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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Surgery in Newport Beach, CA

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Richland MD » Orange County » Newport Beach Plastic Surgery » Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Overview of Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Surgery in Newport Beach

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, targets the upper arm to remove excess skin and improve the arm’s appearance. It is especially beneficial for those with flabby upper arms due to weight fluctuations or aging.

What Is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a cosmetic procedure aimed at reducing sagging skin, often referred to as ‘bat wings’, between the underarm and the elbow. The surgery reshapes the arm by tightening and smoothing the underlying tissue while removing excess skin and sometimes fat.

Why Have Arm Lift Surgery in Newport Beach?

Newport Beach, CA, is known for some of the top plastic surgeons offering advanced cosmetic procedures, including brachioplasty. Opting for arm lift surgery in this area ensures access to experienced professionals and high-quality medical facilities.

For those looking to combine their procedure with a relaxing recovery, Newport Beach offers beautiful coastal scenery. This can be beneficial for post-surgery recovery and overall mental well-being. Furthermore, local specialists provide personalized care and follow-up, which are crucial for optimal results.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?

Ideal candidates for an arm lift are individuals with significant sagging skin on the upper arms that exercise cannot address. Stable weight is essential to maintain long-term results. Candidates should be in good overall health with no medical conditions that could impair healing.

Additionally, those who do not smoke or are willing to quit are preferred, as smoking can complicate recovery. It’s also important for candidates to have realistic expectations about the surgery’s outcome and be prepared for the scar that can result from the procedure.

Choosing an Arm Lift Surgeon in Newport Beach

Selecting the right surgeon for an arm lift, or brachioplasty, ensures the best possible results and safety. Consider experience, certifications, and patient reviews when making your decision.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Arm Lift Surgery in Newport Beach?

Choosing a plastic surgeon with significant experience in performing arm lifts is crucial. Look for someone who has conducted numerous brachioplasty procedures. An experienced surgeon is more likely to handle complications and provide desirable outcomes.

Ensure the surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. These certifications indicate that the surgeon has met rigorous standards and is committed to excellence.

Consultation Process

When considering an arm lift surgery, it’s essential to schedule a consultation and prepare it by understanding what to discuss with your plastic surgeon and knowing what to expect during the meeting.

What Questions Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon About Arm Lift Surgery?

Knowing the right questions to ask during your consultation ensures you get all the necessary information. Here are some key questions:

  • Is the plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • What are the potential risks and complications?
  • How long is the recovery period?
  • What results can realistically be expected?
  • Can you show me before-and-after photos of previous patients?

Understanding these points helps in making an informed decision and sets realistic expectations.

What Should I Expect During a Consultation for Arm Lift Surgery?

During the consultation, the surgeon will examine your arms and discuss your medical conditions and aesthetic goals. They will assess your skin elasticity and overall health.

Expect the surgeon to:

  • Take detailed measurements of your arms.
  • Explain the arm lift techniques in depth.
  • Discuss pre-surgery preparations and post-surgery care.
  • Provide a checklist of pre-and post-operative instructions.

This ensures you are thoroughly prepared and aware of the entire process, from initial consultation to recovery.

Understanding the Arm Lift Procedure

Arm lift or brachioplasty surgery is a transformative process designed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arms.

What Medical Terms Should I Know About Arm Lift Surgery?

Brachioplasty: This is another term for an arm lift. It refers to the surgical procedure aimed at reshaping the upper arm area.

General Anesthesia: A form of anesthesia where the patient is put into a deep sleep so they do not feel pain during the surgery.

Incisions: Surgical cuts made to remove excess skin and adjust the shape of the arm. The size and placement of incisions can vary.

Liposuction: Sometimes used in conjunction with brachioplasty to remove excess fat from the arms.

Mini Arm Lift: A less invasive form of an arm lift with smaller incisions, ideal for patients with minor skin sagging.

What Types of Arm Lift Surgeries are There?

There are several types of arm lift procedures to suit different needs:

  • Traditional Arm Lift: Involves larger incisions from the armpit to the elbow, suitable for removing a significant amount of skin.
  • Extended Arm Lift: Includes incisions extending from the upper arm down along the side of the chest, ideal for extensive weight loss patients.
  • Mini Arm Lift: Requires smaller, more hidden incisions, suitable for minor skin sagging.

