Arm Lift/Brachioplasty

Brachioplasty addresses loss of skin elasticity that can happen even to slim patients due to age or heredity by tightening the underlying tissues and removing excess, sagging skin. It corrects the dreaded “batwing” by removing fat deposits and excess skin along the underside of the arm and smoothing the remaining skin to give you a more sculpted, sleek, and youthful appearance practically overnight. You don’t need to hide your arms any longer. Talk to us about arm lift surgery today!

If you are experiencing excess tissue beneath your arms and think an arm lift might be right for you, contact Lexington Plastic Surgery, PLLC today by requesting a consultation or call our office at (859) 279-2111. Schedule an appointment in our Lexington, KY office

arm lift

Arm Lift Safety

Brachioplasty is typically a very safe procedure that has a relatively quick recovery time. As with any surgery, there are the usual risks of blood clotting, infection, and reaction to the anesthesia, all of which are unlikely but can be serious. Dr. Gerstle has been in practice for decades and takes all precautions to ensure the best, safest outcome possible.

On occasion, patients may not be fully satisfied with their new look. There may be a slight asymmetry between the arms, but keep in mind that asymmetries are intrinsic to the human body itself. Remember that your body was not perfectly symmetrical before the surgery, and it may not be post-surgery either! Nonetheless, occasionally revision surgery is desired. Keep in mind that while all measures are taken to reduce the eventual look of scars, a scar is inevitable with this procedure. The size and location of the scar will depend on your particular circumstances and the amount of skin to be removed. Other rare outcomes can include changes in sensation that can be permanent.

Dr. Gerstle will examine you thoroughly and discuss all risks as well as benefits before you proceed with arm lift surgery.

The Arm Lift Procedure

The purpose of an arm lift is to remove unwanted excess flabby skin that hangs below the bicep and to remove the fat pockets that may be “trapped” and inaccessible to exercise. These conditions can be due to age, heredity, or drastic weight loss. The result is a tighter, smoother, more sculpted upper arm.

An arm lift will typically be performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the amount of sagging skin to be removed, Dr. Gerstle will choose the appropriate incision length and location. Incisions may be made on the underside of the upper arm or in the armpit. This will give him access to tighten lax tissues and perform liposuction if required. After trimming the excess skin, he will place the remaining skin over the improved contours and close up the incisions.

The surgery will likely be completed in two hours unless you have opted to combine it with another plastic surgery procedure. After spending a few hours in recovery, you will likely be cleared to return home on the day of the surgery.

Arm Lift Post Op

Please ensure that there is someone to drive you home after the arm lift procedure. If you live alone, make sure that there is someone to assist you with meal prep and household duties for several days following the surgery. You will be provided with Dr. Gerstle’s personal cell phone so that you may contact him with any questions or concerns in the days following your surgery.

You will be sent home with bandages and instructions regarding how to maintain the compression garments we provide, which will help to minimize swelling. Be sure to follow all directions closely. If drainage tubes have been placed, Dr. Gerstle will remove them in our office within a week.

Common instructions include:

  • Follow all of the doctor’s instructions regarding pain relievers; blood thinning drugs you should be avoiding for some time following the surgery.
  • Plan to wait 2-3 days before taking a shower. Keep your bandages as dry as possible and gently clean the sutures daily to prevent infection.
  • Keep incisions covered when going out into the sun. Scars will heal more fully if kept away from the sun for up to a year.
  • Any swelling, numbness, pain, or bruising that result from the procedure will reduce over time. Use cold compresses to relieve symptoms. Some symptoms may persist for several months. Call our office with any concerns.
  • Use plenty of pillows to keep your arms elevated while you sleep the week following the surgery
  • Do the gentle exercises we recommend to prevent stiffness and blood clotting

Brachioplasty Benefits

Feeling good about your body can lead to enhanced confidence and self-esteem. Do not underestimate the change that a physical correction can make to your psychological well-being.


