Upper Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty) in Ashburn, VA


One big challenge when getting older or losing weight is the appearance of excess skin. At The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer upper arm lift surgery (also called brachioplasty) as a procedure for people who cannot manage to tone or tighten the arm with natural methods. Excess skin from the elbow to the shoulder is very typical, particularly for people who are getting older or have lost significant amounts of weight. An upper arm lift excises this excess skin, sometimes known as “bat wings.” Dr. Michael J. Brown, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Ashburn, VA, is very knowledgeable in fat removal and skin tightening surgical techniques. If you want to hear more information about how brachioplasty can alter the contour of your upper arms, please contact us for an appointment at The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery.

“I heard about Dr. Brown through a YouTube video of an arm lift he did. He was very knowledgeable and sincere and his staff was great. I was nervous and scared to undergo surgery, but their knowledge and confidence made me feel safe. Their kindness went a long way. I was in their hands and […]

- M.M. /

Dec 14, 2016 /

Surgical Experience


An upper arm lift is a plastic surgery employing advanced methods to contour and eliminate unwanted skin. If you are tired of hiding your “bat wings” and would prefer them to appear trim and taut again, you are a great candidate for an arm lift. You need to be in overall good health so that you will recover properly. Some of the top concerns for potential arm lift patients are excess, hanging skin on their upper arms, plus minimal tautness of the skin. It is critical that you are at or close to a healthy, stable weight before your surgery.


In most cases, your upper arm surgery will be performed in an outpatient facility, except in cases where several cosmetic surgeries are to be performed at one time. An upper arm lift may be done with other surgeries, including a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or mommy makeover — as long as Dr. Brown considers it appropriate. An upper arm lift is typically done with the patient under general anesthesia and can require a few hours to finish. The sagging skin will be surgically removed, starting at the elbow and continuing to the armpit. The incision will be placed to be as hidden as possible, although it will become a visible scar. In cases where liposuction is wanted to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat, this can be completed also. After the skin is pulled taut, it will be stitched together. You will have to care for the incisions by keeping them cleaned, covered, and supported with compression garments.

During an arm lift procedure, the incision position can vary, including:

  • Along the bottom of the hanging skin: This option heals well, and the scar may be visible from behind.
  • Along the inside of the arm: This option will leave a wider scar that will typically only be visible if the arms are moved away from the body. 


A typical recovery timeframe may take an estimated 2 – 3 weeks with lots of rest and arm elevation. Give your body time to heal. You use your arms for more than you think so most patients should slowly make their way back to their daily activities. If needed, a suture removal appointment will be scheduled about ten days following surgery. Compression garments must be kept on until you receive permission from Dr. Brown. For at least one month, all exercise and strenuous activity must be eliminated, except frequent, short walks. If you have uncontrolled bleeding, excessive swelling, fluid buildup (hematoma), signs of infection, numbness in the hands or arms, or unusual scarring, please contact The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery for answers.


How much does arm lift surgery cost?

The total cost for an arm lift will be based on several things. Before he can estimate your costs, Dr. Brown will start with a consultation to understand your concerns and goals. Following this, he will develop your unique surgical plan and break down your costs. In order to make it easier to choose an experienced plastic surgeon, like Dr. Brown, and get the results you want, The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery takes several payments. We will also give you information on low-interest financing.

Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?

It is normal for patients who want an arm lift to create a custom treatment plan with another surgery. This is often known as an upper body lift and can combine liposuction, a breast lift, or tummy tuck. Arm lift surgery is also frequently included in an after weight loss surgery for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and need contouring throughout their body. In your initial consultation with Dr. Brown, complementary surgeries can be talked about so your personal treatment plan matches all your needs and goals.

Will there be scars?

A surgical arm lift needs incisions in order to cut away excess skin, which leads to scars from sutures. However, Dr. Brown will make every effort to place the small incisions in inconspicuous areas. Following your arm lift, creams that help with healing will be suggested along with our tips for minimizing scarring. Dr. Brown also suggests you limit UV exposure for at least one year to protect the scar from becoming discolored. In general, patients consider the overall benefits of an arm lift are worth the minimal scars created.

What results can I expect from an arm lift?

A surgical arm lift is used to treat loose skin and small amounts of fat. You should follow a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet to avoid a dramatic change in your weight, which might undo your results. After your lift, as soon as you are recovered and Dr. Brown has given permission, you should start strength training. This is a good way to improve the shape of your upper arms by toning the muscles.

Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?

Although there are a lot of noninvasive skin tightening options, they can only give you small improvements. To correct moderate to severe skin laxity, arm lift surgery is your best choice. In addition to treating loose skin, Dr. Brown also uses liposuction on small pockets of fat and smoothes the tissue and remaining skin. If you are interested in learning about nonsurgical procedures, Dr. Brown can tell you about these in your consultation and then help you choose which fits your goals.


No matter what you call your droopy skin or “bat wings” under your upper arms, plastic surgeon Dr. Brown sees it as a way to improve your appearance with cosmetic surgery. This innovative surgery provides physical and emotional benefits as well. If you are at or close to a healthy, stable weight but still cannot get rid of the skin and flab that hang off your arms, please contact us to plan a consultation with Dr. Michael J. Brown at The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery. Look and feel fitter and younger with upper arm lift surgery.

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