Arm Lift Scar

I gather that the incision for a brachioplasty can be on the inner arm or the back of the arm. If the latter, is the scar dead centre down the back of the arm or more to the side where the inner arm meets the back of the arm

Doctor Answers 23

Arm Lift Scar

Every surgeon reconstructive plastic surgeon has their own way of doing reconstructive plastic surgery. Some plastic surgeons  prefer to place their arm lift or brachioplasty incision in the inner arm between the biceps and triceps.   The incision extends from the armpit to the elbow.  The beauty of this type of armlift or brachioplasty incision is that the incision is hidden. This is because we usually hold our arms down by our sides.  With the arms held at our sides, this arm lift incision and resultant scar are concealed. The beauty of positioning the scar between the biceps and triceps is that it is rarely visible and is typically visible only when one’s arms are raised. However, some reconstructive plastic surgeons prefer to place their incision on the back of the arm. Typically, the incision is placed on the back of the arm or triceps region.  Technically,  I find this technique easier to perform and may have less risks of wound breakdown. The significant downside to placing the scar on the back of the arm is that the incision and resulting scar are clearly visible. This is why I prefer to place the incision between the biceps and triceps.  I think an incision placed between the biceps and triceps provides a superior result than the incision on the back of the arm. However, every plastic surgeon has their preference. What ever the technique or placement of the scar, I believe compression and silicone gel sheeting are very important. I would continue compression and silicone gel sheeting for eight weeks after the arm lift or brachioplasty.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Arm Lift Scar Location (Brachioplasty)

There is much controversy over the best place to put an arm lift scar. The two best positions are in the back of the arms and the other is in the inner portion of the arm (bicipital groove). In the back of the arms the patient will not see the scars, but anyone behind you will. In the inner portion of the arms no one will see the scars unless you raise your arms outwards. From El Paso, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Arm lift scar location

There are many different options for locating the arm lift scars.  I recommend consulting with a surgeon who is an expert at this operation.  For my patients I use a red Sharpie permanent marker to simulate the proposed location for the scar.  For the next few days the patient is then able to experience what it would be like to have a scar in the proposed location.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Brachioplasty incison locations

Each surgeon has his or her own preference where they choose to put their brachioplasty scars.In my practice the most common scar is the one straight down the back of the arm.Patients choose this one over the one on the inside of the arm mainly because when you in in a short sleeve shirt and talking to someone, you typically move your arms.If the scar is on the inside of the arm, at conversational distances it is visible.The scar down the back of the arm is visible when someone is standing behind you.A brachioplasty does leave a big scar, but for patients with a lot of excess hanging skin, they are willing to trade the skin for a scar.If you are not ready for the scar, you are not a good candidate for this procedure.Your surgeon will work with you to determine which incision is a better options for you and your arms.

Christopher T. Maloney Jr., MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Brachioplasty Incision Placement & Scarring

                   When patients undergo brachioplsty 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, 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.

                  It’s important to understand that scarring is inevitable with the 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. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Armlift Scars

This depends on whether you have a hidden inner armlift where the incision is hidden in the top of the armpit. It is almost imperceptible. It is primarily for patients with a minimal amount of skin redundancy in the lower arm versus the posterior armlift scar which is more effective, but leaves a long scar on the back of the arm. Please visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience and expertise in body contouring and armlifts.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Arm lifting surgery 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 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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,462 reviews

Position of scar after brachioplasty

The usual position of scars after a brachioplasty is on the inner aspect of the arm.  The other position is where the inner aspect meets the back of the arm (posterio-medial).  Both scars tend to spread but I have found that the scarring on the medial aspect of the arm is usually more prominent.  My patients prefer the posterio-medial scar because it is not in their direct line of vision. 

Joseph N. Togba, MD
Oakland Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Brachioplasty scar

The most common location for a brachioplasty scar is the inner arm. This is a great operation but unfortunately the scars often have the propensity to be poor.

Irvin M. Wiesman, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Scars are the tradeoff in the arms

While brachioplasty is a common procedure I perform for patients who have had massive weight loss, it is the one in which we have longer discussions about the scars that may arise. Because the arms are round and exposed when wearing most clothes, the scars are the biggest tradeoff for the reduction in the excess skin.  Most often, the scar is on the inner aspect of the arm where the biggest laxity in the skin is.

Jason Brett Lichten, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.