  • Creates a sculpted, lean appearance in the upper arm
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Eliminates rashes, chafing, itching, and other conditions that can result from redundant skin
  • Contours arms following dramatic weight loss or weight loss surgery
  • Improves motivation to work out since your efforts will build on the results of your surgery
  • Gives you more clothing options
  • Makes it easier to move and enjoy sports and other activities

The New You—Working With Dr. Gerstle

Please call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gerstle so that you can review your concerns and goals with him. After taking a detailed medical history and completing a thorough physical exam, he will present your options for improving the appearance of your arms along with any other problem areas you identify.

Once Dr. Gerstle understands your vision for your future self, he will use our in-office “Mirror Imaging” technology, which will digitally alter a photo of you so that you can see what your final results will look like. After reviewing this in detail, he will explain the procedure specific to your goals and get you scheduled for your brachioplasty along with any other procedures that can be completed at the same time.

Arm Lift FAQ

Will I have scars?

Brachioplasty will result in minor scars, but these are well hidden under the armpit or along the underside of the arm. Once they heal, they should fade from pink to skin tone and only be visible if you are specifically looking for them.

Is recovery from brachioplasty painful?

You should expect to have some pain, swelling, and bruising in the days and weeks after the surgery, but this will lessen significantly . It will probably take up to a month for your wounds to fully heal and for your arms to feel completely back to normal. Keeping your arms elevated will help with swelling. Wear comfortable clothing and avoid lifting your arms above your head until cleared by Dr. Gerstle.

When can I resume my usual activities following brachioplasty?

You should plan to restrict your arm movements for at least several weeks following the surgery. Lifting children, pets, groceries, and other items is discouraged during this time so you do not interrupt the healing process. You will be able to resume driving after about ten days. If you have small children or a job that requires lifting, you will have to wait at least several weeks before you may begin to put any stress on your arms, or your incisions may reopen.

A compression garment will aid in your healing and help to sculpt the outcome, and this should be worn for at least several weeks after your procedure.. At this point, you can gradually begin reintroducing normal movements and slowly work up to light exercises or sports such as golf and tennis as instructed by our staff.

Can an arm lift resolve the excess skin that is left after weight-loss surgery?

Yes. An arm lift is a common way of removing excess skin that results after weight loss surgery or a dramatic natural weight loss.

Am I a good candidate for an arm lift?

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if you have stubborn fat or excess skin in the region between the underarms and elbow. Arm lift surgery is common following major weight loss or weight-loss surgery. Male and female patients who are generally in good health and are non-smokers are ideal candidates for brachioplasty. Schedule an appointment in our office to discuss your concerns with Dr. Gerstle and our staff.

How can I best prepare for brachioplasty?

Dr. Gerstle will perform a full medical examination and order any tests needed to ensure your safety during the procedure. It is important to follow all of his pre-op instructions, including stopping certain medications and smoking both before and after the surgery to avoid excess bleeding and speed healing. Do grocery shopping and necessary meal prep beforehand if necessary so that you can take several days to rest. Ensure that you have all necessary help to avoid lifting heavy objects for three to four weeks.

How long will I need to wear my compression garments following an arm lift?

Dr. Gerstle will give you specific instructions, but you will generally wear these garments for up to six weeks to aid in healing, reduce swelling, and help shape the final contours of your arms.

Should I sleep in a special position after arm lift surgery?

To avoid putting pressure on your scars or interrupting your healing, it is best to sleep on your back for several weeks following brachioplasty. Propping your arms and back up with pillows may make this more comfortable for side or stomach sleepers who find it difficult to form a new sleep habit.

Arm Lift Surgery Financing

Cherry is a payment plan designed for your health, beauty, and wellness needs and procedures and allows you to make convenient monthly payments.

Arm Lift

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed for your health and wellness needs that can be used by your entire family. Use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance. Special financing options are available that you may not be able to get with other cards.

Pay for health and wellness care at over 200,000 enrolled providers across the nation. Once you’ve applied, you can use it again and again at any location that accepts CareCredit. For more information and to apply, please visit


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