Looking to see if I would be a good candidate for a arm lift and how bad would the scar be? (photos)

Looking to see if I would be a good candidate for a arm lift and how bad would the scar be? Also since I have a tattoo on one arm can the skin be pulled to cut off the tattoo without it looking horrible?

Doctor Answers 6

Looking to see if I would be a good candidate for a arm lift and how bad would the scar be?

I think that arm lift surgery would likely be of benefit based upon the pictures presented.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Am I good candidate for a brachioplasty?

Judging by your photograph it appears that you would be a good candidate for a brachioplasty.

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 longer to undergo full healing and maturation than incisions on other parts of the body. 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 and replaced by elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Most patients wear these for up for up to 4 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. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Am I a candidate for arm lift?

Am I a candidate for arm lift? I believe I answered your question in a previous post, but the pictures here are much better of the arms. Looking at these photos, I do not think a full arm lift, or brachioplasty, is the right procedure for you. The scar is significant and is not worth it in your case.  Also the incision form lift will not remove the tattoo. In your case, I would rather perform conservative liposuction with a mini-incision in the armpit, followed by thermi-tight for skin tightening. This could be done all at once or separate from the tummy tuck procedure. 

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lengthy scar necessary for formal arm lift her brachial plastic.

This car is the major aesthetic drawback with a brachial plastic. It will extend on the inner part of the arm from the axilla to the elbow. Over time most are satisfactory

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Would I be a good candidate for a arm lift

Thank you for your question and photos.  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:  scarring that may require scar revision (more so, in my experience, than 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.


Ultimately, as with any cosmetic procedure, you will need to weigh your degree of concern with the appearance of your upper arms against the downsides associated with arm lifting surgery. After careful consideration of pros/cons/risk/complications, you will be able to set decide whether or not to proceed.


If so, best to seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with.  




I hope this,  and the attached link, helps.

Looking to see if I would be a good candidate for a arm lift and how bad would the scar be?

Based on your photos- you appear to be a good candidate for an arm lift. The incision and the subsequent scar -is usually placed inside of the arm from axilla to the inner elbow. This allows complete removal of the hanging skin.

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.