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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Fast Facts

Dr. Julio Clavijo-AlvarezAn arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure performed at our Pittsburgh, PA, practice that removes, reshapes, and reposition the excess tissue (arm wings) of the arms and axilla.

  • It is performed under general anesthesia and it is usually completed in 3 hours.
  • The usual recovery time is 2 weeks.

Trust your brachioplasty procedure to the best-reviewed plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh.

What is an Arm Lift?

Smiling woman with her hands over her head. An arm lift is the removal of excess fat from unwanted areas of the arm (arm wings) for the enhancement of its shape.

How and where is the surgery done?

It is done in a surgery center or a hospital. It is done under general anesthesia. The duration of the procedure is about 3 hours and it is done as an inpatient procedure with an overnight stay.

Can I plan on doing the surgery 1 week prior to my 25th-year reunion?

Definitively NOT. Arm lift is a very well tolerated procedure. However, it will leave bruising and swelling that will be present for 1 or 2 weeks. Plan ahead if you are planning on this surgery.

Do I need to have my stitches removed?

The answer is yes and no. When doing your arm lift, we will use absorbable stitches. Despite the use of ointments and massage, we will need to remove some of the remaining stitches that did not fall or disappear.

How is the post op recovery?

Following your Arm Lift, you should plan for the following:

  • 1 week off from work if non-physical and up to 2 weeks if physical
  • No driving while taking narcotic medication
  • 2 drains
  • Swelling for 1-2 weeks
  • Bruising for 1-2 weeks
  • Exercise: resume activities at 2-3 weeks, and back to normal at 6 weeks
  • Follow up appointments after: one week, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year

What complications could occur?

When doing arm lift, some of the potential complications related to the procedure are:

  • Infection (<1%)
  • Bleeding (<1%)
  • Asymmetry
  • Skin breakdown
  • Scaring
  • Fat necrosis
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