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Arm Lift Incision Location?

I gather that the incision for a brachioplasty can be along the inner arm, or on the back of the arm. If the latter, is the incision dead centre down the back of the arm, or at the junction of the inner arm and the back of the arm?

Doctor Answers (18)

Incision for Brachioplasty Surgery Made From Elbow to Axilla

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                  When patients undergo brachioplasty surgery, an incision is made from the elbow to the axilla. Through this incision excess skin and fat can be removed in both the transverse and vertical dimensions of the upper arm. The exact placement of the incision is dependent upon several variables.

                  In the majority of cases, the incision is placed on the inner arm between the biceps and triceps muscles. In this position the scars are well hidden when the arms are at the patient’s side. When patients raise their arms, the scars become more noticeable.

                  Occasionally, patients prefer scars that are more posteriorly located. In this position, scars don’t tend to spread as much, because the skin is thicker in this location. When a posterior approach is utilized, the incision location is determined by the patient’s unique anatomy.

                  It’s important to understand that scarring is inevitable with this procedure, irregardless of the incision placement. The most important variable in scar formation is the patients wound healing biology. This varies from patient to patient and for this reason incision placement needs to be individualized.

                  If you’re considering brachioplasty, it’s important to discuss these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon before proceeding. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plant that addresses these issues.


Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Incision Placement Choices for Arm Lift/Brachioplasty Surgery

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Procedure Description
Incisions are placed in a inside location on the underside of the arms (the part of the arm that is against the body with the arms hanging at their side), between the armpit and the elbow.  General anesthesia is usually used for this procedure.  The length and location of the scar is dependent on the location of the unwanted and excess soft tissue. The unwanted skin is removed to reveal the arm’s natural shape.  In many cases, liposuction is used to remove excess fat to enhance the natural contour of the arm.

If there is limited fat and loose skin close to the arm pit then a short scar technique leaving the final scar in the arm pit may be possible.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Armlift incision location

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Thank you for your question.

Brachioplasty (arm reduction surgery) can remove excess tissue and reduce the circumference of the upper arm. Surgical correction depends on the amount of extra skin and how loose the supporting tissues have become. Extra skin is removed from incisions along the inner arm. The incision must be placed where the tissue can be best tightened but the incision must be well hidden as well.  Usually, the incision along the inner aspect of the arm is better hidden than posteriorly.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 751 reviews

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Armlift incisions

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You are correct in that the incision can be placed along the inner aspect of the arm or posteriorly.   The posterior incision will be noticeable when a person is standing behind you. 

Steven Wallach, MD
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Armlift- Two different incision locations.

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The location of the scar depends on the skin laxity. Small skin excisions may allow for the scar to be located in the armpit. For larger reductions a longitudinal scar will be located at the junction of the inner arm and back of the arm, which will make it less visible then dead centre down the back of the arm.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
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Arm lift

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Typically the incision placement depends on the type of arm lift that you are having.   Limited arm lift incisions will be placed within the arm pit.  For extended arm lift, the incision is placed at the inner surface or back surface, or sometimes in between the inner and back surface.  The latter is the one that I most prefer personally.  You can get more information about this on my website with many before and after pictures.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
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Arm lift incision placement - Where is the scar for an arm lift

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I perform many arm lift procedures and have not found one particular method that fits every size and shape of the arm.  Specifically, I have a patient extend and drop down their arms to locate the precise longitudinal plane in which to place all the surgical incisions.  This minimizes scarring after surgery. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
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Incisions for Arm Lifts

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While an arm lift (brachioplasty) can be an excellent procedure to recontour the arm and remove those unwanted "bat wings" it certainly does not come without a price....a scar. Only very few patients are candidates for simply liposuction only.  The scars for an arm lift are best located on the inner aspect of the arm, just below the biceps muscle groove. This is performed in this location so that it is concealed when you have your arms to your sides.  Incisions placed on the back of the arm are visible at all times and should be avoided.  Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Scott J. Engel, MD, FACS
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
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Arm lift scar position

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For a long-scar arm lift, I place the scar in the groove just beneath the biceps muscle on the inside of the arm. Its hidden during most body positions. Scar on the back of the arm look terrible and are always visible. View the photos on our website for more detail.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Incision on inner arm mostly

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The most common location is the inner side of the arm.It is easier to hide and there is less chance of migration to the back of the arm. Another location is the junction between the back of the arm and the inner side. It is a close call however,since healing etc...can make it shift.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.