Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Also called arm tuck surgery, this surgery decreases the annular area of the upper arm, particularly in patients with severe obesity. Considering the obvious laxity or droopiness due to long-term fat deposits at the arm, liposuction aggravates skin looseness, so arm fats and partial loose skin should be concurrently resected to achieve the dual results of arm slimming and skin tightening. The surgery is conducted by making a 15–20-cm incision from the armpit to the medial side of the elbow joint to concurrently remove the posterior one-half region of the loose skin and fats before stitching the wound. Despite the results being significant, this surgery is less frequently performed for the correction of arm fats as oriental females are usually not as obese as Westerners. Moreover, Dr. Chuang reminds that the surgical incision is generally long and obvious, so patients should take into account the individual constitution and acceptability of scars and care about the wound to avoid scar proliferation or contraction.

Surgical conditions


  • Type of anesthesia: General anesthesia
  • Type of incision: A 15–20-cm incision at the back of the arm from the armpit to the elbow
  • Recovery: 3–5 days
  • Removal of stitches: 7–10 days

General instructions

No food and water on the day of surgery

  • Avoid overtly raising the arms or work and activities that lead to exertion for 1 month postoperatively.
  • Wear arm tights for 3 months postoperatively.
  • Take care of the scar consistently for 6 months postoperatively.

Ideal candidates

  • Patients with excess fat deposits and skin laxity at the arm due to severe obesity
  • Those who have undergone arm liposuction, which induces skin laxity
  • Those who aspire extreme arm reduction results

Possible complications

  • Scar proliferation
  • Scar contracture
  • Hyposensitivity of skin

Surgical advantages

  1. One surgery simultaneously resolves arm fat deposits and skin looseness.

  2. It effectively reduces the skin surface area to achieve the dual results of arm slimming and skin tightening.

  3. It avoids or prevents skin looseness that can be caused by single-arm liposuction.

  4. The recurrence of obesity is less likely to occur in the future.

Surgical drawbacks

  1. The surgical incision is relatively long and hard to be concealed in the future.

  2. It may incur scar proliferation or skin retraction.

  3. It may affect the sensitivity of the skin at the medial side of the arm.

Possible procedures in conjunction

Comparison between arm lift and liposuction

Arm lift Arm liposuction
Ideal candidates Patients with a severe fat arm and concurrent skin laxity Patients with a fat arm but elastic skin
Surgical method Combined skin and fat resection Subcutaneous mechanical liposuction
Anesthesia method General anesthesia IV sedation or general anesthesia
Surgical incision A 20-cm incision at the medial arm A 0.5-cm incision at the armpit
Surgical result Obviously reduces and slims the arm and tightens the skin Makes the arm slender
Skin tightening Obvious No
Skin laxity No Probable
Scarring Probable No
Recurrent incidence Extremely low Probable