Added by Anne Beckett on 22.04.2022

Arm Lift or Brachioplasty - What Is It?

Commonly known as an arm lift, but officially known as a brachioplasty, this cosmetic surgery is aimed at the removal of the excess skin and/or fat which creates sagging underarms. Some people refer to this condition as having ‘bat wings’.

How do we get this excess fat and skin on the underside of our arms? People who lose a lot of weight may find they are left with an excessive amount of skin, but also genetics and ageing have a part to play. As we get older we tend to lose muscle tone. The main muscles in the upper arm are the biceps and triceps. In everyday life we tend to use our biceps, at the front of the arm, fairly regularly for lifting and carrying. However, the triceps, at the back of the arm, are generally used much less and so, particularly with age and weight gain/loss, the underside of the arm may begin to sag.

Arm lift is a cosmetic surgery aimed to remove arms’s skin and/or fat excess.

Sometimes these bat wings can be controlled by a good diet and regular exercise, however many women find that as they get older, this is just not enough. The arm muscles lose their tone and tight arms become more and more difficult to obtain.

Arm lift surgery may include fat removal, loose skin removal, skin tightening and tissue smoothing and tightening. Liposuction or arm fat removal by itself will often not solve the issue because it will not address the problem of skin laxity, so therefore there is a need to tighten loose skin as well. This combined fat removal surgery and loose skin surgery also helps to contour and shape the axilla, or armpit as it is most frequently called.

This type of cosmetic plastic surgery is gaining in popularity. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that 98% of brachioplasty patients are women and the number is rising. Between 2000 and 2012 arm lift cosmetic surgery rose by 4,380%!

In answer to the question – what is arm lift surgery – or indeed – what is brachioplasty surgery, we have three different procedures in one:

  • underarm fat removal;
  • excess skin removal surgery;
  • skin and tissue tightening.

Although exercise and diet may help, for many people, an arm lift is the best treatment for sagging skin.

Arm Lift Reasons

There are many reasons why people opt for an arm lift. It may be the answer to some of these questions often posed by women: How to make arms look slimmer? How to tighten skin in the upper arm area? How to look younger especially if ‘bat wings’ are a problem? How to get slim arms fast? 

Potentially an arm lift procedure could be the answer to many of these questions. For some women perceived physical problems with the shape of their body can turn into pressing psychological problems and, in some cases, this may cause anxiety. Ageing can change the shape of our bodies, flexibility of muscles and elasticity of the skin. Often the cry is heard ‘how to look younger than your age?’ or ‘how to tighten loose skin?’ or, even, ‘how to look slimmer?’.An arm lift can certainly make the arms look younger and less ‘crepey’ and, of course, tighten any loose skin in this area. Having an arm lift will help the upper arms to look slimmer, but obviously will not have an effect on other areas of the body. However, for some people, brachioplasty may put back the spring in their step and help with their own perceived reflection of their body. Below are some of the reasons people give for wanting an arm lift.

arm

Arm lift may be done, when woman desires to look slimmer.

Under Arm Bags

Sometimes people refer to additional fat and skin on the upper arm as under arm bags. Often these ‘bags’ have a deflated appearance and seem to wobble when the arm moves.

Excess Arm Fat

Very often excess arm fat is purely due to excess fat in the body. Excess fat under arms is just another place where your body stores its additional fat reserves. Some studies have found that low testosterone can lead to an excess of fat being stored in the upper arm region. As women get older the levels of testosterone in the body decreases. Although excess fat removal from this area may be possible with diet and exercise, it can be difficult to achieve the upper arm look required. Excess fat removal surgery may be the solution for some women.

Sagging Underarms

Sagging skin and tissue under the upper arms is a common occurrence. Causes include ageing and weight loss as well as other reasons. How to reduce sagging skin? As with excess fat, it is possible to reduce sagging underarms with specific exercises aimed at the triceps, the muscles in the back of the arm. Non-invasive treatments such as laser treatments or fillers are also often advertised as a sagging skin treatment. Ultimately, however, when the question,’how to tighten sagging skin’ is posed, for many women the brachioplasty option is still seen as one of the best sagging skin solutions.

Skin After Losing Weight

Although excess arm skin after weight loss is a very specific problem, it is essentially the same issue as sagging underarms. Rapid weight loss creates loose skin in various areas around the body. The more significant the weight loss, the more loose skin after weight loss. Of course, this loose skin will occur in different areas of the body, however loose skin on arms can be particularly noticeable.

Arm Contour

An arm contour is just another word for a brachioplasty or arm lift. There are many types of body contouring or body sculpting performed in cosmetic surgery. Such a procedure is aimed at reshaping a particular area of the body, such as the arms, to give it a more pleasing shape or contour.

