Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

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Arm lifts (brachioplasties) are usually performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, resulting in excess skin on the arms.

The objective of a brachioplasty is to give the arms a more aesthetically pleasing shape by removing excess fat and skin. For a more even result, skin bearing stretch marks, cellulite and imperfections can also be targeted during the procedure. A brachioplasty can be performed alone or may be combined with other procedures such as liposuction, breast lift etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a good candidate for an arm lift ?

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat. Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight are good candidates. Finally, individuals should have a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

What are the potential complications?

In healthy patients, arm lifts are very safe and cause little complications. The following is a list of possible complications immediately following the procedure and over the long term.


After any surgical procedure, there is normally some bleeding at the site of the wound. Such bleeding should slow over time and stop altogether after a few days. If, however, there is extensive bleeding that cannot be stopped by applying pressure, another surgical procedure would be required.


An excessive amount of the fluids that are normally produced by the body may accumulate inside the wound. This is not dangerous, but the fluids may need to be drained with a syringe on one or more occasions.


An infection can sometimes occur despite using sterile methods and taking antibiotics before surgery. Depending on the severity of the infection, oral or intravenous antibiotics may be required. If an abscess (an accumulation of pus) develops, it will need to be drained by opening the affected area of the skin or by using a drainage tube.

Wound dehiscence

Wound dehiscence refers to a complete or partial opening of the wound that is not healing well. This can be caused by an infection, a pocket of blood or seroma, or by insufficient blood flow. Dehiscence is usually treated conservatively, that is, either by applying dressings and wound management, or through surgery to close the wound again.

Necrosis of the skin

Necrosis of the skin is a rare complication where a portion of the skin does not receive enough blood to heal properly. Skin that is affected by necrosis can be treated by applying dressings and wound management or may require surgery to close the wound again. Patients who smoke are at greater risk.

Necrosis of the adipose tissue

Fat necrosis is characterized by a flow of liquified fat which can last several weeks. This condition is caused by insufficient blood flow to the adipose tissue and is more frequent in patients who smoke or are obese.


Phlebitis, which is rare, is an inflammation that can occur in the deep veins of the legs. Blood-thinning medication and compression stockings may be prescribed to treat this condition. The best form of prevention is moving around as soon as possible after the surgery, because contracting the calf muscles greatly improves blood flow in the legs.


The scar will change gradually for up to two years before reaching its final appearance. It may become pigmented, raised, painful or sensitive to touch. Depending on how the scar evolves, Dr Zadeh will suggest treatments such as silicone gel, microneedling, cortisone injections, light therapy etc to improve the scar’s appearance.

How long is the recovery period? Are there any restrictions in terms of activities?

Postoperative dressings must remain clean and dry for the first few days following the procedure. You may shower once the dressings and drainage tubes have been removed. You must avoid any intense physical exercise and raise your arms above your shoulders during the first four to six weeks following your surgery in order to give your body a chance to heal comfortably. However, it is important to get out of bed and walk regularly in order to activate blood flow in the legs and avoid thrombophlebitis.

You can resume your normal physical activities two to three weeks after your surgery. It is important for you to listen to your body. It will tell you if you are ready to exercise and how much exercise you can handle. Pain or discomfort when exercising is a sign that your body is not quite healed and that it would be better to wait a few more days before trying again.

How can I control pain at home?

Dr. Zadeh will be giving you prior to the surgery, a prescription for pain medication to take home with you. That way, the medication will be at your disposal once you arrive home from the surgery.

Note: Make sure Dr. Zadeh knows about pain medications that have caused you problems in the past.

How much does the surgery cost?

Generally, the cost of a mini brachioplasty 8,500$ comapred to a full brachioplasty starting 12,500$. Additional charges may apply if the patient has a particular condition or if different surgeries are combined

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