Arm Lift: The Procedure, Photos and More | The Plastic Surgery Clinic
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Arm Lift

Arm Lift

Arm Lift Quick Look

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"Worth It" Rating

92% say it's "worth it"
Procedure Duration

Surgery Length

2 Hours



Discomfort Factor

7 - 8/10

Synopsis of Surgery

A cosmetic surgical procedure to reshape and slim the underside of the arms by removing fat and lax skin sometimes caused by significant weight loss.


4 weeks until resuming physical exercise

2-3 weeks off from work/household duties


General Anesthesia

Alternative Names

Brachioplasty, Bat Wing Correction (Often Combined with Liposuction)

Age and especially weight loss can cause the underside of a person’s upper arms to get loose and “droopy.” Often, the skin itself can take on a flabby, uneven texture. While exercise can help tone arm muscles, it is unable to correct weakness in the tissue, eliminate specific fat deposits, or tighten skin that has lost its elasticity. An arm lift may be the answer.

An arm lift can help patients feel more confident about their appearance, allowing them to wear short-sleeved clothing again without embarrassment or self-consciousness.

What is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, is a procedure to remodel the underside of a patient’s upper arm between the elbow and the armpit. Normally, excess skin and fat deposits are removed and the underlying tissue is tightened, leading to a much improved, toned look. An arm lift will leave a scar in the armpit or inside of the arm that may show if the arm is raised, but will otherwise be hidden.

The following images are presented for educational purposes only and should be interpreted subjectively. They do not represent the opinion or view of any patient regarding their result, and they are not intended to suggest the result that may be achieved by any other patient. The images are presented as factual guidelines and merely represent results that have been achieved by others. No two patients are alike and no two results are necessarily alike. Only a personal consultation with your surgeon can provide you with a reasonable expectation of the results you may achieve from any specific procedure.

Experience and Innovation to Improve Patient Outcomes

At The Plastic Surgery Clinic we perform approximately 100 arm lift procedures per year. This makes Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin well experienced in arm lift surgery. They are able to achieve natural results with the minimum amount of scarring.

Empower Yourself with Knowledge

If you are considering this important surgery please explore the links on the left to learn more. If you have more questions about whether an arm lift in Toronto/Mississauga is for you, please contact us at [email protected] to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.

What is an Arm Lift?

Arm lift procedures are normally performed under general anaesthesia on an outpatient basis.

During an arm lift, the surgeon makes an incision either on the inside or the back of the arm. The length of the incision depends on the amount of skin to be removed. The inner tissue is tightened and remodeled with sutures before the skin is trimmed and closed with sutures. Excess fat may also be removed through liposuction during the operation.

An arm lift procedure takes about one to three hours, depending on the amount of work needed.

Where Your Arm Lift is Performed

Your arm lift can be performed right on site in the state-of-the-art facilities of The Plastic Surgery Clinic. The Clinic meets or exceeds national, provincial, and municipal health care facility standards in such important areas as equipment quality and infection control.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your surgery at one of the hospitals where the highly skilled plastic surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Clinic enjoy privileges. These include the Mississauga site of the Trillium Health Centre and the University Health Network in Toronto.

No matter where you choose to have your surgery, there is always a surgeon on call to respond to your concerns. In addition, a board-certified anaesthesiologist will administer your local or general anaesthetic, stay with you during the entire operation, and be there as you wake up.

The Best Candidates for Arm Lift

The Best Candidates for Arm LiftThe best candidates for arm lift surgery have significant excess skin or loose tissue under their upper arms and are at a fairly stable weight, but not obese.

Ideal candidates are also non-smokers without underlying health conditions that might make surgery more risky. Smokers should quit for at least two weeks before and after surgery, because smoking inhibits healing.

A realistic expectation of the results is also very important. To this end, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin are always careful to explain everything about your procedure as clearly as possible, including the risks and the most likely outcomes.

An arm lift can have a positive effect on your self-esteem and will make you feel better about yourself. Patients often tell us how arm lift surgery has improved the quality of their lives. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with an experienced Toronto / Mississauga arm lift surgeon such as Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.

Preparing for an Arm Lift

Meeting with Your Arm Lift Surgeon

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin are proud to have helped so many arm lift patients in Toronto and Mississauga learn to feel comfortable in short-sleeved clothing or bathing suits that reveal or even show off their arms.

Because surgery of any sort can make patients feel nervous or apprehensive, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin listen carefully to a patient’s desires and provide expert guidance on what each type of surgery can and cannot do. They will carefully explain the potential benefits, as well as the risks, in order to make you feel secure and comfortable with the procedure.

Your consultation will involve a physical examination, including a thorough medical history, and a discussion about your goals with surgery. You will be asked to describe your ideal look, as well as your expectations.

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will spend as much time as you need to make sure both you and your surgeon know exactly what you want. It may not always be possible to meet all your expectations with surgery, so it is crucial that you understand what a realistic outcome is likely to be.

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will examine you to determine exactly what procedure or combination of procedures will best help you meet your goals. For an arm lift, where the incision will be made and whether liposuction is needed will be carefully discussed. Your surgeon will work with you to recommend the procedure that will help you come closest to achieving your desired results.