Excess Skin

Another euphemism for sagging underarms. While it is true that certain targeted exercises can strengthen and improve the muscle tone in the upper arm it cannot help with excess skin that has lost its elasticity. The only possibility is excess skin removal surgery. Excess skin removal is often performed on those patients who have lost a considerable amount of weight.

Arm Wrinkles

Arm wrinkles or crepey skin is thin and wrinkled and may also start to sag or feel loose. The most common cause is sun damage which breaks down the collagen and elastin in the skin. Together these two fibres help to keep the skin tight and wrinkle-free. Ageing is also a factor in upper arm wrinkles. As the years progress, the body produces less collagen and elastin so the skin appears less supple and smooth. Other reasons include pollution, stress and a lack of natural moisturising oils due to hormonal changes. This crepey skin most often manifests itself as eye wrinkles or upper arm skin wrinkles.

What Does Arm Lift Surgery Include?

There are various types of arm lift available. The right choice will ultimately depend on exactly what is required by the patient as well as the competency of the surgeon – not all surgeons may be able to perform all the different types of surgery. In very simple terms an arm lift targets removing excess fat or removing excess skin or dealing with both these situations. These are the main types of surgery performed:

  • traditional arm lift – in this procedure a large amount of skin and fatty tissue is removed along the whole of the upper arm from the armpit to the elbow. It is the most effective treatment for patients who have a significant amount of excess fat and skin;
  • extended arm lift – in addition to the traditional arm lift other issues related to areas on the side of the body are resolved;
  • limited incision brachioplasty or hidden arm lift – this procedure is suitable for patients with moderate amounts of fat and loose skin. The surgical incision is made in a crease of the underarm. Liposuction is also sometimes used with this procedure. This is also known as a mini arm lift.
  • liposuction – as a standalone procedure this works best where arm contouring is required and there is only a small amount of fat on the upper arms with little or no excess or sagging skin. Only a small incision is made so the recovery time is short;
  • non-surgical treatments – there are various non-invasive options available. These may include injecting something into the skin, using laser therapy or radio frequency treatment among others. Generally, these treatments are only available for minor arm contouring.

 

 

male arm

Skin tightening and liposuction are two main elements of arm lift surgery.

Benefits of Arm Lift Surgery

What are the benefits of arm lift surgery? For some people having excess fat and skin in the underarm area can be detrimental to their well-being. In the summer, especially, it is normal for people to expose their arms during everyday activities, but for some this is a nightmare scenario and they would prefer to wear long sleeves all the time. In cases like this it can be easily seen that tight arms can lead to improved confidence and self-esteem. For some people, therefore, there are some very obvious psychological benefits to an arm lift. For others, however, the benefits may be more physical or aesthetic. Here are some of the advantages of arm lift surgery:

  • The supportive tissues under the arm are reshaped and smoothed – this means that the sagging skin is reduced and tightened. It will tone arms and slim arms fast and give the appearance of a younger skin.
  •  This reshaping and smoothing means a more pleasing shape to the upper arm with smoother skin and a young appearance. It will also give the upper arm better proportions with the rest of the body.
  • The excess skin removal will also improve the comfort level after weight loss.
  • Skin lifting may also be able to prevent inflammation and rashes. These may sometimes occur if there are excessive folds of skin and can even lead to an infection.
  • Excess skin may also exacerbate problems with hygiene. These types of issues may also be eliminated.

Brachioplasty is a very successful and safe procedure and with its short recovery times, patients, overall, are pleased with the results. It does, however, have its limitations so it does pay for the patient to discuss in detail with the surgeon exactly what result is required.

girl cobers her arm with cream

Patient should discuss in detail with the surgeon exactly what result of arm lift is required.

Types of Arm Lift Surgery

A 2018 research paper (Arm Contouring: Review and Current Concepts) found that all types of arm lift, both surgical and non-surgical are equally successful, however the method used is very much dependent on exactly what needs to be done in order to achieve the end result.

A standard brachioplasty or upper arm lift is probably the procedure used the most often by surgeons. It involves cutting the skin on the arm from the armpit to the elbow either in a straight line or sometimes in a curved or zig-zag shape.

The mini arm lift is very similar to the standard arm lift but, as the name suggests, the incision is much smaller. It is used where there is only a small amount of skin or fat to be removed, mainly located at the top of the arm. The surgeon makes a diamond shape cut in the armpit and may be able to pull up and tuck in the excess skin into the armpit. Any scarring is usually minimal with this small incision surgery.

Another type of cosmetic surgery upper arm lift is an extended arm lift – recommended when the skin is extremely lax or where there has been a huge weight loss. This procedure allows for a complete reshaping of the arm as well as a change in its circumference. A much longer incision allows the surgeon to remove the maximum amount of skin and tissue from the inner and lower arm area in addition to the underarm area and the side of the chest.

girl in white near the sea

There are a five types of surgical arm lift.

