetic and functional benefits tailored to you.

Risks and Complications

Although your surgeon will adhere strictly to health and safety guidelines to minimise risks, it is important to understand that no surgical procedure is complete without potential complications. Regarding an arm lift, the following risks may occur:

Post-surgery, there may be slight differences in the appearance or shape of your arms. While every effort is made to ensure symmetry, subtle variations can occur.

In some instances, fluid may accumulate in the treated area, potentially requiring drainage to alleviate the issue and promote proper healing.

Occasionally, wound edges may part slightly, necessitating extended dressing changes. While this may prolong the healing process, the scars typically resolve well over time.

‘Dog ears’ refer to small folds or points at the ends of surgical scars. These usually settle naturally over several months, but if persistent, a minor procedure under local anaesthetic can address the issue.

Superficial nerves near the surgical site may be affected, potentially resulting in numbness or occasional discomfort around the scar.

To ensure optimal healing, we advise against straining the surgical site and recommend keeping your arms below shoulder level for the initial weeks post-surgery. Following this period, gentle shoulder exercises can help prevent stiffness.

Although rare, there is a minimal risk of infection around the treatment site. The surgery will be performed under the most sterile conditions, but unfortunately, the risk of infection cannot be reduced to zero.


On the day of your procedure, you’ll head home, but remember to give yourself ample time to rest. You might feel some tenderness, and notice swelling or bruising, but don’t fret – it’s all part and parcel of the healing process. Most people are back to their usual routine within three to four days, but it’s crucial to be gentle with yourself. Keep your arms at ease, avoiding heavy lifting or overexertion for the first couple of weeks, and hold off on intensive workouts for about six weeks. You will also be provided with a direct phone line to our specialist cosmetic surgery nurse who provides an on call service for your needs 24 hrs a day. 


In the first week, you’ll need to move your arms sparingly. Dress in clothes that don’t require much arm movement – think shirts that button up at the front. For the next three to six weeks, you’ll be advised to wear a compression garment to help shape and support your arms. By week six, with your doctor’s go-ahead, you can gradually get back into your full range of activities. As for scarring, expect some – but they’re typically on the arm’s inner side, making them less noticeable. They’ll fade over time with the right care. And once the healing process is over, you can revel in the newfound confidence your sleeker arms bring.

Book your consultation

If you would like to discuss this procedure in detail and understand if it’s the right procedure for your goals, book a consultation with Mr Kshem Yapa.


Get in touch today

If you would like to book a consultation with Kshem Yapa or learn a little more about our procedures and services please contact us via the form below to request a call back. We offer face-to-face consultations at our Harley Street Clinic and virtual consultations for those unable to attend our clinic.