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Arm Lift

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms to create contours and achieve a more toned, youthful, and proportionate appearance. The aging process, significant weight loss, or simple heredity can cause the arms to become loose and flabby. Patients commonly complain of feeling like they have “bat wings” with drooping, floppy folds of skin hanging down. An arm lift will allow you to stop hiding your arms from view, and let you resume wearing short sleeve clothing, including bathing suits, tank tops, and sleeveless dresses.

Schedule a body contouring consultation with NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Loeb at his private office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Planning arm lift surgery in NYC

New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Loeb recommends brachioplasty for individuals within normal weight range who require a small amount of upper arm tightening, as well as patients who have lost a great deal of weight which they have maintained over time.

Dr. Loeb will conduct a one-on-one consultation with you at his private Fifth Avenue office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to discuss your expectations and provide a thorough examination of the skin, tissue, and muscles of your upper arms to see which procedure will best produce the desired result. For example, if you have a high volume of upper arm fat, but not an excess of upper arm skin folds, a liposuction procedure alone — without arm lift surgery — may be suitable. During your consultation, Dr. Loeb can recommend alternatives to arm lift surgery, suggest an enhancement procedure, and make recommendations as to sequence and timing of events.


Arm lift surgery is usually performed with the patient under the influence of a general anesthetic, though sometimes a local anesthetic with mild sedation will be used. If your excess skin is minimal or limited to the inner part of the arm, Dr. Loeb will perform a “short scar brachioplasty,” which involves an incision limited only to the armpit region. If your excess skin is more moderate or severe, the incision may extend to mid-arm, or to the elbow. Dr. Loeb is always careful to place the incision line, no matter how far it traverses, in as inconspicuous a place as possible, usually on the underside of the arm. Incisions may extend to a “T” within the armpit, or through the armpit in the shape of a “Z”.  Excess fat is then removed by direct surgical excision or through liposuction, with use of a vacuum pump. Dr. Loeb then trims and re-drapes excess folds of skin to create a sleeker, more toned and balanced appearance. An arm lift usually takes between 3-4 hours.


Most patients will return home on the day of their arm lift surgery. Recovery time after surgery is usually between 10 and 14 days. Minor pain, swelling, and bruising may last for several weeks.  Dr. Loeb will prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication as necessary thought it may take some time before normal feeling and movement to return.  Light weight lifting exercises can and should commence at about three weeks post-surgery. Within three months of your brachioplasty, your arms will have attained their ultimate look and tone. Any scarring that traverses the upper arm will be noticeable for about one year post-surgery. Though surgical scars will fade, they will likely remain visible to some extent.

Related procedures in Manhattan

In some cases, the incision may be extended from the armpit area to the sides of the chest, and to the breasts, expanding the procedure to include an upper body lift or breast lift (mastoplexy). Other procedures that Dr. Loeb may perform in tandem with, or subsequently to, brachioplasty, include:

In you are interested in having arm lift surgery in New York City, or want to learn more about body contouring procedures offered in NYC by Dr. Loeb, please call 212-327-3700 to schedule a private consultation.

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