A short arm lift is the ‘shortened’ version of the extended arm lift. It is most suitable where the laxity of the skin is only mild. As with the mini arm lift a diamond-shaped incision is made in the armpit with just a short cut on the upper arm. The excess skin and fatty tissues in the upper arm can be removed and the arm skin pulled up into the armpit. The scar is minimal and can be ‘hidden’ in the armpit.

The L-arm lift is used to remove excess tissue on the upper arm, armpit and the side of the chest. It is more extensive than the extended arm lift and is often reserved for those who have had a huge weight loss. Rather than having separate surgery on the armpits, arms and side of the chest, the L-arm lift will allow a single incision to resolve all three issues. An incision is made from the armpit, down the inner arm to the elbow, with the second part of the ‘L’ being formed by a shorter incision across the chest from the armpit.

Arm lift surgery without scars is impossible if there have been incisions made in the skin. Surgeons will always attempt to place scars where they can be easily hidden or at least disguised e.g. in the armpit. A minimally invasive surgical procedure will be performed wherever possible in order to reduce excessive scarring. Of course, over time and with the proper care, scars will fade and become decidedly less prominent. In exceptional circumstances a secondary procedure, an arm lift scar revision, is available which may help to reduce the look of particularly prominent scars. Liposuction, which reduces the excess fat but will not reduce excess skin, requires only an incision of about 3-4 mm. In this procedure the scarring is minimal and almost unnoticeable.

Is it possible to have a totally scarless arm lift? In certain circumstances, an under arm lift may be performed without any type of incision. A quick Internet search will provide a list of many clinics providing invisible arm lift surgery UK-wide as well as abroad. These methods may not be suitable where there is a lot of excess fat and/or skin, indeed the only sure way of getting rid of excess skin is by cutting it away. A no scar arm lift procedure may include electro-, cryo-, radiofrequency and laser therapy. Although a scarless arm lift sounds very attractive, it is important to double-check that any of these types of therapies are, firstly suitable for the amount of fat and skin which needs removing and, secondly, if they will produce the desired contouring.

As with any cosmetic surgery, it is important that the patient does their homework first in order to decide exactly what outcome they expect from the procedure. Further discussion with the surgeon will help to decide which arm lift procedure is the best one in the given circumstances.

Arm Lift Candidate

As with any medical surgery, there are minimal risks associated with the anaesthetic, the particular procedure and the post-operative healing of the wound. An arm lift procedure is actually a very safe operation, however in order to minimise these risks surgeons will usually qualify their potential candidates for surgery. They expect their patients to:

  • be in good physical condition;
  • be in good health;
  • do not smoke;
  • have a stable weight without an excessive BMI (body mass index).

No surgeon wishes to have their work classed as unsatisfactory, so ensuring that a patient has realistic expectations of the end result is also a prerequisite.

Arm Lift Contraindications

Arm lift contraindications are basically the opposite of what would be expected from a good candidate. These include being overweight, being in poor health and/or being a smoker. In reality these contraindications are applicable to any surgical procedure as they greatly increase the risks involved in a medical operation.

Before Arm Lift

As with any medical procedure it is important to prepare for the forthcoming surgery, not only to minimalise risks, but also to ensure a successful and speedy recovery.

You can take steps in the weeks and months before surgery to make your arm lift as safe and effective as possible. If you smoke, quitting one to two months before surgery can greatly reduce your risk of complications. As mentioned above, smoking can increase the chances of complications as well as impeding wound healing so now is a good time to stop smoking.

Prior to the operation, the surgeon will take a medical history and may even do a full physical examination. This pre-operative evaluation may even include such things as a chest x-ray and an electrocardiogram. If a patient is currently taking any tablets for an existing condition e.g. blood thinners, statins, medication for diabetes etc., the dosage may need to be adapted immediately prior to the operation. The surgeon will be able to give more information about this; they may also provide a treatment plan detailing the medical procedure and the post-operative care required.

To ensure the best possible outcome, pre-operative instructions may also include sticking to a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The correct hydration levels are also important, so drinking plenty of water is important.

girl in pink stretches her hand

Proper preparation to the arm minimalises risks and ensures a successful and speedy recovery.

