Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Sydney

Arm lift surgery, also known as Brachioplasty or arm reduction, is commonly performed on patients that have lost a large amount of weight and are experiencing loose, excess skin along the upper arm. Natural factors such as genetics and ageing can also cause skin to lose its elasticity over time, creating skin excess and looseness along the upper arms.

Exercise can strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone, but no amount of exercise or strength training can eliminate excess, loose skin. Arm lift reconstructive surgery involves removing excess skin and fat from the upper arm designed to address concerns with form.

What is an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) ?

Arm lift surgery is a reconstructive procedure that involves the removal of excess skin on the upper arm. This procedure like many other surgical procedures involves a scar. In most cases, the scar line will begin at the underarm to continue down to the elbow.


Who Is The Ideal Candidate For Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Surgery

The ideal candidate for arm lift surgery is someone that has undergone significant weight loss. When weight is lost, you will experience a reduction in fat. However, skin has a limited amount of ability to contract around the smaller arm. Therefore, the skin starts to become loose, and the arm is a common area of concern.

Also, with the passage of time skin loses its elasticity and naturally becomes loose. Lifestyle and genetic factors all play a significant role.

Your Consultation With Dr Dona

Dr Dona and our team understand that your first consultation can be a little nerve-racking. Rest assured this is normal and our team will ensure you feel welcome and are looked after throughout the process. During your consultation with Dr Dona in Sydney, you will both discuss and create a tailored surgical plan to suit your unique requirements.


Preparation For Brachioplasty Surgery

Prior to your surgery, you will see Dr Dona to revisit your surgical plan and to discuss any additional questions that may have come to mind after your consultation. In addition to meeting with Dr Dona again prior to your surgery, our friendly team, which includes our senior nurses, are always available to answer any question you may have.


Dr Dona will advise you on which arm lift option will be optimal to address your concerns.

    Arm ‘Lift’ With Liposuction

Liposuction alone may be helpful for people with mild to moderate excess arm tissue. This decision can only be made after a careful evaluation of your concerns. Patients often request liposuction to be performed on the arms, as minimal scarring is associated with liposuction. However, liposuction can only remove excess fat and does not remove excess/loose skin on the upper arm. Some surgeons may refer to this as a scarless arm lift – however it doesn’t lift anything, and you still have scars, albeit very small!

    Arm Lift – Minimal Incision

A Minimal incision arm lift involves making the surgical incisions where the inner, upper arm joins the armpit. This type of arm lift surgery is considered only if there is a small amount of excess skin located near the armpit.

    Traditional Arm Lift (Full Brachioplasty)

A brachioplasty is best suited for most patients that have lost a significant amount of weight. During a traditional arm lift procedure, incisions are made on the inside of the upper arm. The excess skin and fatty tissue are removed, and your skin is then tailored and closed using several layers of internal stitches. The end result in a tighter upper arm without loose hanging skin.

Can I Combine Arm Lift Surgery With Other Procedures?

Arm lift surgery is often combined with a breast lift (mastopexy) in patients that have undergone massive weight loss and have found that both their arms and breasts are quite ptotic after losing a lot of weight. An advantage of combining breast lift surgery with an arm lift is that the scar from the Brachioplasty continues down to join the Breast Lift scar (Mastopexy). This allows for the removal of excess skin between the outer breast and armpit and thus reconstructing the entire region – a combined Brachioplasty whilst lifting and reshaping the breasts.

For the right patient, Dr Dona may also combine surgical procedures in similar areas of the body that are of concern to the individual. Patients may opt to combine Breast Surgery or a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) with Arm Reduction Surgery.


Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Surgery Recovery

Your post-operative plan will be detailed and involve multiple weekly in-clinic post-operative care visits with our nursing team for several weeks. You will receive your post-operative clinic appointment schedule prior to your surgery. This is designed to allow our team of nurses and Dr Dona to monitor your progress, commence post-operative treatments and wound care, and ensure you achieve all the correct recovery milestones.

We integrate light-based therapy into your post-operative wound healing process. In addition, light therapy promotes the healing cells used to mature your surgical scars much faster, thus providing optimal scar formation.

Where Is A Brachioplasty Performed?

A Brachioplasty is performed in a Private Hospital, under General Anaesthetic.

How Many Hours Does It Take To Do A Brachioplasty?

Depending on how much reconstructive work is required, it take anywhere between two and four hours.

How Much Pain Can I Expect After A Brachioplasty?

Pain is subjective which means that everyone has a different experience after surgery, from mild to significant discomfort. You may experience localised pain at the site of your incisions, but also nerve pain (shooting pains and burning). To ensure that you are kept as comfortable as possible, you will be provided with pain medication during your stay in the Private Hospital, and when you return home. Your specialist anaesthetic doctor, along with providing your general anaesthetic for the surgery, will also look after your pain management needs.

