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Brachioplasty is an Arm Lift that tones and improves the upper arm contour. It removes sagging or droopy skin on the arms, due to aging or to a significant loss of weight. It may be combined with an arm liposuction to reduce the size of the arm.

  • May be combined with an arm liposculpture (different incision scar locations)
  • Associated with other body plastic surgeries: breast augmentation, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift, …
  • No drain tubes
  • May be performed as an outpatient procedure


This information sheet is issued by Dr Vincent Nguyen plastic surgeon in Paris, familiar with Arm lifts.

It provides all the information about the surgery, scars, recovery, before and after comparison photographs, Social Security coverage and the costs of an arm lift surgery.

What is the indication for a brachioplasty procedure?

The main indication for a brachioplasty is moderate to severe skin laxity in the upper arm, with or without excess fat deposits.

As the skin of the underside of the upper arm (from the armpit to the elbow) is very thin and fragile and not as elastic as other parts of the body, it is more easily affected by aging and weight loss.

When the skin is loose and sagging, Liposuction alone won’t treat the problem of excess skin. Only an arm lift is able to correct the flaw.

Quelle est la cause des surcharges graisseuses localisées ?

Ce sont des surcharges de graisses qui ne partent pas, la plupart du temps, malgré la pratique d’exercice physique ou d’un régime alimentaire.


What’s the goal of an Arm Lift?

The goal of an arm lift is to remove excess fat (liposuction) and excess skin (arm lift) to tighten and reshape the arm.



  • Two preoperative consultations with a board-certified plastic surgeon will be conducted as well as a consultation with an anesthetist.
  • Before and after comparison photographs will be taken.
  • Compression garments (compression sleeves) will be prescribed
  •  Preoperative instructions are as follow:
    • Quit smoking at least one month minimum before the surgery to one month after the surgery to reduce any complications and avoid necrosis risk.
    • Discontinue any anti-platelet or blood-thinning medication 15 days before the surgery.


  • Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia.
  • The procedure lasts 1 to 2 hours depending on the excess of skin to be removed.
  • Arms are covered with compression sleeves.
  • Dr Vincent Nguyen uses the most advanced surgical techniques (avoiding drain tubes) and performs the surgery on both arms himself.

The final result is visible 6 to 12 months after the surgery but positive effects of the procedure are felt 2 months after the procedure. The patient’s comfort and physical appearance are improved.


  • Patients may go home the same day or the following day.
  • Bruising and swelling may occur and last 10 to 20 days.
  • Pain is generally very tolerable with appropriate analgesics.
  • It is advised to wait 4 weeks before progressively resuming sport activities.
  • Protect the scars from sun exposure for a year.
  • Follow-up consultations with Dr Vincent Nguyen will be planned (1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year after the surgery).


  • Arm Lift surgery may be covered by Social Security after prior approval of the surgical procedure by its authority and many Health Insurance Companies may also reimburse part of the costs of this body contouring surgery.
  • The surgery is approved and covered by Social Security if it is performed after severe weight loss for morbid obesity and bariatric surgery.
  • There is no agreement to cover the cost of the procedure by Social Security if it is done for esthetic reasons only.
  • Arm Lift surgery costs may vary depending on the extent of the surgery, the length of the procedure, other combined procedures (liposuction, length of the scars…), the location of the procedure and whether or not it is covered by your Health Insurance Company. The cost of arm lift surgery may vary from … to … (see all the costs of the procedures on this website).
  • The success of your surgery depends on a board-certified and competent plastic surgeon who will evaluate and discuss your needs and your options and recommend a course of treatment to achieve the best results.


Does brachioplasty affect arm sensitivity?

Immediately after the surgery hyposensitivity or numbness may be experienced in the inner side of the arm but it disappears in the year following the procedure.

May skin of the arm sag again?

In case of severe loss of weight the skin may loosen again.

What scars does an arm lift leave?

First, there is liposuction: the fat is suctioned. It causes excess skin that is then removed. The size and the pattern of the incision lines depend on the excess of fat removed.

The incision scar may be vertical (longitudinal) along the inner arm or horizontal in the armpit folds or both.

  • Longitudinal incision (see picture)
    If you feel distressed by the appearance of sagging skin on your upper arm that looks like “bat wings”, excess skin is removed along the inner side of your arm leaving a visible vertical scar.



  • Horizontal incision :

When there is mild skin excess on the upper arm, the incision is hidden in the armpit folds and fades overtime.
This technique with simple postoperative recovery may be performed again in the following years if needed.


  • Combined techniques:

An incision line under the armpit and a short vertical incision line (less than 10 cm) on the inner arm may be combined to add the efficiency but also the inconvenience (scars) of both techniques.

What are the alternatives to an Arm Lift?

Rarely an arm liposuction as it only treats excess fat and creates excess loosen skin.

chirurgie esthétique de la silhouette

Liposuction / lipectomy