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Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
A brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift is a surgical procedure which removes loose skin and excess fat on the upper arms in order to create a more sculpted, slimmer arm.
Excess fat or skin distribution in the arm can be caused by ageing, weight gain, or weight loss or genetics. An arm lift will tackle these concerns using a combination of liposuction and surgically removing excess skin or tissue to leave a tight and smooth skin appearance. Your surgeon will decide what the best approach is depending on your specific concerns and your desired results.
Time off work
1 - 2 weeks
After 1 week
After 1 day
After 6 weeks
Bras & Garments
After 4-6 weeks
Sleeping on back
Elevated on back for 1-2 weeks
6 - 8 weeks
Ageing, dramatic weight change and genetics can all cause the skin and tissue in the upper arms to loosen and sag, resulting in an untoned and out of proportion appearance. This can cause patients to feel self-conscious about the appearance of their upper arms and make them feel uncomfortable in tight clothing or swimwear. Arm lift surgery addresses these concerns, creating firmer, leaner more slender arms with tightened skin and tissue. This results in a restored balanced figure, with your arms being more in proportion to the rest of your body. These physical revisions then improve your confidence in social and professional environments, making it easier for you to wear tight fitting clothing and swimwear, as well as being more comfortable to have your arms exposed.
At Cadogan Clinic, our consultant surgeons will assess whether you are suitable for arm lift in a bespoke one to one consultation.
Your surgeon will examine your upper arms and assess the quantity of excess fat and tissue which needs to be removed. They will discuss your expectations for arm lift surgery and ensure you understand the individual results that are possible for you. They will then assess your physical and mental health to make sure you are suitable for a general anaesthetic procedure, this may include your weight, and any medical and mental conditions you have.
You must be over 18 to have this procedure.
Words from our clients:
"I was extremely satisfied with the care and treatment I received at the Cadogan Clinic. My surgeon was friendly and informative and explained the procedure fully. My procedure went very well and with the excellent care of the nursing staff, I made a speedy and full recovery. Would recommend to anyone."Eva Berry
"At the beginning before the operation the nurse taking care of me made me feel so comfortable. The surgeon and anesthetist helped me feel so calm. Fantastic before and after treatment"Scarlett Elliott
"The girls on the reception at the clinic were very pleasant and professional. The nurse who took out my stitches after my surgery was just lovely and took me through step by step what she was doing and she also recommended a great cream to use to help with healing."Georgina Nolan
“I was treated with care and provided with thorough knowledge about the procedure I was undertaking. My surgeon was very methodical (a perfectionist) and I felt I received A class treatment."Courtney O'Sullivan
"Outstanding experience from the first appointment to being discharged. Very professional, friendly and a fantastic outcome."Gemma Stevenson
"Reception staff very welcoming and efficient. Both nurses who I dealt with were fantastic, and the whole team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) were friendly but professional, and really put my mind at ease. That I was able to stay later than I perhaps needed after my surgery to fit in with my husbands schedule was greatly appreciated."Emma Davies
Included in this treatment
Up to two 60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
24/7 on call nurse assistance
Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses
The arm lift is a surgical procedure, which takes 1-2 hours to complete. It will be performed under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep and completely unaware of the procedure. A brachioplasty combines two surgical techniques to achieve your desired results - liposuction and skin excision.
Your surgeon will use liposuction to remove excess fat in the upper arm. Small incisions are made in the armpit and on the back of the elbow and the fat will be removed using a specialist cannula. Depending on the results you are looking for, your surgeon may also remove fat from around your shoulder, armpit, upper back, breast, forearm and elbow.
The skin excision removes any remaining loose skin around the upper arms, commonly known as 'Bingo Wings'. This can be one of the patient’s original concerns at consultation or caused by the removal of fat following the liposuction. The skin is removed in a long oval shape running up the inside of the upper arm and curving into the armpit. Your surgeon will ensure this incision is carefully placed, to conceal the scarring effectively.
As well as considering scarring, your surgeon will also perform your procedure to ensure that your result is symmetrical. It is normal for your arms to be unequal in size and shape, and your surgeon may have to approach each arm in a slightly different way to result in symmetry.
Occasionally, a surgeon may recommend performing arm lift using liposuction without skin excision. This is most common in younger patients whose skin is relatively elastic and toned, as the liposuction won’t cause skin laxity, as it will in older patients. Skinnier patients who have experienced weight loss, may have their procedure carried out without liposuction, using skin excision only as there won’t be excess fat to remove.
What are some of the main aesthetic considerations for your surgeon?
Two key considerations are symmetry and scarring.
We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.
Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi
Mr Reza Alamouti
Mr. Garrick Georgeu
Mr. Manaf Khatib
Mr. Hazim Sadideen
Mr. Hagen Schumacher
Mr Mark Solomos
Mr. Omar Tillo
Mr. Paul Tulley
Mr. William Van Niekerk
Below you will find some key information to help you prepare for surgery and make necessary arrangements to ensure you have the support you need and that everything runs smoothly on the day.