How Many Days Do I Need To Be In Hospital After A Brachioplasty?

Occasionally, depending on how much needs to be done, some patients could have arm reduction surgery as a day surgical procedure – in other words, go home the same day. However, most patients will spend at least one night in Private Hospital and will be medically fit to return home at this stage. Although, some of our patients will benefit from another day or two in hospital.

Can I Walk Around When I Get Home After Surgery?

When you return home, you will be encouraged to be up and as mobile as possible. However, you always want to listen to your body and mobilise within a range that is comfortable for you.

How Much Swelling Can I Expect After Surgery?

You are placed in an arm compression garment immediately after surgery, that will help to manage your swelling. You will need to wear your garment for at least four weeks.

Your arm, and in particular your hands will be quite swollen after surgery. You can expect to see a significant reduction in the initial swelling within the first two weeks following your surgery. In addition, it is not uncommon to see a slight difference in the swelling from one side to the other.

How Do I Sleep After Surgery?

There is no set sleeping position that is advised following your surgery –you can sleep in any position(s) that you are most comfortable in. However, you may find that sleeping on your back to be the most comfortable for the first few weeks.

When Can I Start Driving Again After A Brachioplasty?

You should not consider driving for the first two weeks after surgery. After this time, you should only drive if you feel safe doing so.

When Can I Go For A Swim After Surgery?

We will advise you to refrain from bathing or swimming until at least three weeks following your surgery.

When Can I Go Back To Work?

You will be able to return to a light office or a desk role at approximately two weeks post-surgery. Light hospitality work may be possible at four weeks post-surgery. Any employment that involves heavy lifting or straining must be avoided for six weeks.

When Can I Return To Doing My Normal Activities And Training After A Brachioplasty?

At four weeks post-surgery, you can gradually return to normal training and physical activities. Consider the first four weeks after surgery as RECOVERY, and after four weeks, consider all activities as REHABILITATION. Undertake any physical activities that you wish to do and be guided by your comfort and strength, which will slowly improve.

When Can I Expect To See My Final Surgical Results After A Brachioplasty?

It will take at least six months before you are feeling “normal” and able to do all the things you could before surgery. It will be at this stage that we assess your final surgical results. However, the scars will take up to 24 months before they have matured.

IMPORTANT: For most parts of the body, once a scar has matured, it will usually result in a fine white line. However, sometimes the scar quality is not ideal.

When it comes to brachioplasty surgery, the opposite is true. For whatever anatomical reasons, brachioplasty scars usually become thick and wide, often developing hypertrophic or keloid scarring. This can be quite frustrating for both patient and surgeon alike.

Potential Complications

Possible Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)  Surgery Complications

More information on general potential complications can be found on our site. LEARN MORE 

Whenever someone is having an anaesthetic, no matter what it’s for, then things can potentially go wrong. That is why no surgery should be considered “minor”. Of course, whilst the chances of the following potential problems occurring are extremely small, you still need to know about then:

  • Anaesthetic issues – which can affect heart, lungs or cause strokes
  • Allergic reactions – This can be very mild to life threatening.
  • Clots
    • Superficial vein clots, which is a complication of the cannula or drip that’s placed in your vein
    • Deep vein clots – these can potentially spread to the lung and be life threatening. We do several things during surgery and after surgery whilst you’re in hospital to minimise the risk of you developing these.
  • Wound problems – such as infection and breakdown
  • Bleeding – early or late
  • Death – whilst the chances of this is exceeding rare, any of the previous issues can result in this devastating complication.

All these potential problems are standard for any operation, although some operations and some patients have an increased risk of developing them.

Other specific potential complications may include: 

Asymmetry– Differences between the right and left arms or unevenness of the skin. 

Swelling– Swelling after Brachioplasty surgery is normal. However, in some cases, the swelling may take several months to resolve. 

Loss of Sensation– You may experience a loss of sensation around the scars on the upper arm or even in the forearm, which typically subsides over several months. 

Scars – May appear to be worse during the first six months of healing. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for brachioplasty scars to become quite thick and dark – keloid scar formation is common. Very occasionally, a scar revision surgery is required. 

Circulation– Circulation may be poor in some areas of the skin around the surgical area. This may lead to a loss of skin and a wound that needs to be dressed until healed. 

Seromas– A seroma is where fluid builds up under the wound. If this occurs, it may need to be drained with a needle. 


Will Medicare Or Health Insurance Cover Arm Lift  (Brachioplasty) Surgery Costs?

Brachioplasty is an elective surgical procedure. In patients experiencing significant amounts of excess skin, Brachioplasty surgery may be partially covered by Medicare and your health insurance. Dr Eddy Dona will advise whether this applies to you during your initial consultation.

Learn more about our procedures or schedule a one-on-one consultation at our Sydney clinic

Call us 1300 DR DONA (1300 37 3662)

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