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Livingston Plastic Surgery can give you beautifully contoured upper arms, so you no longer have to shy away from wearing styles that reveal too much skin.

If the underside of your upper arms have sagging or a loose appearance, an arm lift can help. An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, reduces excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow. This procedure, in combination with liposuction, reshapes the arm and improves skin tone and contour.

To learn more about brachioplasty surgery or to discuss your different options, request a consultation today.

Dr. Livingston

Christopher Livingston, MD

“The most important part of plastic surgery is achieving a youthful, refreshed look, with minimal downtime.”

Board-Certified Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon

Chris Livingston, MD

I believe that every design is personal. The connection we have with clients determines how the projects will look at the end of the design process. We must understand the clients and bond with them, be a part of their dream. Their dream is our dream.


An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, reduces excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow. This procedure, in combination with liposuction, reshapes the arm improving skin tone and contour. After substantial weight loss, weight gain or simply from the effects of aging, the skin of the upper arms can become inelastic, loose and flabby. Brachioplasty removes that excess skin and fat.

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An arm lift is an outpatient surgical procedure that usually takes about one to three hours. Patients are given anesthesia and small incisions are made on the inside or back of your arm where liposuction is performed followed by removal of excess skin which tightens and contours the arm. Compression garments are applied reducing swelling. Sutures are removed approximately two weeks after the procedure and compression garments are necessary for six weeks during the healing process.

Arm lifts improve upper extremity contour and tone and can help patients wear sleeveless clothing without feeling self-conscious. Livingston Plastic Surgery can give you beautifully contoured upper arms so you no longer have to shy away from wearing styles that reveal too much skin.

We invite you to come to our office for a brachioplasty consultation, during which time Dr. Livingston will be available to address your concerns, answer your questions and map out a course of action for your arm lift.

Contact us to schedule an appointment at Livingston Plastic Surgery.

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FAQs for Brachioplasty | Livingston Plastic Surgery

While a brachioplasty trims the excess skin and repairs lax tissue around your upper arm, it is not a weight loss procedure. A brachioplasty can provide your arm with a more toned and contoured appearance. But it does not result in significant weight loss from the area.

If you are concerned about stubborn fat in the upper arm that you cannot lose with diet and exercise, you can combine your brachioplasty with liposuction. This procedure can eliminate unwanted bulges of fat that remain hard to lose through traditional approaches. But if you want to lose significant weight, you need to consider traditional methods, such as diet and exercise, first.

The cost of brachioplasty in Houston, TX depends upon various factors such as the current state of your arm and the requirement of liposuction during your arm lift. After a detailed consultation, your surgeon and medical team will provide you with a personalized estimate of costs.

At Livingston Plastic Surgery, Dr. Livingston aims to understand your concerns and devise a detailed plan for your arm lift. This allows us to deliver a detailed cost breakdown that lets you steer clear of any surprise costs before or after your surgery.

An arm lift permanently removes loose skin and repairs weakened muscles in your upper arm. It can also permanently eliminate stubborn fat when combined with liposuction. If you maintain your weight after your arm lift, your results can last for years to come. However, depending upon your age, your skin and muscles can feel the effects of aging and start sagging again with time. That is when you can reach out to your surgeon to explore your options to retain the contoured appearance of your arm. The possible procedures may include another arm lift or other cosmetic procedures.

With the use of general anesthesia, you will not feel any pain or discomfort during your arm lift surgery. However, similar to other surgical procedures, recovery from brachioplasty can involve moderate pain. You can find relief from this surgery-related pain through the help of over-the-counter medications and other medications prescribed by your doctor. As you recover from your surgery, your pain subsides on its own.

A good candidate for brachioplasty typically has the following traits.

  • Loose or wrinkled skin around the upper arm
  • Weakened muscles around the upper arm
  • Overall good health and no underlying conditions that can impair healing
  • Non-smoking lifestyle or the willingness to stop smoking for a few weeks before and after the surgery
  • Realistic expectations from the procedure and its results

Since an arm lift may take 1 to 3 hours and requires you to stay still during the surgery, you will undergo general anesthesia before the procedure, meaning you are not awake for the surgery. This ensures your comfort during the procedure, while also making sure that your surgeon can carry out the necessary surgical techniques without interruption.


After your surgery is complete, you will recover from general anesthesia in the surgical facility. You can then go home the same day. To make sure that you remain safe under the general anesthesia, Dr. Livingston takes your medical history before the surgery to rule out any past allergic reactions or current medical conditions that could keep you from receiving anesthesia.

While recovering from your arm lift, you will have limited mobility for a couple of weeks. Typically, you cannot raise your arms above your shoulders for one to two weeks after your brachioplasty. You also cannot exercise or lift heavy weights for approximately six weeks after getting an arm lift.

However, you can return to light or office-type work typically within one week of your surgery. As long as you follow the care instructions provided to you by your surgeon, you can perform basic functions while recovering from your arm lift.

Dr. Livingston performs brachioplasty surgery under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation at an accredited hospital. During brachioplasty, Dr. Livingston will create an incision that goes along the inside of your upper arm. The incision can span from the start of the armpit to the elbow, depending on the amount of excess skin and fat. Once the incision is made, Dr. Livingston will start to trim away excess skin and tighten the arm’s underlying supportive tissue using internal sutures.

Once the arms have been contoured to reach the patient’s desired results, Dr. Livingston will close the incision with absorbable sutures and cover them with medical tape.

As with any surgical procedure that involves an incision, scarring is a natural result. Dr. Livingston takes great care to place the incision for brachioplasty in an inconspicuous place underneath your arms. With proper incision care during your recovery, you can minimize the appearance of scars. Some practice to implement into your aftercare is to ensure that your incisions are always clean and dry to help avoid infection.

Try to avoid stretching or lifting your arms for 2 to 3 weeks of your recovery as this can lead to tearing your incisions and improper healing. Once completely healed, if out in the sun, protect your incisions with sunscreen or protective clothing. The sun’s strong UV rays can cause scars to become darker and more noticeable. Also, ask your doctor or dermatologist about a scar cream or treatment to help further lighten or diminish the appearance of surgical scars.

While it may be true that any surgical procedure you elect to have will leave some type of scar, most, if not all, patients agree that being rid of excess skin and fat and the amazing boost in confidence a brachioplasty can create is well worth the scars.

Recovery from brachioplasty usually takes about six weeks for the body to fully recover and for patients to resume all their normal activities, including exercise. In general, most patients can walk in the first few days after surgery. By about day 10 or 12, most patients can start driving again. Once you’re feeling comfortable driving and feel your energy return, you should be able to return to work and other normal activities. From this point, the only restriction patients still need to maintain is to avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, to ensure the arms can heal properly.

  • To help reduce swelling and discomfort, it’s best if you rest in an upright position. A recliner or a bed with 2 to 3 pillows behind your back and pillows under your arms is best. Only use your elbows when necessary but try not to put extra strain on your shoulders. Keep a fluffy towel folded under your armpits to provide some additional elevation.
  • Wear the compression garments provided by Dr. Livingston 24 hours a day except when showering, or Dr. Livingston tells you otherwise.
  • Apply cold compresses to your arms every hour for no longer than 20 minutes. Always protect your skin with a towel wrapped around the ice pack.
  • Ask Dr. Livingston about anti-inflammatory medications that are safe for you to take to help relieve discomfort and inflammation.

Your arm lift results can last for a decade or more as long as you prioritize maintaining a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. However, because some skin and fat were removed during your brachioplasty, your arms will always look tauter than they would if you’d never had an arm lift. To help maintain your results, exercise your arms regularly using weights for some resistance.