Arm Lift Procedure

Most of the different arm lift procedures can be carried out as outpatient surgery, so no overnight hospital stay is required. The whole brachioplasty procedure may take about three hours for both arms depending on how much work is required. In general, an arm lift procedure will entail the following process:

  • Initially, the patient will be visited by the surgeon who will mark the surgical incision lines on the armpit and/or upper arm for each limb.
  • The patient will then be ‘put to sleep’. This may be by general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. In some cases intravenous sedation may be administered.
  • The surgeon will now make an incision in the skin as per the incision lines already marked. The underlying tissue in the arm will be tightened and reshaped, followed by excess skin removal and excess fat removal. This excess fat may be simply ‘cut’ away or liposuction may be used.
  • Once the procedure is complete, skin tightening takes place as the skin is pulled back over the tissue and the shape and contour of the arm is checked.
  • The surgical wound will then be closed with stitches or sutures. In some cases there may also be internal sutures.
  • The procedure will then be repeated on the second arm.
  • The patient is then woken and, providing there has been no adverse reaction to the anaesthetic, the patient will be allowed home.
surgical equipment

Arm lift procedure is an outpatient surgery and takes up to three hours for both arms.

Arm Lift Recovery and Aftercare

Immediately after surgery, each arm will be wrapped in an elasticated bandage in order to minimise swelling. As with any medical procedure there may also be small tubes or drains placed in the wounds to allow any excess blood or fluids to flow out. At the initial discharge from the clinic/hospital the patient will be given aftercare instructions and a follow-up appointment a few days later. At this appointment, the drains may be removed and the bandages replaced by a compression garment, like a special sleeve worn on the arm, which will continue to reduce the swelling. The patient will also be told when or if the stitches will need to be removed; sometimes self-dissolving sutures will be used.

Arm lift recovery is usually relatively fast. There may be some bruising and discomfort at the beginning but this should be easy to control with painkillers. A patient’s medical history, age, gender and even occupation may all contribute to the speed of the healing process. A healthy and active lifestyle prior to the surgery will often lead to a much shorter brachioplasty recovery period.

As is the case with any operation, it is important to start to walk around as soon as possible after surgery. In order to aid a smooth recovery patients should:

  • follow post-operative instructions;
  • get rest – as much as possible in the first few days after the operation;
  • get nutrition – follow a good post-operative diet;
  • avoid stress;
  • have a positive attitude.

Here is a plan of the average timeline for recovery after arm lift surgery. Please bear in mind, however, that everyone’s body reacts to surgery in a slightly different way and that this should be taken only as a guide.

Time period Post-Op

Treatment

Limitations

1-3 days

Some pain, swelling and bruising.
Drains may be in place and wounds are wrapped in an elasticated bandage.

Care should be taken when moving the arms and they should not be lifted above shoulder level - so no over the head jumpers or other clothes. Somebody may be required to help with some jobs around the house.

One week

There should be a significant reduction in pain, swelling and bruising although these may continue for up to a month after the surgery.

Continue to limit arm movements with no lifting of the arms above shoulder height.

10-14 days

Drains, stitches and bandages should all be removed by now. Compression garments are still advisable in order to aid the healing process. Some surgeons may implement a scar therapy plan in order to minimise the scarring.

Most people can return to work after two weeks. Range of motion and general arm mobility should improve. It is still advisable not to lift anything heavy or stretch the arms.

One month

Swelling and bruising should have subsided and compression garments may no longer be needed. Scar therapy may continue for up to six months.

Most patients are now getting back to normal. They can now lift heavier objects, play sports such as tennis or golf and return to a regular exercise routine.

If, during the recovery from arm-lift surgery, any of the following are experienced, a doctor should be contacted immediately:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pains.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Skin redness and a fever

The incidence of complications during arm lift recovery time is very rare. The procedure is, generally, very safe with a complete brachioplasty recovery time of about one month.

Arm Lift Results

It may take some time to see the full extent of the arm lift results. This is, primarily, due to both the internal and external swelling, which occurs after the operation. Final results are usually visible any time from six weeks to six months after the surgical procedure.

These results will include slimmer arms, smoother skin and no more ‘bat wings’. The effect of the skin lifting, in addition to giving the appearance of younger skin, will also mean that many patients have improved confidence.

Minimal scarring may occur where the incision have been small, but for bigger/longer incisions scar therapy may be offered to reduce the appearance of the scar tissue. As mentioned earlier wherever possible surgeons will attempt to place incisions where they can be more easily hidden or disguised.

arm

Final results of arm lift are usually visible any time from six weeks to six months after the surgical procedure.

 

Arm Lift Pros and Cons

Pros

What are the benefits of an arm lift? Here are some of the positives:

  • An arm lift is an immediate solution to the problem of excess skin and fat in the underarm area – it gives fast results and is effortless and long-lasting.
  • Excess skin removal and skin tightening gives the new slim arms a youthful look.
  • Compared to many other cosmetic surgery procedures there is a very short recovery time.
  • The new toned upper arms may have a positive impact on the self-esteem of the patient.

