Arm Lift

Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a surgical procedure available at our Rochester plastic surgery practice to contour and sculpt the underside of the upper arms by removing excess fatty tissue and skin. Loose skin on the arms can be caused by a number of factors including weight fluctuations, genetics, and the aging process. Prospective arm lift patients, who visit from Syracuse, Buffalo, and throughout New York, might feel embarrassed about this excess skin and fat and may feel uncomfortable wearing short-sleeved or sleeveless clothing.

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The increase in weight loss surgeries has contributed to more men and women who experience a loss of tone and excess skin on their upper arms. This excess skin is sometimes referred to as "bat wings," which hang down from the arms and often make wearing certain types of sleeves and shirts difficult.

While exercise tones the arm muscles, the arm lift procedure removes excess skin and/or fat. Patients who have arm lift surgery can expect to see a firmer contour to the underside of the upper arms. Performed by Dr. Emese Kalnoki, the arm lift procedure may also include liposuction techniques in order to maximize your results. For younger patients, fatty tissue can be present in the upper arms without the loss of skin elasticity. In this case, liposuction,/link> can sometimes be used alone to reshape the underside of the upper arms for the desired result.

Benefits of Arm Lift Surgery

For many patients, arm lift surgery can offer valuable benefits. The arm lift procedure can remove excess fat and skin from the underside of the upper arms, leaving patients with a sleeker and more youthful appearance in this area. For patients who have recently lost a significant amount of weight, the arm lift is one way to reclaim the shape of fit arms.

Not only do trim arms help you appear younger and more fit, but they can also alleviate embarrassment. Many men and women suffering from flabby upper arms avoid clothing with tight, short, or no sleeves because they feel uncomfortable. It might be difficult to relax in social settings as well, such as when engaging in various athletic activities that might cause the excess skin on the arms to be more noticeable. Arm lift surgery can address these concerns and help patients achieve more self-confidence.

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Arm Lift Consultation

During your arm lift consultation with Dr. Kalnoki, you will be evaluated as a potential candidate for surgery. You will discuss your previous medical history, any current medical conditions you may have that might delay healing, previous surgeries, and current medications and supplements you are taking. Dr. Kalnoki will also assess the degree of skin laxity of the upper arms and the amount of fatty tissue that will need to be removed to achieve your desired results.

As part of the consultation process, Dr. Kalnoki will speak to you about your expectations for surgery. If you are looking to address other areas of the body, the arm lift procedure can sometimes be combined with additional body contouring surgeries.

Ideal Candidates for Arm Lift Surgery

First and foremost, all prospective patients of the arm lift procedure should be in good overall health, a nonsmoker, and have realistic expectations for their surgery and results. Arm lift patients should also have a desire to have flabby, excess skin and fatty tissue in the upper arms removed.

It's important for patients to understand that scarring does result from an arm lift procedure. The incision for the brachioplasty lies on the inside of the arm, from the armpit to the elbow. For patients who are concerned with scarring, Dr. Kalnoki offers embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy to remove tension from the incision during healing, which minimizes scar formation. Dr. Kalnoki will discuss all of your options and together with you will decide if you would be a good candidate for the arm lift procedure.

The Arm Lift Procedure

Brachioplasty is performed under general or sedation anesthesia and will typically last about three hours. During surgery, Dr. Kalnoki will place incisions along the inside of the upper arm, usually running from the armpit to the elbow. She will then apply liposuction techniques as needed to reduce excess fatty tissue from the area. She then trims away excess skin to create a tighter contour of the underside of the upper arm. The incisions will be sutured closed at the end of the surgery.


A typical arm lift patient should expect some mild to moderate discomfort for one to two weeks, however experiences vary. Compression bandages will be worn for up to three weeks to support healing of the surgical area. Most patients are able to return to work after one week of recovery and resume exercise around two weeks post-surgery. On average, it can take up to six months for the healing process to be fully complete and for the patient's full results to show. Dr. Kalnoki offers her surgical patients embrace®, an advanced scar therapy that will help reduce the appearance of scars as they heal.

Choosing the Right Body Contouring Surgeon

At the Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Kalnoki provides her arm lift surgery patients with the expertise, experience, and precision they need for optimum results. She will create and customize a treatment plan that addresses your individual concerns to help you achieve your desired results.

Arm Lift FAQ

How long does arm lift surgery last?

Every surgery and surgical patient is unique, but most arm lift surgeries last around three hours from start to finish.

Where does Dr. Kalnoki perform arm lift surgeries?

Dr. Kalnoki performs surgeries at the Lindsay House Surgery Center, a fully licensed multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center located at the Quatela Center in Rochester, New York.

Will there be a scar following arm lift surgery?

There will be a visible scar along the underside of each arm after your surgery. Scarring can take up to 12 months to heal fully. Dr. Kalnoki can work with you to minimize or reduce the appearance of your scars.

Is liposuction always used with arm lift surgery?

Many of the patients seeking arm lift surgery do so to address excess skin and fat present in the upper arms. Small amounts of fat may not require the addition of liposuction, but Dr. Kalnoki will discuss her surgical plan with you at an arm lift consultation.

When will I be able to go back to work after arm lift surgery?

Most patients are cleared to return to work about one week following arm lift surgery, however this depends on the type of work. Confirm your own recovery timeframe with Dr. Kalnoki before making plans to resume working or other activities.

What is the difference between an arm lift and arm liposuction?

An arm lift procedure involves incisions from under the arm pit to the elbow to remove excess fat and skin. Liposuction in the arms uses small incisions to remove fatty tissue alone, but Smartlipo will cause some skin refraction.

What is the recovery like after arm lift surgery?

After arm lift surgery, the arms are wrapped for a week. Compression sleeves are worn for about four to six weeks. Normal activity typically can be resumed after one week. Keep in mind that recovery rates vary.

What can I do to minimize my scar after arm lift surgery?

There are many over the counter creams and oils that are available for scar treatment with variable results. We now are pleased to offer embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy as an effective way to enhance healing. Ultimately, the most important factors that aid in the best healing of scars are to avoid UV exposure to the scar, and to massage and moisturize the scar.

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Quatela Center
for Plastic Surgery

The Quatela Center's reputation as one of New York's finest cosmetic plastic surgery practices attracts patients to Rochester from throughout the state. Choose one of the locations below for driving directions to our practice.

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The Lindsay House

973 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
Phone: (585) 244-1000

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