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Are you armed with contour, shape and form? Lift up with Brachioplasty

March 4, 2024

Summertime sees many of us turning to shorts, singlets and sandals. However, less clothing means more reveal in the upper arm department – an area not all of us are happy to showcase, especially as we age. The dreaded ‘batwings’ or upper arm jiggle is common for many people, as the years, genetics and sun damage contribute to lose of muscle and skin elasticity, and an increase our overall body fat mass. It can feel like a lose-lose battle in the arm department. Fortunately, brachioplasty, or an upper arm lift, can restore form and shape in this troublesome area.

Cosmetic surgery for the arms may not feature as high on the popularity list as facelifts or breast augmentation, but demand for brachioplasty continues to steadily increase. As the American Society of Plastic Surgery published in its most recent annual report, upper arm surgeries increased by 23% between 2019 and 2022.

So, what does an upper arm surgical procedure involve? And are there any risks? Brachioplasty isn’t a one-arm-fits-all procedure. A cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon will determine the right procedure based on individual factors, concerns and goals, because every arm lift hones different scar placement and contouring capabilities. For example, a plastic surgeon will assess weight loss, genetics, your age, lifestyle, skin elasticity and fatty tissue placement.

The type of brachioplasty surgery you'll undergo will be best suited to your needs and goals. Surgery involves making an incision either on the back or inside of the arm. A short-scar upper lift is when a surgeon makes a small incision within the armpit, and excises a small amount of loose, sagging skin. This particular technique isn’t focused on reshaping the contours of the arm, rather tightening lax skin. A full brachioplasty, where there is more significant laxity present, removes skin from the armpit to elbow, with scars typically placed behind the upper arms or inside of the arm. Once fatty tissue and skin have been excised, a surgeon will draw the skin flaps together to tighten and contour.

 Undergoing a brachioplasty in the winter months has its pluses.  The cooler temperatures aid post-operation swelling and promote controlled healing – and those extra layers ensure compression garments and bandages remain discreet. Compression bandages benefit healing in more ways than one. They,

1.    reduce swelling by keeping constant pressure on the surgical site to prevent fluid build-up,

2.     decrease bruising by preventing blood cells from moving towards the skins surface, and

3.    They enhance wound healing and strengthen circulation which help to reduce the risk of blood clots and infections.


As with any cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery, brachioplasty is an invasive procedure and is performed under general anaesthesia. Straight after surgery you’ll notice results, but you will experience bruising and swelling, and some discomfort, for up to three-to-four weeks. Alongside daily wear of compression garments, putting any strenuous activities and exercise on hold is essential to supporting the healing journey. To learn more about this game changing cosmetic surgery in the arm department, reach to our team of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeons to learn more.

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