Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that changes the shape of your upper arm from the elbow to the armpit.  

Fluctuations in weight, aging and heredity can make your upper arms to have a lax, sagging appearance.

Exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone. It can neither correct laxity in your skin and strengthen the weak underlying tissue nor can it eliminate localized fat pockets.   

Brachioplasty may be just right for you if the undersides of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and “full” due to excess skin and fat.

Brachioplasty is performed in order to:

  • remove excess skin and fat tissue from the area between the elbow and the armpit
  • improve the shape of the upper arm.
  • To achieve all this, you will have to accept a scar in the inside of your upper arms.

Is this the right procedure for me?

Candidates for brachioplasty are adults who:

  • have sagging skin in their upper arms
  • are not overweight and have stable body weight
  • do not have additional medical conditions raising surgical risk or affecting the healing process
  • have realistic expectations from the procedure


The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Alternatively, you, and your surgeon, can opt in favour of a local anesthetic in combination with mild sedation.

The operation

The extent of the incision depends on the amount of fat and skin tissue that needs to be removed. Usually, it is located on the inside of the upper arm extending from the armpit to the elbow. If there is a small quantity of excess tissue the scar can be limited in the area inside the armpit. In case there is fat tissue that needs to be removed, the procedure can be performed in combination with liposuction.

The cuts are sewn together with absorbable sutures.

Although you will be able to see the new shape of your arm right after surgery, mild swelling and possible bruising can conceal the final outcome: A dramatically different arm not only in shape, but in the feel too.

The results of a brachioplasty can last for many years to come, provided there is no fluctuation in body weight. The aging body is certainly more lax, but the results in your upper arms will be relatively stable.  

After the operation

After surgery there will be gauzes over the cuts and you will have to wear special elastic supporting “sleeves” tied together behind your back like a bra. A tiny plastic tube is placed in the incision for a day in order to drain excess fluids.

Your surgeon shall provide you with specific post-surgical instructions regarding the care of the wounds, what to avoid and when your follow-up visit will be. He will prescribe the necessary medication (antibiotics and pain killers).

Do not hesitate to ask your surgeon any questions regarding the procedure such as:

  • When can I be discharged from the hospital after the operation?
  • What kind of medication will I need to take after surgery?
  • Will there be gauzes or bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Will there be stitches? When will they be removed?
  • When do I resume my everyday activities?

Before you decide if and when you will undergo brachioplasty, make sure to ask your surgeon to explain in detail the complications and possible risks of the procedure. It is only natural to have many questions and feel anxious about the procedure as it is necessary that your surgeon explains everything in detail.

It is important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure the success of the operation. The surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Make sure you tell your surgeon all the details of your medical record. You should tell him if you have any medical condition, if you have allergies, if you are under any medication, if you take food supplements, if you smoke, consume alcohol or abuse other substances. Do not forget to mention any surgeries you had in the past. Brachioplasty is an aesthetic operation,but it still involves surgery and it should not be treated carelessly.

Some tests (e.g. full blood count, cardiogram, chest x-rays) will be needed before the operation. If you are a smoker you should stop smoking a considerable length of time before and at least 10 days after the operation.  

Make sure there is a friend or a member of the family to drive you back home after the operation is over and the doctor discharges you from the hospital