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Arm Lift Scar Position Favored by Most Women?

I know it depends greatly on the individual, but could you give me an idea of which Arm Lift scar position is favoured by most women, inner arm incision or incision at the junction of the inner and posterior aspects of the arm? I read that the skin on the back of the arm is tougher than inner arm skin and the scar may be pulled more centrally to the back of the arm. Is that a frequent complication? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 16

Arm Lift Scar

I think this is the same, there is no different between the inner arm and the junction of the inner and posterior incision.

There are really two places to put the incision, one is the inner aspect of the arm, the other is on the posterior aspect. By far, the most cosmetically appealing position for this incision is the inner aspect of the arm.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Ideal scar placement in Arm Lift

Before making a final decision on scar placement, the surgeon needs to analyze the arm anatomy.  Typically there is skin excess both in circumferential dimentions ( lilke the sleeve is too bit, skin hangs from lifted arms), and in longitudinal dimentions, (like the sleeve slipped down the arm).  Both of these issues need to be addressed.

The surgeon will advise you on ideal scar placement.  Typically plastic surgeons have been taught to leave the final scar just below the biceps muscle, but that is not the ideal placement for the scar. For most of my patients, the final scar should lie on inner aspect of the arm towards the back.  This placement of the scar is least noticeable in most arm positions.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Arm lift scar locations

You are correct, the scar will depend upon the patient - by their anatomy, and not their preference.  For really loose skin (usually following significant weight loss)  the large amount of excess skin will require a scar along the inner upper arm that goes from the elbow to the armpit.  For lesser amounts of skin, a scar entirely in the armpit (mini-lift) may be enough.  Additionally, liposuction may reduce the excess fat.  For even lesser problems, liposuction alone may improve the upper arm.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Arm lift scar position favored by most women?

Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is one of the most frequently requested body contouring procedures performed today. The demand for this procedure has increased more than 800% since 1997. This is the greatest percent change of any of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures Much of the increase in popularity is due to the growing number of patients who undergo massive weight loss. In performing this procedure an incision is made on the inside of the arm extending from the elbow into the armpit. Sometimes it is necessary to extend the incision further into the armpit and sometimes past it. Utilizing this incision excess skin is removed and the wound is closed. It is very important to position the scar properly so that it is concealed as much as possible. A well-placed incision should result in a scar that is only visible when the arms are raised. The scar usually ends up in the lower one third of the inside of the upper arm.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Brachioplasty Incision Made From Elbow to Axilla

                  When women 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 this 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, women 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.

                  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 plan that addresses this issue. 

Armlift Scars

There is primarily an inner arm scar which is a minimal armlift, however, it is used in patients with moderate lipodystrophy and not for patients with extensive skin lipodystrophy.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Position of scar with arm lift

Usually it's best to position the scar on the inner aspect so it does not show when the arms are hanging reflaxed at the side.  This can sometimes be tricky because skin tension can pull the scar back or forward a bit.  Also, it's super important to do everything to get the scars to flatten out and fade.  I have patients tape their incisions for 3 - 6 months which seems to accerate the scar maturation process.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Arm lifting and scars

The arm lifting procedure is a great procedure to remove excess skin and adipose tissue of the upper arms. However, this procedure carries a major drawback: difficult scarring that may require scar revision (more so, in my experience, then other procedures).

I have tried placement both placements of the resulting scars in the bicipital  groove (between the biceps and triceps muscles)  as well as a long the inferior–lower aspect of the upper arm. I have found higher patient satisfaction with the latter approach. If the excision can be planned such that the scar falls along the frontal aspect of the lower arm, then the scar may be visible only when the patient raises his/her arms.

As with many plastic surgical procedures, the planning of the incisions and resulting scar line is critical. However, even with attention to detail, the resulting scars may not be ideal and revisionary surgery is  often necessary to improve the appearance (for example, the width) of the scars.

Thank you for the question–I hope this helps.

Scars for an armlift

For a full arm lift (also known as a brachioplasty) the scars run from the elbow up into the armpit and often down the side of the chest to the bottom of the bra line.   The scars can be placed in two positions -  on the back side of the arm or on the undersurface of the arm.  Different surgeons have different preferences.  The more posterior scar is visible when the arms are down at the side while the scar along the undersurface of the arm  are visible when the arms are raised.  Since the scars usually extend down to the elbow they are usually visible even in short sleeves.  For some reason the scars near the elbow  (which are of course the more visible scars) take longer to "settle down"  and can be thick and ropey for a long time .  The scars near the armpit improve faster.  This is frustrating as one would like the more visible scars to improve the fastest!   Since there are significant scars from a brachiopolasty there should be a significant improvement in contour to justify the permanent scars.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Scar location for brachioplasty

I prefer to hide the scar on the inner aspect of the upper arm so that when the patient's arms are down at her side, no one else should be able to see them. Putting it on the posterior arm, means that the scars will be noticeable to others.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 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.