Cons

Is there a downside to an arm lift? Possibly the biggest issues are:

  • Scar along the insides of the arms from the armpit to the elbow. Smaller incisions reduce the length of this scar and its prominence can be reduced greatly with post-operative treatment.
  • Swelling, fluid accumulation, slight bleeding and discomfort accompany any medical procedure and the length of time after the operation that these occur does vary considerably from one person to the next.
  • Skin numbness and tingling is a well-known side effect of any cosmetic surgery. For most patients this should only last a few days.

Arm Lift Side Effects, Complications and Risks

According to a 2016 article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the rate for arm lift complications is only 1.3%. The risk of post-surgical complications increases when it is performed:

  •  in combination with other types of cosmetic surgery;
  •  in men;
  •  in people with a BMI of 30 and above.

In general, however, arm lift surgery is regarded as a very safe procedure. Many of the possible complications are usual surgery risks. These include anaesthesia risks, slow wound healing, inflammation and/or infection, nerve damage and scarring. Let’s look at each of these in turn:

Anaesthesia risks: Any medical operation where the patient is anaesthetised may carry a tiny risk that the patient will react unfavourably to the anaesthesia. This is extremely rare but it does happen on occasions.

Slow wound healing: some people’s bodies naturally heal faster than others. Plenty of rest and a good healthy diet will help to mitigate this. This is considered to be one of the usual plastic surgery risks.

Inflammation and/or infection: should this occur, this is a quite serious complication. Any pain which is long-lasting or suddenly appears a few days after the operation may indicate that there is an infection internally. Unusual redness, especially when combined with heat around the wound, together with a high temperature may mean the wound is infected. It may also mean that there is fluid accumulation at the wound site. It is important to contact a doctor immediately, who can prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. If the infection is not dealt with swiftly it can have serious consequences.

Nerve damage: this is another frequent complication associated with any type of surgery. When skin and tissue are cut, this will often result in nerve injury. This nerve damage in arm surgery manifests itself as skin numbness. This may last just a few days, a few months, a few years or even forever. In many cases, the nerves may be able to heal themselves, but the length of time will vary from one person to another. For the majority of patients this skin numbness after surgery will gradually dissipate.

Scarring: arm lift scars are potentially one of the biggest problem areas after a brachioplasty. The fact that a patient has had surgery in order to rejuvenate and make their arm look younger and more toned, is not helped when the subsequent surgery leaves huge visible scars down those same arms. Surgeons will always endeavour to place arm lift surgery scars in a place where they can be easily concealed, such as in the armpit or natural folds in the skin, however with, for example, an extended arm lift, it may be quite difficult to conceal the scar completely.

On the other hand, a mini arm lift scar may be much easier to hide in the armpit area. Most clinics and hospitals will automatically give advice on scar therapy in order to prevent prominent and thick scarring.This may include over-the-counter creams and gels, infrared light therapy and silicone sheets or gel. Silicone has been used for a long time in treatment of scarring and research in 2009 found that it was effective in reducing the texture of the scar by 86%, the colour by 84% and the height of the scar by 68%. The post-operative care at the hospital or clinic will give advice on the best way to reduce brachioplasty scars. Obviously with invisible arm lift surgery scar issues are not a problem.

white gauze bandage on a hand

Arm lift surgery is as a very safe procedure and possible complications are usual surgery risks.

 

 

Other plastic surgery risks and complications include fat necrosis. This is where, after surgery, some of the fat cells die, leaving lumps of fat under the skin. Sometimes this lump or lumps will disappear of their own accord, however if they persist they may have to be destroyed with a needle biopsy or ultimately be taken out in surgery. Asymetry may also be an issue occasionally. This is where the two arms do not look the same i.e. one is slimmer than the other or the shape is different. The surgeon will always try to make the two arms as symmetrical as possible, however perfect symmetry is not possible. In addition, there may be changes to the tissues during the healing process. Where there is extreme asymmetry the surgeon may decide to redo the arm lift. This will, however, expose the patient to further plastic surgery risks and complications.

Possibly the most dangerous complications are blood clots and haematomas. These usually appear within 24 hours after surgery, but may appear even later. A haematoma is where the bleeding and subsequent clots appear under the skin. They look like a bruise but will feel very hard to the touch. Although small haematomas may be treated at home with alternating hot and cold compresses, it is always advisable to contact the doctor as, if left untreated, a haematoma may develop into something quite serious. Blood clots are extremely rare and this risk is significantly reduced by the wearing of compression garments.

Non-Surgical Arm Lift

A non surgical arm lift is basically any procedure where there is no incision in the skin, or more frequently, such a tiny incision that it is almost invisible to the naked eye. For excessive fat and/or excessive skin, it is likely that only a surgical arm lift will produce the desired results. A non surgical arm lift may be beneficial in dispersing moderate amounts of fat and for tightening and conditioning the skin. Of course, for most people the major benefit of an arm lift non surgical style is that post-operative scars are not an issue.

