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Dr. Kenneth Hughes, Harvard-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon, has performed hundreds of arm lifts in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Dr. Kenneth Hughes has performed these procedures or brachioplasties procedures for patients after massive weight loss, after pregnancy, and after liposuction procedures that have left irregularities or loose skin.  The patient may require a tummy tuck or a full body lift, a thigh lift, a breast lift, or a combination of these plastic surgery procedures, and Dr. Kenneth Hughes in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills is an expert at all of these body contouring procedures.


What Is An Arm Lift?

The arm lift procedure, also called brachioplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that removes loose skin and fat from the arms. At least two variants of the procedure exist, and they differ in their scar patterns and amount of skin and fat that can be removed. A mini-armlift is a smaller procedure that involves an incision only in the armpit. The extended arm lift or L-shaped brachioplasty involves an incision that extends from the armpit to the elbow or slightly beyond.  This procedure can be combined with other skin removal procedures including the mommy makeover.

The Mini-Arm Lift or Axillary Arm Lift

This procedure is also known as an armpit arm lift or mini arm lift, incision can be used to remove a small ellipse of tissue. This procedure is best utilized for patients who have loose skin confined to the arm pit area or uppermost aspect of the arm. This miniarm lift can be combined with upper arm liposuction in the right patient to produce a dramatic improvement in upper arm contour. The scar remains hidden within the armpit.

The short scar brachioplasty is placed within the armpit but is appropriate for very few patients and produces much less improvement than the L-shaped scar that extends down the inner aspect of the arm. The goal of the surgery is to conceal the scar within the inner aspect of the arm in both cases.


Arm Lift Before & After

The Extended Arm Lift

The extended arm lift or full arm lift involves an incision that runs along the inner aspect of the arm and extends into the armpit. This type of the procedure is utilized for patients who have a great deal of skin laxity that extends the entire length of the arm. This surgery is often referred to as an L-shaped brachioplasty or an extended brachioplasty. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or have a great deal of loose skin may benefit from this more extensive arm skin reduction and lift. This extended arm lift allows more fat and skin to be removed, and it can produce a much better contour.  In many cases, the surgery can be combined with other excisional surgeries including mommy makeover surgeries.

What is the Cost of An Arm Lift?

  • The cost of a mini-arm lift is $6000 to $8000.
  • The cost for an extended arm lift is $12,000 to $15,000 (depending upon extent of skin excision)

How Long is the Scar for An Arm Lift?

Dr. Kenneth Hughes only makes the scar as long as is necessary and no longer. For some patients, a smaller scar may be enough to improve the arms in a maximal way.

Your Surgery Day for Arm Lift

The axillary arm lift takes about 1 to 2 hours to perform. The extended arm lift surgery procedure takes about 3 hours to perform. The procedure is done in our accredited outpatient surgery center, and the patient goes home the same day. The patient can expect some bruising and swelling that improves over the first week. However, the final result is seen after 6 months or longer as the body is able to reduce the swelling in the arms and form a mature scar.

Alternatives to Arm Lift Surgery

While the procedure is certainly effective in its removal of tissue and correcting issues of skin laxity and reducing arm size and circumference, the scar produced is often objectionable to many patients. Dr. Kenneth Hughes has extensive experience and amazing successes with the Bodytite technology to avoid the longer scars associated with arm lifts and thigh lifts as well as other excisional procedures such as tummy tuck, butt lifts, etc. Bodytite tightens the tissues of the arms or thighs or other areas by about 40%. These types of results will not be achievable by another technology or my another surgeon. Please look at the amazing Bodytite results in this link. Although Bodytite will never reproduce the excisional surgical results, optimal treatment by Dr. Hughes can come pretty close.

Patients who have undergone a great deal of weight loss may be interested in other skin removal surgeries including tummy tuck and thigh lift.

Body lift, breast lift, and Brazilian buttlift or BBL are other possible surgeries that can be combined with this surgeries.

The Arm Lift Recovery Process

The patient should avoid exercise, strenuous activity, and lifting more than 5 lbs for at least 6 weeks. Patients should consume at least 100 grams of protein during the recovery period to ensure adequate wound healing. Patients should not strain the area around the incision. The most common complication is incision separation, so arms should be kept by the side to avoid tension on the incisions.  In addition, patients tend to develop sweat or moisture in the armpit or axillary areas, which is not conducive to healing the incisions placed in those areas.  To combat the moisture, patients should keep the arms slightly out to the sides in a recumbent position and allow the armpit areas to be open to air as much as possible.

Dr. Kenneth Hughes, MD does not typically place drains in the procedure due to the lack of fluid collections that develop following this procedure.

Arm Lift Results in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills

The results are apparent immediately following surgery, but swelling will remain for about 6 months. In addition, the scars are initially red or hyperpigmented, but the scars do tend to improve over about a 12 month to 18 month period. The scars can widen after surgery and it is important to minimize both overhead activity or repetitive activity at the elbow during the early healing period of at least 6 weeks. There should be no strenuous activity or heavy lifting.

Arm Lift Videos with Dr. Kenneth Hughes


Contact the office of Dr. Kenneth Hughes to schedule your consultation for this procedure in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills. We will be happy to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

Arm Lift Pre-operative and Post-operative Instructions

Dr. Kenneth Hughes offers Arm Lift Pre-Op Instructions in Los Angeles
Dr. Kenneth Hughes offers Arm Lift Post-Op Instructions in Los Angeles


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Before & After Gallery