Surgical Arm Tightening:


An Arm Lift, or Brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes the sagging drooping skin and excess fat that reshapes the arm into a more pleasing aesthetic appearance. Typically excess skin (and associated excess fat if present) is removed from the arm extending from the axilla (armpit) to the elbow. The option of a full arm lift or mini-arm lift will depend upon the patient’s physical findings. While we all prefer to avoid surgery, unfortunately, diet and exercise just can’t remove excess skin. If excess arm fat is also present then the arm lift can be combined with liposuction to improve arm contours. This technique requires general or tumescent anesthesia. After the surgery reshapes their arms into a slimmer and contoured appearance, patients feel more comfortable wearing sleeveless clothing.


A variation of the surgical arm lift requires no skin excision or mini skin excision. This new arm technique uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to tighten the skin, dermis, and underlying connective tissue usually without excision of any skin. This latest technique, BodyTite, allows for exceptional non-excisional tightening. One probe is inserted under the skin through a small incision and a second probe sits on top of the skin allowing for well-controlled heating of the skin and deeper tissues. However severe cases of arm laxity with sagging skin will still be best treated with the traditional arm lift (Brachioplasty). This procedure can be combined with the RF microneedling (next section) to obtain enhanced results. This energy-based device has faster results and requires general or tumescent anesthesia.

Nonsurgical Arm Tightening:

Nonsurgical arm tightening is a nonsurgical procedure that tightens the loose skin around the arm to yield a more contoured and slimmer appearance. Nonsurgical arm tightening has similar goals as a surgical arm lift but is limited to patients who have a mild to moderate excess skin or excess fat. 


Radiofrequency deep skin tightening (RF) with microneedles: A set of 24 microneedles penetrates the skin to the deep dermis and uses radiofrequency energy to heat the underlying deep tissue to encourage subdermal collagen and elastin production to reduce the appearance of loose skin. This energy-based device has faster results and requires topical or tumescent anesthesia. Usually, noticeable results occur after one treatment with the best results after 2 to 3 treatments.


Radiofrequency surface skin tightening (RF): Uses radiofrequency energy to heat the underlying tissue to encourage subdermal collagen and elastin production to reduce the appearance of loose skin. This technology allows for skin tightening that is noninvasive with no anesthesia required for treatment.


This last option is truly a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment that uses Radiofrequency energy on the skin to tighten skin (Evolve Tite) and to remove fat (Evolve Trim). This treatment requires no anesthesia, there is a warming sensation that is easily tolerated. For more information Click Here.

Who is a good candidate for an Arm Lift or Nonsurgical Arm Tightening?

  • Patients who are in reasonably good health
  • Patients that have reasonable and realistic expectations
  • Patients that have a significant amount of upper arm skin laxity
  • Patients that have a significant amount of upper arm adiposity
  • Patients who don’t smoke
  • Patients looking for a more youthful or contoured arm body shape

Who is not a good candidate for an Arm Lift or Nonsurgical Arm Tightening?

  • Patients who are not in reasonably good health with serious or poorly controlled health problems
  • Patients who do not have reasonable and realistic expectations
  • Patients who are excessively obese
  • Patients who smoke
  • Patients who want absolute perfection
  • Patients who do not want a scar on the inside of their arms (see other options above)

Does liposuction produce permanent results?

All of the above-mentioned procedures will produce long-lasting results for years. The surgical arm lift will yield the longest results. The less invasive the procedure will yield a shorter length of results. After a surgical arm lift (Brachioplasty) in which skin is removed, the arm’s new shape is more or less permanent. Liposuction permanently removes and destroys fat cells. After liposuction, the arm’s new shape is also more or less permanent. If a person gains weight after liposuction, the area treated by liposuction will not accumulate as much fat as other areas of the body not treated. Fat accumulates in every area of the body in proportion to the number of fat cells in each area. A person may look disproportionate if they gain excessive amounts of weight. Aging and weight change will affect the subsequent appearance of the arm. Final results may not be evident for six months for most.

What Alternatives / Options Are There to Arm Contouring?

  • Weight Loss – For more information Click here.
  • Surgical Arm Contouring – See Option 1 and 2 above.
  • Nonsurgical Arm Contouring – See Option 3 and 4 above.
  • Nonsurgical and Non-invasive – See Option 5 above.
  • Arm Contouring by any means is never absolutely necessary.

How long will it be before I see results?

