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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)


An arm lift or brachioplasty can be a helpful procedure in contouring the upper arm’s size and shape. Oftentimes over the course of life, your upper arm skin and shape can change with aging or life changes. Some patients have general loosening of the area with a “flabby” appearance. Some patients have unproportional weight gain in the region and can develop a bulky or a heavy appearing upper arm. Some patients undergo weight loss which can lead to loose hanging skin. All of these changes can be examined and managed by double board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Warner Papillion. Which procedure suits you best must be determined by a highly qualified surgeon. Choosing the wrong surgeon and procedure could lead to a poor outcome, which can leave lifelong effects.

Below the quick facts, Dr. Papillion answers important questions about the arm lift procedure. Keep reading to learn more.

Quick Facts:

Arm lift

Cost: 6200-8000
Downtime: 4-7 days
Pain Scale: 4
Also known as: Brachioplasty, Arm tuck, short scar arm lift, short scar brachioplasty

I am so happy that I found your practice and Dr. Papillon, I only wish I’d found him sooner! I was greeted warmly and helped right away when I arrived. I was very comfortable during the exam and all of my questions were answered thoroughly. I left feeling confident that I would use Dr. Papillion for this procedure mainly because I feel like his knowledge and attention to detail would extend beyond the exam room into the operating room. Dr. Papillion has an excellent bedside manner, which honestly is hard to find these days. I would feel 100% comfortable having my procedure done by Dr. Papillion.

by Verified Patient

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Do you perform liposuction with this procedure?

brachioplastySometimes. Depending on the arm, liposuction is commonly used to reduce fat content if the exam indicates that this will be needed. If someone has had a large amount of weight loss, and primarily one has loose hanging skin, liposuction would not be done in this case. If someone has loose skin and a fair amount of adiposity or “fat” in the region, liposuction would be performed.

How long is my scar?

The type and location of the scar depends on the location and how much loose skin you have. Some patients have a very small amount of loose skin, and the incision can be hidden in the armpit alone. Most patients require an incision that runs along the inner portion of the arm towards the elbow. Where the incision stops, again depends on how much loose skin the patient has and whether the loose skin extends below the elbow.

Do you use drains?

Occasionally. Most cases are done without drains. However, if I have a larger arm where I am performing a larger amount of liposuction combined with the arm lift, I will leave a drain to help with the removal of fluid that could accumulate and prolong healing. However, 90% of the time, I do not use a drain.

What does recovery look like?

After the procedure, you wake up in the recovery room with arm sleeves covering your incisions. You will keep the arm sleeve compression on for a total of 2 weeks. The first few days you can perform very light activities of daily living such as eating, brushing your hair, washing your face, etc. You should try to minimize any other excessive movements during the first 3-5 days. You can take your arm sleeves and dressings off and shower on post op day 2. You will replace the sleeves and any dressings like you found them. I will see you on day 5 or so to check the area for healing. After the first week, you can return to desk type activity and short driving trips. At week 3, you can start to walk faster getting your heart rate up. Activities beyond week 3 will be determined by how well you are healing.

View Brachioplasty Post-Operative Instructions

Arm liftArm lift Nashville Tennessee

These were some of the most commonly asked questions about arm lifts. Every patient is different, as you will be best served by having a consult with Double Board Certified plastic surgeon, Dr Paul Warner Papillion. We look forward to taking care of you!

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These were some of the most common questions asked about the arm lift. Schedule your consultation regarding the arm lift in Nashville, Tennessee, with double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Warner Papillion now. We can’t wait to see you!