710 Park Avenue, New York, NY

Arm Lift

Imagine going sleeveless with confidence

I am so proud of my decision to have the arm lift with Dr. Kolker.... I made an investment in my happiness, my body and my self-esteem. I now have arms to be proud of... Losing the weight is only half the battle... feeling confident and proud of my new body is the real reward! NF

The arm lift before and after pictures below represent actual patients for whom Dr. Kolker has cared. These patients have provided their permission to display their photographs online.

View Before & After Gallery

  • inverted nipples correction
    inverted nipples correction
  • inverted nipples correction
    inverted nipples correction

Excess skin and fat of the arms can be a result of heredity, or more commonly significant weight loss. Not being able to wear tank tops, bathing suits or other sleeveless tops and dresses, and having to wear long-sleeved shirts, blouses or shawls in warm weather are common complaints. There may be physical problems caused by chafing and irritation of the excess skin and fat as well.

A brachioplasty or "arm lift" is a surgical procedure by which excess skin and excess fat from the upper arms are removed. Occasionally, when there is excess fat only with minimal skin excess and good skin elasticity, liposuction alone may be sufficient. More often, an arm lift or brachioplasty procedure is indicated, in which excess skin and fat are removed and the arms are contoured.

Ideal arm lift candidate
Arm lift advantages
Arm lift techniques
Arm lift stats
  • Length: 2 to 4 hours
  • Back to Work: 7 to 10 days
  • Return to Exercise: 7 to 10 days (light cardio), 3 weeks (moderate exercise, very gentle biceps and triceps toning), 6 weeks (more strenuous exercise, and integration of more arm exercises)


During your initial consultation with Dr. Kolker, he will thoroughly discuss your desires and expectations for your arm lift. After a careful discussion of your weight loss and health history, he will conduct a thorough examination of the skin, soft tissue and muscles of your arms and upper body, and their relationship to the rest of your body. He will carefully review the arm lift procedure, or combination of procedures, that suit you best. When the excess is mild, or limited to the inner arm area only, a limited incision arm lift (short scar brachioplasty) may be considered. When the excess skin and fat are moderate or severe, and involve not just the inner or proximal arm but the distal arm to the elbow, a more classical arm lift or brachioplasty, may be recommended. The arm lift procedure that best suits your needs will be carefully customized, using the most appropriate combination of techniques. As women and men who have lost considerable weight will often have areas other than the arms that concern them, such as excess skin or fat of the abdomen flanks and back, breast droop, thigh laxity, and facial and neck laxity, Dr. Kolker will determine the best sequence of procedures with you, as well as the possibility of a combination of procedures. Dr. Kolker will answer all questions that you might have regarding any step of the process.


The arm lift or brachioplasty procedure is performed with incisions limited to the axilla, or armpit (limited incision arm lift for mild excess only), an incision that progresses to the mid-portion of the arm (limited incision arm lift for moderate excess), or an incision that progresses from the armpit to the elbow (a classical arm lift, for moderate to severe excess). Excess fat is removed by direct excision as well as with liposuction, and the excess skin is trimmed and re-draped. Depending upon the orientation of the excess in the armpit or axillary area as well as the excess on the sides of the chest and back, the arm lift incision will either terminate as a "T" within the armpit, or progress through the armpit with a small "Z" (known as a Z-plasty) to provide the most artistic and pleasing appearance as well as function. Dr. Kolker will recommend the technique that suits you best. The arm lift procedure may be carried as far as is necessary onto the side of the chest when the excess is not limited to the arm alone. The arm lift or brachioplasty procedure can even be "connected" through the area of the sides of the chest wall to the breasts, enabling an upper body lift that includes an arm lift as well as a breast lift (mastopexy). The incision line placement for an arm lift or brachioplasty is in the least conspicuous spot on the arm, most often at the lowest border of the arm (several finger-breadths below the biceps crease). The arm lift procedure in New York is most often performed in Dr. Kolker's office-based surgical suite, accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). The arm lift or brachioplasty takes between three and four hours


Following your arm lift procedure, you will go home the same day with a friend or family member. Dr. Kolker suggests taking ten to fourteen days for recovery when feasible, although it is indeed possible to return to work or school as early as seven to ten days after your arm lift (provided there is no strenuous activity or heavy lifting involved). Small drain tubes are placed during your arm lift, and most often these will be removed between the second and fifth day. With few exceptions, all sutures are dissolvable, and no suture removal in necessary. Light aerobic activity (elliptical or Precor, light treadmill walking, stationary bicycle, recumbent bicycle) may be resumed as early as seven to ten days following arm lift, and more strenuous activity is begun at three weeks. Very light biceps and triceps toning exercises with light hand weights are encouraged at three weeks, and arm exercises are increased at four to six weeks. The final shape and feel is reached approximately three months after arm lift. Your relationship with Dr. Kolker does not end after thigh lift surgery; he will see you often through the first weeks and months following your thigh lift, and will advise you on all matters in your recovery including exercise, activity, and diet.

Related procedures

While arm lift surgery is frequently performed as an isolated procedure, an arm lift may indeed be performed with other procedures. For those individuals who desire additional plastic surgery enhancements, arm lift may be combined with breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), breast augmentation and lift (augmentation mastopexy), thigh lift, liposuction, and facial rejuvenation procedures in selected cases. Most commonly, the arm lift / brachioplasty procedure is combined with a breast lift (mastopexy) and lateral chest lift as an upper body lift, or as an isolated arm lift combined with a medial thigh lift. Other procedures geared towards treating the excesses associated with massive weight loss, such as lower body lift, circumferential thigh lift, and face lift can be performed before or after the arm lift procedure, usually staged by 8 to twelve weeks.

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