That depends upon the procedure that you choose. Surgical arm lift (skin removed) yields the quickest results but generally has more risks. Most patients will see 90% of their ultimate arm lift results within six weeks after surgery. The other procedures yield the initial best results at 6 weeks to 3 months with improvements seen even at 6 months. For the first few weeks after surgery, there is postoperative swelling. The rate at which this swelling subsides depends on the surgeon’s surgical technique and method for postoperative care. Final results may take six months or longer.

Will I be in pain?

The surgical arm lift (Brachioplasty) can be performed with either general anesthesia in a certified outpatient surgical facility or in the surgeon’s specialized procedure room in his office depending upon various patient’s factors and amount of correction needed. Your post-operative pain will be the same with either anesthesia technique. With general anesthesia, you will experience no operative pain or discomfort. With awake tumescent anesthesia, patients will receive pre-operative medication to help them relax so that they can more easily tolerate the initial discomfort with administering the tumescent anesthesia into the treatment area. The tumescent technique produces profound and long-lasting local anesthesia of the skin and subcutaneous fat. Since the patient is awake and relaxed, they can notify the surgeon immediately of any discomfort. They can also reposition themselves to allow for better liposuction results. 

The nonsurgical arm tightening can be performed with either topical anesthesia or tumescent anesthesia. 

How long does Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) and Nonsurgical Arm Tightening take?

Arm lift (Brachioplasty) or RF BodyTite procedure:

The time required for either of these procedures depends on the extent of the skin excision or treatment area and whether liposuction will be necessary as an adjunct to obtain the best results. Generally from the time that you arrive at the facility until the time that you are discharged home will require several hours. 

Nonsurgical Arm Tightening: 

The time required for radiofrequency (RF) surface skin tightening is usually 60 minutes requiring 6 sessions and requires no anesthesia.

The time required for the radiofrequency (RF) deep skin tightening with microneedles requires more time due to approximately 45-60 minutes for the application of topical anesthesia or administration of tumescent anesthesia. Generally, a total of about 2-3 hours is needed to perform the radiofrequency deep skin tightening with microneedles procedure. 

Nonsurgical & Non-invasive Arm Tightening: 

The time required for this nonsurgical & non-invasive arm tightening requires no anesthesia but takes 6 sessions and the time will vary upon the size of the arms.

How much does Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) and Nonsurgical Arm Tightening cost?

The fee for an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) or RF BodyTite procedure has a fairly large range depending upon the extent of correction needed, possible anesthesia fee, possible facility fee, and ancillary treatments such as liposuction. The RF BodyTite procedure can usually be performed with tumescent anesthesia resulting in lower costs. 

The fee for Nonsurgical Arm Tightening depends whether the radiofrequency (RF) surface skin tightening which requires no anesthesia but 6 sessions or the radiofrequency (RF) deep skin tightening with microneedles is selected with tumescent anesthesia.

For an accurate estimate, it is necessary to have a consultation with the surgeon.

What is the recovery like?

  • HOME CARE: You will be discharged home to the care of a responsible adult.
  • ACTIVITIES: Plan to rest in bed immediately after treatment.  Later in the day, short walks are good. Resume light daily activities the following day after your procedure. Depending upon extending the procedure and your tolerance for discomfort. You may be required to miss work from a few days to 2 weeks. Resume exercise gradually as tolerated by “listening” to your body’s messages.
  • ELASTIC COMPRESSION GARMENT: Wear your compression garment for the first few weeks.
  • WOUND CARE AND DRAINAGE: Some blood-tinged drainage is expected for usually the first several days.
  • BATHING: It is preferable to shower rather than bathe for the first 7 days after surgery.
  • DIET: Resume light foods as tolerated immediately after surgery.
  • FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT: Usually 3-7 days after your procedure.

What are the risks of arm lift surgery?

As with all surgical and nonsurgical procedures, there are inherent risks. The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be fully determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All procedures have some degree of complications. The nonsurgical procedures have the smallest risks with the surgical options having more risks. Most are minor and rarely affect the overall cosmetic results, occur occasionally such as swelling, bruising, minor lumps and bumps, and skin numbness. Major complications are uncommon but include significant cosmetic irregularities such as lumps and bumps, poor contouring or body shape, indentations, scarring, skin necrosis, discoloration of the skin, infections, injury to the underlying nerves or blood vessels, numbness, persistent pain, the possible need for revisional surgery, bleeding or hematomas, or seromas. Some major complications can take months to resolve or improve, or maybe permanent and should be discussed with your surgeon prior to the proposed procedure.

For more information on arm lifts or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (423) 926-2400.