Patients should discuss with their surgeon which type best suits their needs and goals, considering factors like the amount of excess skin and personal preferences for scar placement.

What are the Surgical Steps of an Arm Lift Procedure?

The surgery typically follows these steps:

  1. Anesthesia: Administering general anesthesia to ensure the patient is comfortable.
  2. Incision Placement: Depending on the amount of excess skin, incisions are made on the underside or back of the arm. A smaller incision is used for a mini arm lift.
  3. Reshaping: Excess skin is removed, and underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Liposuction may be employed to remove any excess fat.
  4. Closing the Incisions: The skin is smoothed over the new contour of the arm and the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical adhesives.
  5. Recovery: Patients must follow post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing and minimize complications. Recovery times can vary based on the extent of the surgery performed.

Arm lift surgery can have lasting results, but patients must maintain a stable weight to prevent the need for additional procedures.

Cost of Newport Beach Arm Lift Surgery in California

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, can have various costs depending on a range of factors. These include but are not limited to, the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, and operating room costs.

How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?

The average cost of an arm lift surgery in 2024 varies significantly. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average fee is around $5,490. This figure often excludes anesthesia and other related expenses. For detailed expenses, patients are advised to consult directly with their surgeon’s office.

Insurance Coverage

Many people considering an arm lift are curious about whether their health insurance will cover the surgery. While an arm lift can enhance appearance and boost confidence, insurance coverage for this procedure is generally limited.

Is an Arm Lift Covered by Insurance?

Health insurance policies typically do not cover cosmetic surgeries, including arm lifts, because these procedures are viewed as elective and not medically necessary.

Medicare, for instance, generally does not cover arm lifts since it defines cosmetic surgery as any procedure aimed at improving appearance. Additionally, most private insurance plans follow a similar stance.

Be sure to consult with your insurance provider. Obtaining pre-authorization is crucial, and a letter from your doctor detailing the medical necessity can be beneficial.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

For those who want to avoid surgery, several non-surgical alternatives can help reduce sagging skin and improve arm contour. These options focus on body contouring and enhancing skin elasticity.

What Non-Surgical Alternatives are There to an Arm Lift?

BodyTite: A popular non-surgical treatment called BodyTite uses radiofrequency energy to heat tissues. This melts fat while causing the skin to contract. This method can result in significant improvements in skin tightness.

Exercise and Diet: Regular exercise and a balanced diet help maintain healthy skin elasticity and reduce excess fat. Strength training, in particular, can tone the muscles in the upper arms.

Laser Treatments: Laser therapies can stimulate collagen production, improving skin elasticity. These treatments target sagging skin, providing a firmer appearance.

CoolSculpting: This procedure freezes fat cells, which are then naturally eliminated by the body. CoolSculpting is effective for small areas of fat, offering a non-invasive way to shape the arms.

Pros and Cons

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, offers multiple benefits, but like any surgical procedure, it also comes with potential risks and downsides.

What are the Pros and Cons of Arm Lift Surgery?


Improved Appearance: One of the most noticeable benefits of an arm lift is the enhanced appearance. The procedure effectively removes excess skin, giving the arms a more toned and defined look.

Increased Confidence: With improved arm aesthetics, many patients report higher self-esteem and confidence, especially when wearing sleeveless clothing.

Enhanced Comfort: Excess skin can cause discomfort and irritation. Removing this skin can significantly improve comfort and mobility in daily activities.


Scarring: Arm lift surgery can leave noticeable scars along the inner arm or from the armpit extending down to the elbow. These scars may take a full year to fade and may require treatments to minimize their appearance.

Risk of Complications: As with any surgery, there are risks such as infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Recovery Time: Recovery from brachioplasty can take several weeks, with limitations on physical activities, which could be inconvenient for some patients.

Side Effects, Risks, and Complications

Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, comes with a range of potential side effects, risks, and complications. Patients should be informed about what to expect to make an informed decision.

Are There Side Effects, Risks, or Complications of Arm Lift Surgery?

Arm lift surgery involves risks like those associated with most surgical procedures. Common complications include swelling, bruising, and scarring.

