Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)


Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

After weight loss, patients are sometimes left with an abundance of skin in the upper arms. An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, reduces excess skin and fat from the upper arms. Your skin will look smoother and your arms will appear more shapely and toned.

Candidates for Brachioplasty

Ideal candidates include patients who have noticed an excess of loose skin of the upper arms.  Often patients have lost a lot of weight resulting in an excess of upper arm skin. 

The Procedure

The arm lift procedure will be performed as an outpatient operation that Dr. Cooper performs using a general anesthetic. During the brachioplasty operation, Dr. Cooper will make an incision from the armpit (axilla) to the elbow and will remove excess skin and fat. Absorbable sutures will then be used to close the incisions. Sometimes drainage tubes are left at the incision site to help prevent fluid accumulation. This operation takes approximately 3 hours.

Recovery and Results

Patients wear compression bandages for a few weeks to help decrease swelling. Most patients find that after 7 to 10 days they can return to work and/or normal activities. Immediately after the operation patients will see a very noticeable difference in their arm contour. This improves over time as swelling decreases. Scars, which will never disappear completely, will fade considerably over time.


Although complications are uncommon, they include infection, hypertrophic scar formation, fluid buildup (seroma), hematoma, delayed wound healing, contour irregularities, asymmetry, and over versus under-correction. Dr. Cooper will review all the risks and benefits with you prior to your procedure and discuss the ways that these risks can be minimized.

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