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Arm Lift

Brachioplasty in Oklahoma City, OK

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While many patients attribute their unattractive, sagging upper arms to fat, that’s usually not the case since it’s typically due to loose skin. While this loose skin is caused by weight loss, aging, genetics, or other factors it can be transformed with arm lift surgery, which trims away excessive skin and tissue. To achieve additional contouring, cosmetic surgeons Dr. Erik Nuveen and Dr. Courtney Caplin of Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates in Oklahoma City may also perform liposuction. After the surgery, the arms will appear to be tauter, more toned and proportioned. An arm lift is a great solution for those who can’t get rid of sagging skin through a healthy diet and exercise.

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Surgical Technique

The goal of an arm lift is to result in a toned upper arm appearance. The length of the incision varies depending on how much skin and fat are to be removed. Patients who have a fairly good skin tone may only require a minor incision. However, patients who have excessively loose, hanging skin will require an incision that may run from the armpit to the elbow. At this time, the excess skin is trimmed and the underlying muscles are tightened. In some patients, the armpit will also need to be addressed and surgically tightened.

During/After Surgery

Patients undergoing brachioplasty are put under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure that takes an average of 2 hours to complete. If the procedure is a part of an after weight loss surgery, which usually involves more than one body part, an overnight stay may be required. After surgery, the arm is protected with a compression garment and drain tubes may be present to avoid the risk of infection. Swelling and bruising are normal. Patients should keep the arm elevated to promote blood circulation and help with swelling. With proper care, the arm will return to normal function after several weeks.

Expected Cost

This procedure, performed alone, will have a starting cost around $9,735. It is also common to combine brachioplasty with another cosmetic surgery procedure. In this case, the costs will increase.


**Fee's that are posted are subject to change. No doctor/patient relationship is established until exam. Consent in perpetuity until canceled in writing.

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Arm Lift FAQs

How does an arm lift work?

Before your procedure, Dr. Nuveen and/or Dr. Caplin will first mark the areas of extra skin and fat. Incisions will be made on the under-surface of the arm and excess skin and fat will be removed. In some very rare cases, a drain will be inserted, to carry excess fluids from the surgical area, before the incisions are closed and bandaged. The result of the procedure gives a more youthful and sculpted-looking arm.

Arm Lift or Lipo?

This depends on the amount of loose skin that is present. Patients who lose a significant amount of weight generally need the skin removed in order to attain a positive result. In fact, many times, arm lift patients do not even need liposuction because there’s no excess fat to be removed. On the other hand, patients who have relatively good skin elasticity may only need liposuction or minor tightening.

What About Scars?

Yes, there will be a scar but it will be in the natural contours of the arm. In any event the removal of the excess skin will greatly improve the appearance and this will be evident immediately after the surgery.

Other Procedures?

It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. This is sometimes referred to as an upper body lift and may include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast surgery (breast lift). During the consultation, each surgery will be discussed and recommendations will be made as to whether these procedures can be done at the same time. 

How Contoured?

An arm lift is performed to remove hanging skin and fat. The only way to build actual muscle is through strength training. Following surgery, once the arms are fully healed, patients can begin weight training if they wish to do so. This is a great way to add shape to the arms by toning and strengthening them. Patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid a recurring weight gain, which could compromise the surgical results.

Is it painful?

Post-operative pain varies considerably from patient-to-patient, and the average person will typically require oral pain medication to treat discomfort over a 2-4 day period.

Benefits of an Arm Lift?

Sagging upper arms can be an embarrassment and they can also dictate what a person wears. An arm lift will restore arms to a slimmer, well-contoured shape, allowing you to feel more confident about your appearance: especially in the summer when “sleeveless” is fashionable. With the latest advancements in surgical technology, an arm lift is safer and more rewarding than ever because scarring is now kept to a minimum.

common Side effects after?

After an arm lift procedure, some patients experience a feeling of tightness in the upper arm as the area swells resulting from the surgery. Another common side effect that patients report is tingling of the hands and this, as well as other symptoms, resolve relatively quickly with time.

How long is the procedure?

A brachioplasty generally lasts from 1-3 hours, and all patients go home the day of their operation to recover at home.

How long is the recovery?

The recovery period after an arm lift depends on whether the procedure is performed exclusively, or combined with other procedures. Generally, certain activities such as exercising are restricted for up to two weeks, and you will be asked to wear a compression garment to aid in the healing process. Every patient heals differently, but by carefully following the instructions Dr. Nuveen and Dr. Caplin provide, you will minimize potential problems and speed your recovery.

How Long do the Results Last?

The results after an arm lift last for many years. However, the influences of aging and gravity will continue as time passes. The exact length of time varies with each individual.

Can Procedures be combined?

Yes, this is done frequently. Individual evaluation of your overall health as well as your ability to tolerate simultaneous procedures would need to be evaluated on an individual basis.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.