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 22

Arm Lift Incision Location

An arm lift will leave a scar for any patient, so effectively hiding the post-surgery scarring is something patients should discuss with their surgeon during a consultation before their procedure. It is more common for people to hold their arms down by their sides, essentially shielding their inner arms. Many patients prefer to have their incision made on the inner arm, between the biceps and the triceps muscle, to help conceal their scar. Conversely, making the incision on the back of the arm may lead to a more visible scar.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Arm lift candidate

Thank you for your question. With age and/or weight changes, the upper arms can hold a lot of excess fatty tissue and develop skin laxity. An arm lift procedure helps to contour the upper arms by reducing excess skin and fat. The incisions can be hidden in the armpit for those with a moderate degree of laxity or along the vertical length of the upper and inner arm for those with more skin excess. The results are extremely satisfying. I would recommend that you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Incision placement for arm lift surgery

Thank you for your question regarding arm lift incision location.

To achieve optimal results, plastic surgeon should always try to hide their scars. I believe the arm lift or brachioplasty scar should be placed in the inner arm in the crease between the biceps and the triceps muscle. This leads to a much more concealed scar. Most of the time, people hold their arms down by their sides. In this position, the arm lift scar is usually well hidden. Though technically easier, I do not place my incision on the back of the arm because it is too visible.

Good luck with your quest for skinnier arms.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Arm lift incision location?

In performing a brachioplasty 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. This operation is normally performed as an outpatient. It is very important for the surgeon to discuss the resultant scar thoroughly with the patient preoperatively. Very commonly this scar takes a longer time to undergo the full healing and maturation process. Maturation refers to the process whereby the scar becomes less apparent. Brachioplasty scars commonly take up to 2 years to fully mature. Immediately after the operation compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit. These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively. Elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Many patients wear these for up for up to 2 weeks postoperatively. No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively. Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon. They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown. Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best result.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Incision for Brachioplasty Surgery Made From Elbow to Axilla

                  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.

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

Incision Placement Choices for Arm Lift/Brachioplasty Surgery

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Armlift incision location

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 1,488 reviews

Armlift incisions

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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Armlift- Two different incision locations.

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
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Arm lift

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
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 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.