I am 65 - is that too old for an arm lift?

I am very unhappy with my arms and would like to have an arm lift. I read about a proceeder for this where the scar was completely under the arm and was not visible unless arms are lifted straight up over head is this true? What is the recovery time?

Doctor Answers 17

Too Old for Armlift?


As long as you are in good physical and mental health, no age is too old for an arm lift. The procedure presents a great opportunity for patients to look and feel better in their own skin, and can make you feel much more comfortable wearing sleeveless clothing. As always, be sure to fully report all your medical concerns to your surgeon, so that he or she can address your cosmetic needs in the safest way possible.


San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 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.

As long as you are healthy, your age at 65 should not prevent your having a very satisfying experience. 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.

You're not too old!

The surgery for removal of excess and tissue of the arm is called a brachioplasty (or arm lift).It is very effective at improving the contour of the arm from the elbow to the axilla, but the tradeoff is that you do get a scar.The length of the scar and the position of the scar varies depending on how much tissue there is and where it is.To have the scar you describe up under the arm, you have to have only a small amount of excess tissue located just at the upper inner part of the arm, if it is more involved or the excess extends down toward the elbow, then there needs to be a horizontal scar extending down on to the arm in order to adequately address the problem.These scars do fade over time, but they are noticeable if the arms are lifted out away from the body.
As for your age, that should not be a reason to hold back.As long as your health is good enough to tolerate a 2 hour anesthetic, then you should be a candidate! Even though you are 65, you have a lot of years left in you, and I’m sure your arms would continue to bother you (and possibly even get worse over time due to gravity).It would be a lot easier now to get this done and enjoy the results, than to wait… continue to suffer with… and then maybe not be a candidate for the surgery in a few years if you have health issues arise.My advice is to find a board certified plastic surgeon in your area and be evaluated for your brachioplasty!

I am 65–is that too old for an arm lift?

No, you are not too old for a brachioplasty. If you are an otherwise healthy 65-year-old you are as good a candidate as a healthy 45-year-old.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. 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 108 reviews

A person who is 65 may be an appropriate candidate for an arm lift or brachioplasty.

At the time of the consultation, a history, review of systems, medical and surgical history and physical exam would be completed. If a patient is an appropriate candidate for a brachioplasty, they do not have any significant underlying cardiac, pulmonary or immunologic issues, then they would be a candidate for a brachioplasty. I would encourage you to discuss this with your plastic surgeon at the time of the consultation, and certainly bring a list of any medications that you are taking as well as a record of any surgeries or medical problems that you have been treated for in the past.

David Deisher, MD
Cape Girardeau Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Not too old

Overall health, not age, is more of a determining factor for brachioplasty candidacy. There is no age restriction as long as you are physiologically fit for surgery.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Too old for an armlift?

Thank you for your question.  The risk of surgery and anesthesia usually has less to do with chronological age and more with how your health is.  This operation carries scars.  Each plastic surgeon may approach this differently.  Also each patient is different.  Best to see a board certified plastic surgeon.  They will evaluate you and together you will make a plan for your goals.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

I am 65 - is that too old for an arm lift?

Thank you for your question.  More important than your age is your motivation and current health.  If you are unhappy with your arms, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon that can inform you of the benefits of such a procedure.  Depending on the extent of excess skin or fat, you will likely need either liposuction alone, or liposuction with some degree of skin removal.  Your scar length will be based on the amount of skin needed to be removed, but can be hidden along the inner arm, or back of the arm, to conceal it as much as possible.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is 65 too old for an arm lift?

Thanks for your question.  Age is not a limiting factor for arm lift surgery as long as you are in good health and an ideal candidate for arm lift surgery.  Scars are usually well hidden and can extend from under the armpit to the elbow but as you mention they are hidden when your arms are lowered.  Your best step is to arrange a comprehensive consultation with a fully qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your suitability.    

Arm lift

Provided you are healthy enough to undergo a surgical procedure you could undergo an arm lift (brachioplasty). This is a very well tolerated surgery and can dramatically improve the contour of the arms. The scar is usually located in medial arm below the biceps muscle and is hidden as you noted depending on the arm position. 

David Mathes, MD
Aurora 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.