Arm Lifts

Arm Lifts (Brachioplasty)

What is an Arm Lift?

Brachioplasty (arm lift) is one of the fastest growing procedures in the US.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the arm lift had the second largest leap in the number of cosmetic procedures performed in 2012. A brachioplasty minimizes excess fat and skin in the arm and armpit areas. An arm lift creates  a more athletic, toned, and youthful appearance to your upper arm extremity by removing the excess skin and fat that obscures the detail of the underlying muscles.

Types of Arm Lifts

There are a number of different types of incisions that may be utilized to achieve an arm lift. The type of incision that Dr. Durkin will use depends on the clinical presenation and fat that is preset in your arms prior to surgery. Currently there are no effective nonsurgical approaches to armlifting. However, an effective training regiment consisting of cardiovascular, weights, and resistance training can prevent the need for an arm lift. Patients, however, who have already developed excess skin and fat can not reverse the effect with exercise alone.

There are a number of different approaches to brachioplasty. The most common approach places an incision along the the medial (inner) most portion of the arm close to the biceps muscle. This incision however, we have found can be noticeable. Therefore, Dr. Durkin has adapted our technique to the inferior aspect of the arm. By placing the incision inferiorly, it optimizes his ability to hide the scar without comprising the amount of skin and fat to be removed. As well, this incision can be extended into the armpit region to tighten up that problematic area as well.  When the incision is carried into the arpit it is termed “extended brachioplasty”. An extended brachioplasty will tone the arms and shoulder. It can also be extended down to include the lateral contour of the chest.

Another type of arm lift approach is through a transverse incision to the armpit itself. This mimimally invasive approach is an outstanding option for men and women who have good fascia tone, muscle mass, with minimal to moderate skin redundancy. At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, Dr. Durkin’s arm lift technique provides you with a comprehensive approach to upper arm rejuvenation.

Arm Lift Procedure


All of your consultations, pre-operative appointments, surgery, and post-operative appointments are performed at our Vero Beach office. At the time of your procedure Dr. Durkin, marks you in the standing position. You will discuss and come to a mutual agreement on the length, and position of your incision. Subsequently at our surgery center, you are taken to the operating room where our anesthesiologist will cater to your comfort and safety. The actual procedure takes approximately 2 hours but, you will also have time ample time for post-operative recovery. Your arm lift begins with infusion of tumescent solution followed by comprehensive liposuction of the upper extremity. Dr. Durkin removes all available excess skin and fat as agreed to prior to your surgery. He then closes your wound in 3 layers. Surgical drains are used sparingly (rarely used).

Postoperatively, you can expect minimal to some discomfort in your arms and experience a quick recovery. Most patients return to normal activities within 5-7 days. After your surgery, you may receive additional skincare, fractional laser resurfacing, and/or silicone sheeting. All of these post-surgical modulators are available at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery and will be discussed at your consultation.