Preparing for Arm Lift Surgery

Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to prepare for surgery in order to achieve the best result, including guidelines on eating, drinking, and taking certain vitamins and medications. Smokers should plan to stop smoking for a minimum of two weeks before and after surgery, as smoking decreases circulation and interferes with proper healing. You may also be asked to refrain from taking aspirin, anti-inflammation drugs, or certain herbal supplements, as they may increase bleeding during the surgery.

Arm Lift Recovery

Arm lift surgery is performed at The Plastic Surgery Clinic as a day surgery procedure. A friend or relative will need to come and pick you up and stay with you at home for at least 24 hours.

After the operation, in addition to any bandages placed over the incisions, the upper arms will be contained within an elastic (compression) bandage to reduce swelling. Patients are usually able to start showering and washing over their incisions the day after surgery.

This procedure normally only requires a few days of downtime. It may take up to four weeks for the bruising and swelling to recede, however. Patients should refrain from any strenuous activity for four weeks. Scarring should fade by six months at the latest.

The Pain Relief Pump™

Pain after surgery is not only uncomfortable, it also can slow down the healing process. That is why the surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Clinic take the time to anticipate their patients’ pain needs in advance, in order to help reduce the time it takes for you to get back on your feet.

They have introduced the revolutionary Pain Relief Pump™ to ease the pain during the first 24 hours after surgery. This MP3 player-sized device is worn in a belt around the waist, with a hair-thin tube connecting it to the surgical site. Completely automatically, the device regularly delivers a long-acting local anesthetic into the wound.

The result is that patients feel absolutely no pain. That means that patients do not usually need to take prescription pain medicines, which can be associated with significant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions.

Toronto cosmetic surgery patients at The Plastic Surgery Clinic experience no pain, heal faster, feel happier, have less swelling, and simply recover more quickly. The Pain Relief Pump™ has proven invaluable to plastic surgery patients and is almost exclusively available at The Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Arm Lift Risks & Complications

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin perform approximately 100 arm lift procedures each year. The results are ordinarily positive and complications are rare. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery, and there are specific complications associated with this procedure. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you thoroughly during the consultation process.

Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but may require a hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon as possible after the surgery. At our state-of-the-art plastic surgery clinic in Toronto, patients are given anti-embolic stockings that they are asked to wear for one week following surgery. We also have a specialized device called a sequential compression pump that gently massages the patient’s legs during surgery and, combined with the stockings, greatly decreases the risk of blood clots in the legs.

Poor healing, which can result in conspicuous scars, may require a second operation. Smokers are advised to quit, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.

Please keep in mind that at The Plastic Surgery Clinic, we will treat any complication that may arise.

Arm Lift Photo Gallery

Most arm lift patients at the Plastic Surgery Clinic are very happy with the results. Arm lift surgery creates upper arms that are toned, youthful, and natural-looking. Sleeveless clothing can be worn with confidence.

These results are normally long-lasting.

Unless the arms are raised, the scars are not normally visible, and they should fade with time.

Any plastic surgery procedure may have an impact on your friends and family. Some may not see much difference, while others may act resentful. If this happens, remind yourself of your goals going into surgery and remember that you did this for yourself and your own satisfaction, not to please anyone else.

During your complimentary consultation with one of our plastic surgeons, you’ll be able to see a variety of photos that show the results of arm lift patients at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. Please visit our arm lift photo gallery to see all of our arm lift photos available online.

Cost of an Arm Lift

At the Plastic Surgery Clinic, we thrive on helping our patients achieve their goals. We’ve seen it many times: you’ve done the research, you know what you want done, you’re ready for the transformation, but the cost is daunting. That is why we offer complimentary consultations. One of our expert plastic surgeons will speak to you one-on-one to learn about your goals, go over the finer points of the surgery, and to give you an accurate cost. At this time one of our patient coordinators will also speak to you about the various financing options that make surgery more affordable than you ever thought it could be.

To find out more about the cost of body contouring after weight loss, please contact us by phone or e-mail or by filling out the Request for Information form below.

Plastic Surgery Video Gallery

Arm Lift Videos

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Arm Lift Gallery

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The PSC Method

Step 1: The PSC Consult

Step 1: The PSC Consult

Consultations are always free. This is our opportunity to get to know you and your vision. And then share with you our expertise and recommendations based on 30+ years of experience, and thousands of satisfied patients.

One patient's experience...

My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


Step 2: The PSC Procedure

Step 2: The PSC Procedure

You’ll arrive on the day of surgery fully prepared and confident in your outcome, because your surgeon is internationally recognized as a leader in their field. You will wake up slightly groggy and a bit uncomfortable, and head home soon after.

One patient's experience...

My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


Step 3: The PSC Follow Up

Step 3: The PSC Follow Up

We see every patient the day after surgery. Most find their discomfort extremely manageable, thanks to the pain relief pump. Our post-op nurse will walk you through every step of your recovery and answer all your questions.

One patient's experience...

My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


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