When it comes to a non surgical arm lift, UK clinics, as well as overseas clinics, offer a variety of different methods. These methods often go by different ‘brand’ names but usually use one or more of the following procedures laser, radio frequency, freezing (cryolipolysis) or polydioxanone (PDO) threads.

Let’s take a look at this different procedures in more detail:

Type of Procedure

Possible Brand Names

How the Procedure Works

Best for

Arm Lift Laser Surgery Treatment


SmartLipo©
A tiny, almost invisible incision is made in the upper arm and laser energy is administered through this tiny hole. This liquifies excess fat so it can be easily extracted effortlessly. This laser arm lift also tightens the skin.


A small amount of excess fat. Laser skin tightening cannot improve skin laxity to the same extent as a surgical arm lift.

Radio frequency Liposuction Treatment


Bodytite©
A radio frequency (RF) probe is inserted through a tiny almost invisible incision in the skin. Like the laser therapy, RF therapy liquifies the fat cells. The body interprets the RF heat as a wound and starts to heal itself by sending collagen to the area and tightening the skin.

Moderate sagging and loose skin. Moderate to large amount of fat. Not suitable for a large amount of excess skin.

Radio Frequency Laser Treatment


Thermage FLX©Similar to the RF liposuction, this therapy heats the deeper layers of the skin thereby stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. It reduces the appearance of loose skin and improves the elasticity of the skin. Addresses the problem of light to moderate loose and saggy skin but often used together with other therapies when a reduction in fat is required.

Radio Frequency and Helium Treatment


Renuvion©

Instead of laser, this therapy uses helium but it has the same effect on the deeper dermis of the skin - heating and subsequently tightening it.As with the RF and laser treatment, can help loose and saggy skin but does not target fat.

Freezing (cryolipolysis)


CoolSculpting©
An applicator, which freezes fat cells at -10º is attached to a cold gel pad on the skin. This kills about 35% of the fat cells in this place and these dead cells are disposed of in the body in the natural way.Specifically targets fat reduction and not skin tightening. Only recommended for people who are up to about 30lbs above their ideal weight.

PDO Threads


Various brands
Usually performed under anaesthetic, the PDO threads, thinner than a hair, are inserted with a tiny cannula into the subcutaneous tissue. Here minuscule hooks n the thread open and ‘lift’ the skin. After about two weeks, new collagen and elastin begin to form, as well as an increase in hyaluronic. The threads are gradually absorbed in to the body over an eight month periodThese threads may be used in many areas of the body. They rejuvenate the skin but do not tackle the problem of excess fat.

When considering non-surgical upper arm lift, it is important to be very specific about the expected outcome. Some clinics utilise more than one method in order to target both the fat in the arms and the condition and/or amount of the upper arm skin.

One thing to her in mind is that the operatives in these non-surgical arm lift clinics are frequently not trained doctors. Often there is a doctor who oversees the whole operation, however the actual person administering the treatment will be thoroughly trained in the use of that particular (sometimes two or three) procedure.

Results are not usually immediate. Sometimes the clinic will recommend a series of treatments, so the effect will build up over time. Even with just one treatment, collagen growth i.e. skin tightening will take a few months, so final results may take some time.

Generally recovery time for a non surgical arm lift is only a few days and even vigorous exercise can be resumed within a week. It is wise, however. to follow the recommendations of the surgeon.

Arm Lift Cost

Arm Lift on NHS

people in medical masks

The NHS guidelines are very clear about the fact that it does not pay for arm lift.

The NHS guidelines are very clear about the fact that it does not pay for cosmetic surgery. Where the excess skin around the arms is connected with a congenital problem (something the patient has had since birth) or it has come about due to a traumatic injury, there is a small chance of being able to have an arm lift on the NHS. A GP needs to refer the patient but it should be noted that arm lift surgery NHS-funded is a very rare occurrence. This situation has been compounded by the post-Covid exceptionally long waiting lists for more serious surgery.

Arm Lift Cost UK

As an arm lift is classified as cosmetic surgery, it is not likely to be performed at the expense of the national health service. In addition, it is not usually one of the operations funded by a private medical insurance policy. It is, of course, always worth checking with your insurance provider, however cosmetic surgery is not usually covered by such insurance policies. This means that the patient, usually, must pay for any such procedure themselves.

How much is an arm lift? When checking the arm lift cost, UK prices will vary widely, depending on the type of surgery and the region of the country. London, as the capital, tends to have the higher prices. Surgeons’ prices vary (depending on the equipment that they use, their experience/expertise, their location and size of the surgery) so it pays to shop around. However, as a general guide, the higher the price, the more modern the clinic and the more experienced the surgeon. As with any surgical intervention, it pays to not only consider the arm lift surgery cost UK-based, but also to check out the clinic and surgeon, in addition to their success rates.

