What is an arm reduction and lift?

Cosmetic surgeon Mr Alastair Platt explains how arm reduction surgery works, and discusses other important information about the procedure.

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty or arm reduction, is an operation to remove excess skin and fat on the upper arms and improve the shape of the arm.

Who is eligible for an arm lift?

Arm lifts are most suitable for those who have developed excess skin on the upper arms often as a result of weight loss or changes from ageing.

How is an arm lift performed?

Arm lift surgery is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and involves a combination of liposuction and excision of the excess skin. The operation usually takes approximately two hours and can be combined with other procedures such as abdominoplasty or breast surgery. Most patients will stay in hospital overnight and any stitches that are used will dissolve.

What can I expect after an arm lift?

There will be scarring after an arm lift but this is placed on the inside of the arm to keep it as hidden as possible. The scar will normally be from the elbow to the armpit and could be red in the first few months after surgery. However, it will fade over time.

After the surgery, any heavy upper arm activity will need to be restricted for about a month. The arms will feel uncomfortable for a few weeks but this is normally managed by simple painkillers that will be given to you at the time of your discharge. The arms will be covered in a simple dressing and bandage that is changed at about a week in the out-patient department. Often a support garment has to be worn for a further six weeks. You can expect several follow up appointments with your plastic surgeon over the months following surgery.

The pictures below are of a female patient in her fifties who lost a significant amount of weight and was left with excess hanging skin on her upper arms. This caused her problems finding some clothes to fit and was affecting her confidence in her appearance.

Spire patient of Mr Alastair Platt before arm reduction surgery

After surgery with Mr Platt:

Spire patient of Mr Alastair Platt after arm reduction surgery

Initial consultations usually last around 30 minutes and your consultant will take a medical history, examine the arms and provide a detailed explanation of the procedure including expected recovery time and risks.

How can I find out more information about arm lift?

Further information is available on the British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons website.


Mr Alastair Platt is a consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital


The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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Mr Alastair Platt

Mr Alastair Platt, consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital

Read the full profile of Mr Alastair Platt, consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital

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