Axillary Lift

The armpit is predisposed to fat deposits in obese patients. In particular, prior drastic weight loss or excess accessory breast liposuction is prone to cause armpit skin laxity and redundancy, which affect esthetics in mild cases and cause eczema or undesirable odor due to long-term skin friction in severe cases. Patients may consider undergoing axillary lift to redress such symptoms.

This surgery removes the excess axillary skin and fats and is incorporated with arm liposuction or accessory breast surgery. The surgical method and incision are flexibly adjusted in light of the severity of skin laxity, most frequently by Z-plasty reduction and stitching at armpit creases with the incision parallel to the transverse axillary line. This method not only effectively removes the excess skin and fats but also sustains skin elasticity and extensibility to avoid scar retraction or hypertrophy due to postoperative axillary tightening, which causes limited activities of the arms.

Surgical conditions


  • Type of anesthesia: IV sedation + local anesthesia
  • Type of incision: A 5–8-cm Z-shaped incision at the armpit
  • Recovery: 3–5 days
  • Removal of stitches: 7–10 days

General instructions

No food and water on the day of surgery

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects or excess exertion of the arms for 1 week postoperatively.
  • Do not perform arm lifting or other rehabilitation activities for 1 month postoperatively.
  • Take care of the scar consistently for 3 months postoperatively.

Ideal candidates

  • Patients with axillary obesity and excess skin
  • Those who have skin laxity due to prior arm liposuction or accessory breast surgery
  • Patients with axillary looseness or droopiness due to drastic weight loss

Possible complications

  • Scar proliferation
  • Skin retraction
  • Limited armpit activities
  • Regional skin numbness (temporary)

Surgical advantages

  1. It concurrently corrects armpit fat deposits and skin looseness.

  2. Armpit skin lift delivers obvious tightening and improves skin looseness arising from prior liposuction or axillary surgery.

  3. It effectively reduces axillary creases and improves heavy sweating, undesirable odor, or eczema.

Surgical drawbacks

  1. Scar proliferation or skin retraction may occur.

  2. Excess skin resection may lead to limited activities of the armpits.

  3. The arms may show temporary edema.

  4. The periphery of the armpit may show temporary numbness.

Possible procedure in conjunction