Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

An arm lift (Brachioplasty) is a procedure in which excess hanging skin from the upper arm and underarm is removed and the upper arm is reshaped for a more toned appearance. Please click below to learn more about Brachioplasty.


  • Tighter, well-toned arms that cannot be achieved with exercise and weight control alone
  • Enhance self-image and confidence

You May be a Good Arm Lift Candidate if:

  • You are bothered by the appearance of sagging skin of upper arm
    • This may be from significant weight loss, aging or heredity‚Äč
  • You have stable weight
  • You do not smoke

Is this Procedure Covered by Health Insurance?

  • Like all cosmetic procedures, an arm lift is typically not covered by health insurance


  • Can be performed as outpatient or inpatient procedure. Consulting with Mercy Plastic Surgeons will determine which is best
  • Performed under general anesthesia
  • Incisions
    • ‚ÄčInside or back of arm, spanning from the underarm to just above the elbow, depending on the amount of excess skin
    • There are advantages and disadvantages to each incision. Mercy Plastic Surgeons will help you decide
  • Liposuction of the arm may be performed at the same time
  • Excess skin is removed and the skin is carefully contoured to your underlying muscle
  • Remaining skin is stitched together at the inside or back of arm, depending on the pre-operative plan that is discussed
  • The smoother, tighter contour is apparent immediately following your procedure, although there will be some swelling and bruising
  • After surgery you will be taken to a recovery area to be closely monitored after surgery
  • You will wear an elastic bandage or compression garment to minimize swelling
  • You will go home the same day of surgery or stay overnight, depending on our discussion pre-operatively
  • You will need to wear the elastic band for the first 2-4 weeks
  • You will experience soreness for the first week, and decreased soreness over weeks two and three
    • Intermittent soreness can last for 4-6 weeks
  • Exercise is usually restricted until 6-8 weeks after surgery
  • Many patients find it helpful to review arm lift photos and learn about what to expect during recovery as they navigate the decision-making process to have surgery
  • Satisfaction with your new arm contour and body image should continue to grow and improve as you recover from surgery
  • Final results will continue to evolve over the first year, but will be very close to final at about 3-4 months after surgery
  • Results will be long-lasting, if…
    • You maintain your weight
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle

Photos are a great way to discuss a procedure, which is why we love to use them!

Photos are also a great way to help you understand your individualized and realistic outcome. Because each person is different in size, shape, body type, and desire, we feel that photos are best “interpreted” and discussed together in consultation. That is why we will use them in a one-on-one discussion that will help you understand the process and results that are achievable in your particular case.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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