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Brachioplasty/Arm Lift Surgery Overview

Losing weight can be very empowering. To have the ability to transform your body and appearance can lead to a huge boost in self-esteem and confidence. However, when it comes to losing beyond tens of pounds (think potentially 100 or more), there is a downside: you are left with a plethora of excess skin and fatty tissue, and no matter how much you workout and eat well, the extra skin and tissue persists.

  • Review from B. A.
  • Source: Google
  • Mar 17, 2019
I highly recommend Dr. Leo Lapuerta and his staff. The results are amazing and I could not be more happy!

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure that removes excess skin and fatty tissue hanging from your arms. While loose skin is more prevalent after losing a lot of weight, drooping skin is also a natural part of getting older. Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a Houston arm lift surgeon who provides men and women throughout various parts of Texas, including Pearland and Katy, with the opportunity to have shapelier arms.

What Is an Arm Lift?

In many cases, weight loss is the primary cause of this loose skin, but it is also a natural part of getting older. As you age, the effects of time and gravity, combined with the natural aging process where skin loses its elasticity, can result in loose and sagging skin. Arms with loose and hanging skin on the underside can be treated with an arm lift, which removes excess/inelastic skin and then reshapes the skin, giving patients arms that have a firm and tight appearance.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?

An ideal candidate for arm lift surgery is an individual who recently experienced huge weight loss and are unhappy with the appearance of their arms. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cited arm lifts among the top 5 cosmetic procedures performed after weight loss. For many, it is a step toward completing the transformation that is a part of their weight loss journey.

Patients should be in good general health and avoid smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking cigarettes can hurt the healing process, as it impacts your circulation and the delivery of needed blood cells to the wound. Patients should also have realistic expectations for the results of their arm lift surgery. During a consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will go over each stage of the procedure, letting patients know what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. That way, patients can have a strong understanding of what their arms will look like after they have fully recovered from arm lift surgery.

Arm Lift Surgical Technique

During arm lift surgery, an incision is made along the inner arm, from the armpit down toward the elbow. Once this incision has been made, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat, and any loose skin will be trimmed away. Depending on the extent of the surgery, a draining tube may be placed to help control bleeding. In patients with excessive drooping, where there is looseness within the internal tissue structures, a tightening technique will be used internally. These surgical efforts will result in a smaller circumference of the upper arm.

What to Expect During Arm Lift Surgery

Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia in Dr. Lapuerta’s on-site, accredited surgical facility and typically takes around 2 hours to complete. It is considered an outpatient procedure. If this surgery is combined with another body contouring procedure, then the patient may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. Once patients are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital, the brachioplasty recovery process begins.

What to Expect Following Arm Lift Surgery

Following surgery, the arm should be kept elevated to help control swelling and promote circulation. For the first one to two weeks, the arm and other impacted areas will experience some swelling and bruising. Patients may need to wear a compression garment positioned near the incision site to help reduce swelling. This compression garment will help stimulate blood flow to aid the healing process. Once the swelling has gone down, you should be able to see the amazing results of your arm lift.

Patients will experience a slow return of normal function and should expect to miss somewhere between three to seven days of work. However, even after you return to work, arm and hand strength will be weak for the first several weeks as the internal tissues heal. Light exercise can be resumed approximately two weeks after arm lift surgery, and more strenuous activity can be resumed around four to six weeks after surgery. As always, be sure to discuss these activities with your doctor during post-op check-ups.

Will There Be Visible Scars from Arm Lift Incisions?

There will be scars at the incision site following arm lift surgery. However, Dr. Lapuerta is an expert plastic surgeon, and he will do everything possible to minimize the visibility of any scarring during the surgery. Patients can expect any scarring to fade over time, and Dr. Lapuerta makes incisions in such a way as to try to make sure the scar is hidden in a place that is not highly visible to the average eye.

Expected Arm Lift Cost

The average arm lift cost is between $5,000-$8,000. Each arm lift procedure is personalized to that specific patient, addressing their desired goals. It can also be tough to get an exact brachioplasty cost because the procedure is often performed in conjunction with other body contouring procedures. The price will increase if the surgery is combined with another body contouring procedure.

The best way to get an accurate arm lift cost estimate is by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Lapuerta.

Schedule a Houston Arm Lift Consultation with Dr. Lapuerta

If your arms have hanging excess skin and fatty tissue, an arm lift can drastically improve their appearance. Dr. Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon who has expertise and experience with arm lift surgery in Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas. Dr. Lapuerta sets himself apart from the competition with his ability to successfully partner with his patients to help them reach their goals, clearly communicating with them in a down-to-earth manner everything they need to know.

During the consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will look at your medical history, examine your arms, and listen to your goals. Once he feels that he has a firm grasp of exactly what you are looking for, Dr. Lapuerta will formulate a treatment plan.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to request an arm lift consultation with Dr. Lapuerta, contact us today.


  • Recovery Time
  • 1-2 Weeks
  • Average Procedure Time
  • 2 Hours
  • Post-op Follow-up
  • 1 Week
  • Procedure Recovery Location
  • Outpatient


Patients that have excess fat inside their arms may be candidates for liposuction, but arm lift patients typically do not have excess fat as their primary problem. These individuals have excessive sagging and loose, hanging skin. The only way to correct this problem is through a brachioplasty procedure. Patients who have relatively good skin tone but also have excess fat in the arms can sometimes achieve their desired results with an exercise and diet regime that incorporates the use of weights.
It’s important that patients understand scarring is a part of this procedure. It is recommended that patients avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. Most patients believe the scars are a small trade-off for a new, shapelier arm. We will discuss scar care to help assist in the healing process.
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. Some common techniques often combined during what is known as an “upper body lift” include liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast surgery (breast lift). During your consultation, each surgery will be discussed and recommendations will be made on whether these procedures should be done at the same time.
An arm lift is performed to remove hanging skin and fat. Once this has been acheived, patients can then begin to work on building muscle through strength training. Following surgery, once the arms are healed, patients can resume exercise and weight training. This is a great way to gain additional shape to the arms.
Leo Lapuerta Plastic Surgery