As a guideline, the arm lift surgery cost in the UK ranges from about £3500 to £5000 with average costs around £4500. A Harley Street procedure may even cost up to £9000! A mini arm lift cost UK-based will be a bit lower. Each patient, however, will be individually assessed, so the cost at one particular clinic may vary between patients. Most clinics will give a free initial consultation where they will usually give the patient a final arm lift price.

The arm lift cost for a non-surgical procedure is even more difficult to assess. Private clinics do not advertise their rates on line, but for many of the procedures discussed patients can expect to pay around £2000. This does not, of course, include the excess skin removal cost, which will always have to be done as a surgical procedure.

Arm Lift Cost Abroad

More and more people are realising the advantages of having cosmetic surgery overseas. The price of arm lift surgery can be around 50% of the cost in the UK. This does not, however, mean that the clinics and surgeons are in any way inferior to those in the UK, indeed, often the exact opposite is true.

How much does arm lift surgery cost abroad? Below is a comparison of average arm lift surgery prices in some countries around the world. It is important to remember that the cost of return flights and a few nights’ hotel accommodation need to be added to these prices.

Arm Lift UK

Once the decision has been made to have an arm lift in the UK, either surgical or non-surgical, the next step is to do some research. Obviously the Internet can be very helpful, but, as we know, anybody is free to express an opinion, either good or bad, as they see fit. So, although extremely useful it should be only one of the tools used for the research on arm lift surgery UK-based. Possibly the best recommendations come from those with personal experience of a particular clinic. Some clinics may be able to put you in touch with previous patients.

It does not matter where the patient intends to have the surgery, be it arm lift surgery London- or an arm lift Manchester-based, always check out the clinic and the surgeon. As already mentioned, the initial consultation is often free of charge and this gives the prospective customer a chance to see the premises and build a rapport with the surgeon. It is essential that a patient feels they can explain exactly what they would consider to be a successful outcome to the surgery.

The General Medical Council (GMC) register records all doctors registered to practise in the UK on its List of Registered Medical Practitioners. As well as general information about each doctor it also provides primary medical qualifications and specialist qualifications. So, if you are looking for the best arm lift surgeon UK for yourself, this is a good place to check out the surgeon’s qualifications.

In addition to checking out the price of an arm lift UK-based and the credentials of the surgeon on the GMC Register, there are some other checks worth making.  All reputable independent clinics and hospitals providing cosmetic surgery should be registered with the Care Quality Commission. The surgeon should be a ‘full member’ of The British Association of Plastic Reconstruction and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). All of this information applies whether a full brachioplasty UK-based or just a mini arm lift UK-based is required – always do your homework!

Arm Lift Abroad

Plastic surgery abroad is a thriving business. The recent Covid-19 pandemic meant that many people chose not to travel for their arm lift abroad, but now the business is once again beginning to pick up. Plastic surgery abroad prices can be significantly lower, only because the cost of living in these countries is much lower in the UK. Many overseas countries can boast of having the ‘best’ brachioplasty surgeon, but at the same time, and usually due to a much lower cost of living, they can also offer cheap arm lift surgery.

When surgeons/medical staff salaries are lower, the cost of maintaining premises is lower, the cost of electricity/gas/electric is lower, obviously cosmetic surgery can be offered at a much lower cost than in the UK even with the addition of flights and hotel accommodation. In fact, often cheaper plastic surgery abroad packages may be offered which include these ‘extras’.

What things are important when considering having an arm lift abroad? Apart from the cost, language is very important. Assuming the patient does not speak the local language, it is vital that doctors and medical staff can speak and understand English well. Ease of travel is also important. Are there flights to the destination from your local airport? Is the clinic near an airport? How long is the flight? – a long flight will not increase the cost but also possibly add to the discomfort on the return journey. How frequent are the flights?

Patients should also find out as much as possible about both the clinic and the surgeon. This is one area where an agency is indispensable as they can recommend top brachioplasty surgeons. They will know, often first hand, which clinics and surgeons are best for a specific procedure. They can also furnish you with genuine information about the surgeons and put you in touch with other clients who have also had surgery with the same surgeon and/or at the same medical centre.

Arm Lift Poland

In recent years, Poland has emerged as one of the front runners when it comes to popular destinations for cosmetic surgery. It boasts excellent well-equipped and modern medical centres, well trained medical staff and a low-cost of living compared to the UK. These three things combine to provide low-cost surgery but in a high-tech environment. The cosmetic surgery medical centres in Poland attract medical tourists from all over the world including Europe, the USA and the Middle East.

The best clinics are given accreditation by the Polish Health Ministry. Many also have certification from the following organisations – ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), ESQH (The European Society for Quality in Healthcare) and TAS (The Treatment Abroad Scheme).