There is a risk of bleeding, which may necessitate further medical attention. Infection is another concern, as with any surgery, and it may require antibiotics or additional procedures if it occurs.

Anesthesia risks are also present. These can range from mild allergic reactions to more severe complications. Some patients experience numbness or changes in skin sensation, which can be temporary or permanent.

There’s also the possibility of hypertrophic scarring, where scars become raised or discolored. In rare cases, damage to deeper structures like nerves or blood vessels can occur, leading to prolonged recovery or additional surgery.

Patients are advised to discuss these risks with their surgeon to understand both the common and rare complications associated with brachioplasty.

Preparation for Surgery

Preparing for an arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, involves several steps to ensure the procedure goes smoothly and recovery is as quick as possible. Patients often need to make lifestyle adjustments and follow their surgeon’s specific guidelines.

How Should I Prepare for an Arm Lift?

Candidates are typically required to undergo preoperative preparation to assess their fitness for surgery. This includes lab tests or a medical evaluation to rule out any conditions that might interfere with recovery.

Smokers are often advised to quit several weeks before and after surgery to promote better healing.

Dietary guidelines might also be provided. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps the body heal faster. Avoiding aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding risk, is essential.

When it comes to incision planning, the location and length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess skin and the surgeon’s technique.

Taking these steps will help prepare individuals for their upcoming arm lift procedure, aiming for a smoother surgical experience and efficient recovery.

Arm Lift Recovery Process

After undergoing arm lift surgery, patients can expect a few key stages in their recovery. Proper care and patience are crucial to ensure optimal results and minimize complications such as swelling and wound issues.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From an Arm Lift?

Recovery from arm lift surgery generally involves several phases. Initial recovery lasts a few days, during which light activities are permissible. Patients often wear compression garments to reduce swelling and support the arms.

Wound healing is a slow process, and scars from the surgery may take up to a year to mature, often requiring treatment with silicone sheets or serums to aid in the healing process. Avoiding strenuous exercise until fully healed is essential to prevent complications.

Duration of Arm Lift Results

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, can lead to a more toned and smooth appearance of the upper arms. The longevity of these results can be impacted by several factors such as aging and weight fluctuations.

How Long Does an Arm Lift Last?

The results of an arm lift can be long-lasting. Patients often find that the improvement in their arm’s appearance can be maintained for many years.

Aging can affect the duration of brachioplasty results. As people grow older, skin naturally loses its elasticity, which can lead to some degree of sagging over time.

Weight fluctuations also play a role. Maintaining stable weight is key to preserving the results of the surgery. Significant weight gain or loss can stretch the skin again, impacting the initial results.

It is essential to follow your surgeon’s recommendations for post-operative care to maximize the longevity of your brachioplasty results. Using moisturizers and protecting the arms from sun exposure can help in maintaining skin quality.

Expected Results

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, can lead to notably smoother and more sculpted arms by removing excess skin and tightening the remaining tissue. While initial results can be masked by swelling and bruising, long-term benefits become clearer over time.

What Results Can I Expect After an Arm Lift Surgery?

6-12 months post-surgery, most individuals enjoy a more youthful and toned appearance.

It’s essential to remember that while results are typically long-lasting, maintaining a stable weight and practicing healthy habits contribute significantly to the longevity of the surgical results.

Before & After Photos

Arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, results can be vividly illustrated through before and after patient photos. These images provide insight into the surgery results, showcasing the brachioplasty transformation from sagging or loose skin to a more toned and tightened arm appearance.

Arm Lift Before & After Photos

Photographic documentation of arm lift procedures is essential for prospective patients. These photos typically highlight the improvements made through surgery, with a focus on the reduction of excess skin and fat.

Patients often share their images showcasing the area from the underarm to the elbow, detailing the surgical outcomes after significant weight loss or aging. By examining these photos, individuals considering brachioplasty can better understand the potential benefits and realistic results of the procedure. This visual evidence is a crucial tool for setting expectations and aiding in the decision-making process.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is one of the best, most respected, top Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach, California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland’s Newport Beach Plastic Surgery office today by calling 949-867-6005, or visit RichlandMD.com to schedule your personalized plastic surgery consultation in Newport Beach.