You will meet your surgeon for up to two consultations at our award-winning Chelsea based clinic to discuss what arm lift surgery can do for you and your desired results. Consultations are between 30-60 minutes and your surgeon will explain the best for you and what results you can expect. This may include whether they recommend only using liposuction or skin excision.
To allow for open communication and the best consultation experience, we recommend writing down any questions you have for your surgeon before your consultation. This will ensure you feel fully prepared and are able to get the most from your consultation.
Your surgeon will also conduct a general health and wellness check and take measurements and photos of your upper arm area for your medical records.
Your surgeon will send your recommended plan through to your patient advisor. If the surgeon decides you are suitable for arm lift, your advisor will explain the plan, pricing and offer available surgery dates to you. You will then have a mandatory two week cooling off period to allow you to consider whether you wish to proceed with your arm lift.
02.Leading up to procedure
If you decide to go ahead with your arm lift, you will next visit the clinic on your procedure day. In the run up to your surgery, you will be asked to follow these steps to prepare:
03.On the day
On your surgery day, you will be asked to arrive at the clinic an hour before your arm lift is scheduled to begin. This will allow you to speak with your surgeon, anaesthetist, and the nurses to ask any final questions, and to be prepared for surgery with any marking the surgeon may need to do.
You will then be taken into theatre, where your anaesthetist will administer your general anaesthetic. All procedures at Cadogan Clinic are done using TIVA (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) which minimises post-operative sickness and nausea and allows for a faster initial recovery.
Your surgeon will then carry out your arm lift. After the procedure is finished, you will be taken to our recovery ward, where you will wake up from the anaesthetic and a nurse will check your vital health signs. Once you are awake and comfortable, you will be taken into our ambulatory ward where you will have something to eat and drink and a nurse will talk you through any medication you need to take once you leave. When you are ready, the nurses will ask your chaperone to come and collect you and you will be discharged.
The first few days following surgery may be slightly uncomfortable and you may experience some pain. Your surgical team will have prescribed any medications you may need to help to control this and keep you comfortable. You will be up and moving within a day and able to bathe normally in three days.
Your surgeon will ask you to wear a surgical garment which covers your arms for up to 8 weeks post-surgery. This will assist with healing by helping the swelling to subside and will support your arms to maintain your surgeon’s results.
One week after your surgery you will have an in-person appointment with our nurses so they can examine your incisions and make sure you are healing well. They will provide any advice you need on your dressings and will be able to answer any questions you may have about your recovery.
Six weeks after your procedure you will meet with your surgeon so they can check your recovery, discuss your results, and answer any questions about your ongoing recovery from that point. After six weeks, if you have any questions or concerns, you will still be able to contact the team and speak with one of our specialist nurses.
The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us
We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journeyThe Patient Journey
What is an arm lift (brachioplasty)?
An arm lift is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the arm and eliminate fat deposits in the arm, as well as remove a surplus of loose arm skin.
The choice of procedure depends on the exact condition (excess fat deposits, excess loose skin or both) but will involve either liposuction, skin excision or both.
The procedure is carried out as a day case procedure usually under General Anaesthesia and takes between 1 – 2 hours.
There is typically bruising for up to 3 weeks after which you can happily wear short sleeves, and an end result at about 3 months. Scars are insignificant and managed by our Scar Management programme.
Am I suitable for an arm lift?
You may be suitable for an arm lift if you have:
Which areas can be treated by arm lift?
An arm lift focusses on the upper arm area, but adjacent areas of fat deposits and excess skin can also be treated at the same time
Who will perform my arm lift treatment?
One of our highly trained, elite plastic surgeons will perform your arm lift.
All our liposuction specialists have been hand-picked by Mr Bryan Mayou, our founder, and the pioneer of liposuction in the UK.
What are the various techniques for arm lift surgery?
There are three techniques that are used, with techniques relating to the size and scale of the operation at hand. Where possible more minimal techniques are preferred, as this reduces the length of surgery, the amount of scarring, and the amount of downtime and extent of recovery
What questions should I ask during my arm lift consultation?
Your consultation is designed to be the perfect opportunity to ask all the pressing questions that you have to your consultant, ahead of making a decision on surgery. It is vital that you are fully informed before making your final decision, and the consultation is, therefore, a key part of the education and decision-making process.
Some good examples of questions to ask include:
How should I prepare for my arm lift surgery?
No special preparation is required although it is generally advisable to do the following before any surgery:
How long does arm lift surgery take?
Arm Lift surgery should take between one and two hours.
When will I start to see results from my arm lift?
You should start to see results in the days following surgery. These will fully start to appear from around the six-week mark and improvements will be ongoing for the first 12 or so months.
Are my arm lift results permanent?
Your results will be long lasting and permanent so long as you maintain your body weight following surgery.