When it comes to an arm lift, Poland prices can be 50% plus cheaper than in some other countries and yet still offer an equivalent private medical service. Doctors in Poland are well-trained and some of the best surgeons work in the private medical centres and clinics which market themselves to customers from abroad. English is widely spoken both inside the clinics and outside in the major cities.

Low cost air tickets are available from budget airlines like WizzAir, Ryanair and EasyJet who all have frequent departures from many airports in the UK to an equally impressive array of airports in Poland. Depending on the route, flight times UK to Poland are around 2.5 hours.

Our consultants can provide specific details on the clinics we represent together with testimonies from other patients.

krakow

Poland is one of the front runners when it comes to popular destinations for cosmetic surgery.

Arm Lift Turkey

Turkey is another country where medical tourism is flourishing. Turkey holds the third position in the list of countries most often visited for private medical treatment. About one third of patients treated in medical centres in Turkey are from abroad. Like Poland, the doctors and medical staff in these private well-equipped clinics speak excellent English.

When considering an arm lift, Turkey prices are considerably lower than in the UK. In addition to this low arm lift cost, Turkey can also boast the fascinating city of Istanbul, straddling both the European and Asian continents, as well as fantastic beaches and resorts along its Mediterranean coastline.

Flights from London to Istanbul are just under four hours and flight costs are reasonable. There are also many clinics located near the Mediterranean tourist resorts, such as Bodrum and Antalya. These airports are often served by tour operators’ charter flights, which are often less expensive than scheduled flights. Why not combine an arm lift with a week’s beach holiday?

For those thinking of having an arm lift, Turkey is definitely worth consideration. Our consultants can provide specific details of clinics in Turkey which would best suit your personal needs.

 

Antalya

About one third of patients treated in medical centres in Turkey are from abroad.

Arm Lift Reviews

Anybody contemplating an arm lift should find out as much as possible about the procedure, in order to know exactly what the options are. For a successful surgery outcome, the patient should be able to discuss all pertinent questions with the surgeon and ensure that he/she knows exactly what is required.

A lot of excellent information is available on the Internet, either on various medical sites or on arm lift forums, which feature patients who have undergone the procedure. Arm lift reviews and pictures are also a good place to start. Some good websites to check out arm lift reviews are RealSelf, Healthline, Mayo Clinic and many other medical sites.

Arm Lift Before and After

Summary

A surgical arm lift or brachioplasty is a procedure which involves reducing the amount of fat in the upper arm and/or reducing/tightening the skin so that the contour of the arm is improved. It may also include taking away some of the fat from the side of the body. It is a permanent and relatively quick solution to the problem of saggy underarms or ‘bat wings’.

Possibly the biggest drawback is the resulting scar. With mini-arm lifts the surgeon can often ‘hide’ the scar in the armpit, however sometimes this is not possible. Scar therapy will reduce the scarring effect which will fade over time.

Non-surgical arm lifts, with only a minuscule incision, may solve the problem, however their success does depend on the amount of excess fat and skin which need to be removed.

Arm lifts are hardly ever available ‘free of charge’ on the NHS nor through private health insurance, so the only option is to pay for the procedure privately. Having the procedure overseas is an attractive proposition with prices around 50% cheaper than in the UK. Poland and Turkey are particularly interesting options and are well worth considering, although other countries may also be able to offer good value packages.

Our consultants are trained to find the best destination and clinic for each individual. Please give us a call.

arm and sea

Having the procedure overseas is an attractive proposition with prices around 50% cheaper than in the UK. Please contact us for details!

 

 

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References

Arm Contouring: Review and Current Concepts: https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/38/8/850/4931087

The Various Arm Lift Types: https://facebody.net/en/blog/arm-lift/457-the-various-arm-lift-types-you-need-to-know

Is Arm Lift Right for You: https://www.healthline.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/brachioplasty

Incidence and Risk Factors of Major Complications in Brachioplasty: https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/36/7/792/2664540

The Efficacy of Silicone Gel for the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918339/

Real Self Arm Lift Reviews – https://www.realself.com/reviews/arm-lift

American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) – https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-arm-lifts

Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/arm-lift/multimedia/arm-lift/img-20007009

Anne Beckett

In the UK Anne was a professionally qualified trainer with many years of experience in the training industry. She mainly worked in the travel, tourism and leisure industries (including Thomas Cook and British Airways) as well as in other sectors.

Since moving to Poland  twelve years ago, Anne has become involved in other business sectors – teaching English as a foreign language and translating documents from Polish into English. She specialises particularly,  in  medical translations and  works closely with dentists, cardiologists and neurologists in translating and preparing articles for publication. She has also trained as a practitioner in the field of neuro-linguistic programming and is a qualified hypnotherapist.

Any spare time is spent renovating the house in Poland which Anne bought some years ago.

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