Cosmetic And Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
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Arm Lift/Brachioplasty Surgery Procedures

Loose skin can arise in the arm through weight loss or ageing. Arm lift (Brachioplasty) is the operation in which loose arm skin is excised.  As with all dermolipectomy procedures, the art is in hiding the scar effectively while obtaining a careful balance of tension to achieve optimal cosmesis. For some patients, liposuction is included to manage excess fat on the outer surface of the arm- many patients have fatty outer arms and loose skin on the inner arms, and both problems need to be addressed. Ideally, the scar for Brachioplasty can be hidden within the armpit crease. When there is loose skin extending to the elbow, the scar must extend further down the arm, but the rewards of the procedure are greater. With careful consideration and planning, Brachioplasty can be a very gratifying procedure.

What is Brachioplasty

Brachioplasty is surgery designed to reduce the loose skin and fat that can hang from your arms due to age, family trait or weight-loss. ‘Bingo arms’ or ‘Bat-wing deformity’ are two unflattering terms used to describe the problem addressed by brachioplasty. Brachioplasty made be combined with liposuction if a reduction in arm size is also desired.

Who is a good candidate?

The best candidate for brachioplasty is the patient at the extremes- either with generally good arms with some looseness within 6 inches of the axilla, or someone with very loose skin. If the skin excess is located close to the armpit (axilla), the operation can require only a scar in the armpit that is well hidden.If you have dramatic skin laxity that bothers you, you probably aren’t wearing short sleeve shirts anyway, so a brachioplasty scar running to the elbow is not necessarily a deal-breaker if it will allow you comfort and an improved contour.

Consultation essentials

It is very important that you be at a comfortable, stable weight before undertaking brachioplasty. It is helpful if you have had previous surgery that allows you to understand how you scar, and how you feel about scars.

Alternatives to Brachioplasty

Liposuction can be surprisingly effective provided your skin is not too loose and is ‘reactive’ (e.g. a young person who forms thick scars is more likely to do well with liposuction). Energy-based techniques are advertised for tightening skin. Thermage is the best-known device of this type and has a favorability rating on Realself of only 34%! Every few months a new device enters the market (The FDA screens out devices that are unsafe, but doesn’t screen out ineffective devices.) but until the reliability of a device is established, it is premature to make a recommendation.

Costs of Brachioplasty

Fees for Brachioplasty at our Toronto Cosmetic Plastic Surgery office (including facility and anesthetist) range from $8000 to $14,000, depending on the extent of surgery that is necessary and whether liposuction is required. Brachioplasty is sometimes combined with breast lift surgery, and some savings can be had in combining these procedures.

Preparation for surgery

We need you to be healthy and at a stable weight before surgery. We will provide written instructions on all necessary steps, supplies to obtain, etc. Brachioplasty dressings (especially if full arm) are challenging to apply by yourself (with one hand), so you will need some help once-a-day with dressings for a week or so after surgery. preparation, and will review these with you well before surgery. We provide a compression garment (like a fancy girdle) for your use after surgery.

The Operation

Short-Scar Brachioplasty Procedure

A short-scar brachioplasty is perfect for targeting loose skin near the armpit.

Arm Reduction surgery

Scar location is easily hidden in most situations.

Long Scar Brachioplasty Procedure

When loose skin is present throughout the arm, a longer scar is necessary.

Brachioplasty Surgery

Is a scar a worthwhile trade for improved comfort and contour? Only you can decide.

Safety and Risks

Some techniques of brachioplasty performed elsewhere can damage the lymphatics and cause permanent swelling in the hands and fluid collection in the armpit. This has never occurred in our practice.

Recovery process

Arms movement will be limited for one or two weeks after surgery, so long scar brachioplasty will keep you away from work longer than most body contour procedures. The healing process is awkward due to dressings and tightness, but not painful.


You can expect to see positive effects from your surgery immediately, but a final result may not be evident until a year after surgery, once scar redness has settled. Some patients will benefit from a touch-up procedure to manage extra skin (so-called dog-ears) at the back of the armpit or at the elbow. This is more likely when excess skin is present on the back or past the elbow.

Bottom Line

We believe we offer the best brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery results in Toronto.Come in for a consultation, and you will leave wiser, and perhaps scheduled for a beautiful transformation.

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