How Can I Convince a Surgeon to Do a Brachioplasty? Or Am I out of Luck?

Surgeons in my area are moving away from the brachioplasty because of patients ending up unhappy with the scar, so it is becoming very hard to find a surgeon who is willing to do the procedure. I have done considerable research and have been wanting this procedure for more than 5 years, and I know that I will be trading off the excess skin and fat for the long scar....what should/could I say to my surgeon to convince him that my expectations are realistic and I know what I am getting into?

Doctor Answers 11

Arm lift surgery

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This is a great procedure but can have significant complications. Many doctors never learned how to do this procedure so are not doing it. The best doctors know their limitations and you should look for a board certified plastic surgeon who can show you picture of their work so you can decide if the procedure is right for you!

Good Luck!

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Brachioplasty or Arm Lift Who to do it?

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Thank you for your question.  I cant say that I have heard of this before, but I am sure you can find a surgeon at least close to where you live.  The best thing to do is to find a plastic surgeon on the ASPS website.  Every procedure has trade offs and arm lift is one of them.  You will trading off the excess flabby skin for tighter skin but with a scar.  If the procedure is done correctly, you will have a well hidden scar.  As far as scar healing goes, everyone heals differently, and your best bet is to take care of the scar for up to 1 year time with scar treatment that your plastic surgeon recommends.  Good luck.  Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews


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Brachioplasty is performed when there is significant arm skin laxity.   The trade off of the procedure is a long scar that typically extends from the armpit to the elbow.  It is an effective procedure with high satisfaction, as long as permanent scarring is not a concern for the patient.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Brachioplasty: A good technique for the right person

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First of all, never try to convince a surgeon who does not want to do a procedure. On the other hand, for the right person it is a great technique and most of my patients are happy with the outcome. I think the key is to find an experienced board certified plastic surgeon who can discuss the pros and cons of this procedure with you.

Brachioplasty or Arm lift is a good procedure for good candidates

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Thank you for the question.  Anytime there is significant excess skin removing it will result in a scar.  We do so for face lifts, breast lifts, tummy tuck, etc.  I see no reason why someone who has signifiacant excess arm skin would not undergo an arm lift as long as the patient understands where and how the scar will be.  I would recommend that you go to a plastic surgeon who has and does like doing arm lifts.  You should not have to convince a plastic surgeon to perform a procedure that you are a good candidate for.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Canidates for Brachioplasty...

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Its true that brachioplasty leaves a scar on your arms, but as you said it is a trade-off.  Typically, if the procedure is done well and the patient is healthy, the scars do fade away with time.  If you are certain that you want this procedure done and your surgeon will not perform it then there should be several other quality plastic surgeon that will perform it.  Be sure to look up board certified plastic surgeons that specialize in brachioplasty - this way he or she can help you through the process of achieving something you truly wish to accomplish.




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I am a bit surprised that you cannot find a surgeon willing to do a brachioplasty. You have not included photos--one possibility is that they feel that the problem is not enough to justify the surgery. 

You may find that you will have to travel to a nearby city. Should you so choose, send photos in advance to avoid disappointment after  spending the time to travel to a consult. 

All the best 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

How Can I Convince a Surgeon to Do a Brachioplasty? Or Am I out of Luck?

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As you have pointed out, a brachioplasty, just like most plastic surgery procedures, is a trade-off and your plastic surgeon has to be convinced of two things.  First of all that you understand this concept and are willing to accept the trade-off whole-heartedly.  Secondly, that you are a suitable candidate physically, and you have enough redundancy (sagging and looseness) that justifies replacing it with the scar, even though the scar can be invisible at times.  We turn down many patients who come requesting the procedure, because their looseness is not enough to justify the operation and we instruct them on exercise routines to tighten the triceps and biceps.  I hope this helps.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Convincing a surgeon?

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Thanks for your post. I am intrigued to find you having such a difficult time locating a board certified plastic surgeon who performs brachioplasty. Perhaps, you live in an area with a limited number of surgeons. You should consider traveling to see a qualified surgeon if that is the case. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews


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Thank you for the question. 

Although I do not know where you live, I am surprised that you are having a hard time finding a board-certified plastic surgeon who would offer you arm lifting surgery.

Arm lifting surgery can be an excellent operation for the right patient.  The ideal patient has loose skin/adipose tissue of the upper arms ( sometimes patients called the area “bat wings”),  especially common after significant weight loss.  This operation is best done when patients have achieved a long-term stable weight.

Understandably, one of the main concerns/downsides of the arm lift surgery is a resulting scar. Careful planning of the operation is critical  in executing the operation and determining the final position of the resulting scar.  In my opinion, a scar that ends up along the very lower border of the upper arm is the best tolerated scar,  since it is hard to see from the front or back when a patient's arms are by his/her side.

 You may find it attached link helpful as you do your research.

 Best wishes.


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.