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What is a Brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty, commonly referred to as an arm lift, is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate excess skin and fat from the upper arms. This operation offers patients the opportunity to enhance the contour and definition of their upper arms, while simultaneously reducing stubborn pockets of fat in this area. For optimal results, liposuction may be combined with brachioplasty to further refine the arm’s shape. If you are considering an arm lift procedure, Dr. Elkins-Williams can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Full Brachioplasty vs. Limited Incision Medial Brachioplasty

A full brachioplasty is the standard procedure for removing excess skin and fat from the upper arms. This technique involves an incision extending from the underarm to just above the elbow, allowing for maximum skin removal. Although a scar in the same region will be exchanged for saggy skin, the results can be transformative.

For patients who may not require as much skin removal, a Limited Incision Medial Brachioplasty may be a suitable option. This technique involves an incision confined to the underarm area and can effectively tighten excess arm skin. However, it is important to note that the amount of skin removed is limited compared to a full brachioplasty.

Dr. Elkins-Williams will be able to discuss all of your options and will help determine which approach is best suited for your unique needs and goals.

Who can benefit from Brachioplasty?

Sagging upper arm skin can be attributed to a range of factors, including natural aging, weight loss, and hereditary factors. Despite regular exercise and a healthy diet, it is often difficult to restore skin elasticity in the upper arms. Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, is a viable solution for individuals seeking to improve the appearance of their arms.

The ideal candidates for brachioplasty are individuals who are in good health, do not smoke, and are at or close to their desired body weight. Dr. Elkins-Williams can evaluate your candidacy for this procedure and provide personalized recommendations to help you achieve your desired results.


A consultation with Dr. Elkins-Williams is an important step in the process of determining if plastic surgery is right for you. During the consultation, Dr. Elkins-Williams will take the time to listen to your goals and understand your unique circumstances. This includes discussing your desired outcome and any concerns you may have about the surgery.

Dr. Elkins-Williams is highly trained in a variety of surgical techniques, which enables him to adapt to the specific needs of each patient. He will carefully evaluate your body and discuss all of the available options with you. Together, you will work to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual anatomy and personal goals.

During the consultation, Dr. Elkins-Williams will also provide you with a realistic understanding of the expected outcome of the surgery. He will explain any potential risks or complications associated with the procedure, as well as what to expect during the recovery period.

Ultimately, the goal of the consultation is to help you make an informed decision about whether plastic surgery is right for you. Dr. Elkins-Williams will provide you with all of the information you need to make an educated decision and feel confident in the treatment plan.


During your consultation, you will receive a detailed surgical quote and any required clearance forms. If you choose to proceed with surgery, our dedicated Patient Coordinator, Julia, will guide you through the process of selecting a procedure date. To finalize your preferred surgical date, a non-refundable, non-transferrable booking fee will be required upon scheduling. A pre-operative appointment will be scheduled for at least two weeks prior to your surgery date. At the time of booking surgery, we will also schedule your first follow-up visit. 


During your pre-operative appointment, you’ll have plenty of time to discuss your upcoming procedure in detail and have all your questions answered. Your pre- and post-operative care instructions will be reviewed with one of our nurses, as well as any medications you’ll need to take before and after surgery. You’ll review and sign the consent form for the surgery, meet with Dr. Elkins-Williams to revisit your goals, and your surgical quote balance will be due at the end of this appointment. Our goal is to ensure that you feel fully informed and comfortable with the upcoming procedure, allowing you to approach your surgery with confidence and peace of mind.


To minimize the risk of bleeding and bruising, it’s important to avoid blood thinning medications and supplements for two weeks prior to your procedure. This includes aspirin or aspirin-containing products, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen (including Motrin, Aleve, and Advil). Additionally, supplements such as Vitamin E, multivitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil and flaxseed oil) should be avoided. For a complete list of medications and supplements to avoid, please consult with your pre-op nurse.


Brachioplasty typically takes about two to three hours under IV sedation. Afterwards patients may experience some pain and swelling. Pain medication will be prescribed to manage any discomfort for the first few days. Following the procedure, you will be placed in a compressive garment to help minimize swelling and support the healing process. Wound care is typically minimal, as all sutures are placed under the skin and absorbable.

It is recommended that patients refrain from aerobic exercise for at least two weeks after the surgery, and Dr. Elkins-Williams will advise you on when you can resume more strenuous activities.

Over the course of around 3 months, swelling will gradually improve, and the final results will become more apparent. Patients can look forward to better-fitting, more comfortable clothing, as well as enhanced confidence in their bodies.


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