The ageing process will however continue from your new post-procedure point, and skin laxity will gradually increase over time. The ageing process will start from a far better point, however, so it should be many years before this becomes noticeable again.
Is arm reduction surgery painful?
You will not feel any pain during arm reduction surgery as you will be under the influence of the anaesthetic.
Immediately following arm reduction surgery, you may experience discomfort but any pain should be tolerable.
Your surgeon can provide painkillers for this and the majority of patients will no longer need them a few days after arm reduction surgery.
Is arm reduction surgery safe?
Arm reduction surgery is straightforward, safe surgery although you should be aware of all the risks and complications before going ahead with arm reduction surgery.
Some are listed above in the body of this web page, but your surgeon at your will go through these at length and in full at your arm reduction consultation.
Is there any downtime after arm lift surgery?
Downtime is fairly minimal following an arm lift and you should be back at work within a week or two, and resuming normal exercise in 4 – 6 weeks.
If you have undergone Liposuction, you will feel a little bruised and stiff for a few days but there is no restriction on movement. Any dressings can be removed in a couple of days or when they come loose, and stitches removed in a week.
If you have undergone skin excision you will have some dissolving sutures and probably some permanent sutures to be removed in 7 to 14 days. Dressings vary, but any bulky ones can come off in a couple of days. You should exercise to maintain full movement of the shoulder and arms, but this need not be violent to stress the sutures.
Yоu may соntіnuе tо experience ѕоmе mіld, реrіоdіс dіѕсоmfоrt and ѕwеllіng durіng thіѕ tіmе, but ѕuсh fееlіngѕ аrе nоrmаl. Sеvеrе pain, bleeding or swelling should bе reported tо your surgeon.
You will receive more detailed advice from your surgeon ahead of surgery.
Why is a brachioplasty sometimes referred to as arm reduction?
A brachioplasty, or arm lift, is sometimes referred to as arm reduction surgery as this procedure involves a reduction in the size and volume of the upper arm following liposuction and the excision of excess skin.
Of all the terms for a brachioplasty, arm reduction surgery captures the sculpting and volume reducing essence of the operation best, and hence its use.
Does arm lift surgery leave a scar?
Yes, an arm lift will leave a permanent scar, but a skilled Cadogan Clinic surgeon will endeavour to conceal this as much as possible. Arm lift scars can take some months to settle in. Scars can take up to a year to flatten and lighten.
What arm lift scars can I expect?
You can expect minor scars following arm lift surgery.
An arm lift, otherwise known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits on the upper arm. This is done via liposuction and skin excision.
Our expert surgeon will try to make scars as subtle as possible by confining scarring to the armpit. They do this by taking skin from this area and then pulling up the arm skin towards the armpit. However, scars may remain visible for some patients, particularly among those with excessive surplus skin or fat deposits.
Where are arm lift scars left?
Arm lift scars are mainly confined to the armpit area. In some cases, these scars can be visible under the arms between the armpit and elbow if the patient, particularly if the patient has excessive surplus skin or fat deposits.
During the procedure, skin is removed in a long ellipse shape from the back of the elbow, along the line between the inside and back of the arm, curving into the armpit.
Is an arm lift worth it?
An arm lift surgery is highly likely to be worth it if you have clearly defined your aims with your surgeon and he or she has made you very clear on what can be achieved via surgery in relation to these aims.
Arm lift surgery is an excellent way of targeting excess fat deposits in the upper arm. Arm lift surgery typically results in firmer, leaner, more slender arms, tightened arm skin and elasticity, sculpted, shapely arms and a more defined figure.
Arm lift treatment helps to restore self-confidence and can deliver an improved sense of emotional wellbeing following surgery.
Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.About Us
Best in Class Facilities
All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.Our Clinic
A Strong Tradition of Innovation
We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.Our History
At Home in Sloane Street, London
We are proud that our state of the art award-winning clinic is located in one of the best neighbourhoods in the countryWelcome to Sloane Street
We offer surgical consultations in London, Birmingham, Chelmsford and Bristol, and attract international patients from all corners of the globe such as as the USA, the Middle East and Europe.Get in Touch
Before opting for an arm lift or any cosmetic surgery, it is vital to be aware of the potential risks and complications that can occur. Although the arm lift can produce transformational results, there are risks that you need to consider and discuss with your surgeon.
In the event of an unforeseen complication or less than optimal outcome, a revision surgery may be required. The need for a revision surgery can arise due to factors beyond the surgeon’s control. Our skilled consultant surgeons are qualified professionals who have performed Arm Lift numerous times.
It is also important to acknowledge that any surgical procedure carries a slight risk of:
Your surgeon will assess your personal risk for all these factors alongside your general health and suitability for surgery. They will also explain how these risks would be addressed and treated in the event they occur.
Cadogan Clinic offers a wide range of cosmetic surgery procedures to help you make the changes you want to your body under the guidance of some of the very best surgeons in the UK.
Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)
Cellulite Treatment (Cellulaze)
Highly Commended Best Clinic in London
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