a photo of an overweight woman looking at her arm

One of the services offered at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, Michigan is the Arm Lift or Brachioplasty. There are a lot of questions involved when determining whether or not Brachioplasty is the right choice for you. The answers to these questions will vary greatly by individual circumstances and need.

What Is an Arm Lift?

There are many situations in which the upper arm isn’t as aesthetically appealing as we would like it to be. Whether it is a shaping issue or a concern about excess skin, those who seek Brachioplasty do so because they are frustrated with trying to correct upper arm imperfections on their own.

In these situations, arm lift surgery can help. This procedure not only can reduce the excess skin in the upper arms, but also can smooth out any underlying issues in the supportive tissue of the arm that help add shape and definition and can remove small pockets of fat deposits in the upper arm region.

Reasons to Get an Arm Lift

Some of the most popular reasons to seek arm lift surgery are:

To Remove Excess Fat and Skin

The upper arms can be especially problematic for those who have recently lost a lot of weight. Because fat stores itself in this area, when the fat is lost, the skin almost always remains baggy. This can make it hard to tell that the weight was lost at all.

One of the most common complaints among those who recover from bariatric procedures meant to help with weight loss is that after the weight rapidly comes off, the skin on the arms sags and can appear unsightly. Many choose to follow up on their bariatric procedures with Brachioplasty as a final step in achieving their body image goals.

To Improve Contour

Well-defined, shapely arms are appealing no matter who you are. Improving the contour and definition of the upper arm through Brachioplasty will add aesthetic appeal more easily than through other alternative methods of toning the area.

The tone and shape of your arms can be changed using Brachioplasty. Depending on how the physician chooses to tuck the skin and trim away excess deposits of fat, the appearance of your upper arm can actually be altered rather dramatically.

This is a particularly appealing option for those who have always felt self-conscious about how their genetics have determined the shape of the arm between the shoulder and elbow. Genetic shaping is usually not responsive to other factors, so Brachioplasty provides a rare chance to create options.

To Achieve Better Proportioning

One of the biggest complaints people have about the shape of their arms is that the upper arm can seem disproportionately large when compared to the forearm. If you feel that your arms are not properly proportioned, Brachioplasty may be a solution.

During this procedure, the upper arm is trimmed and tightened to create a more proportionate look when compared to the rest of the arm and shoulder. When the proportions of your arm seem more correct, it will usually be easier for you to maintain confidence in your overall appearance.

To Remove Scar Tissue

Sometimes your upper arm can have scars or other cosmetic issues that are the result of past injury or skin irritations earlier in life. In these circumstances, Brachioplasty can offer an opportunity to minimize these issues. During Brachioplasty, the skin is trimmed and tucked in a way that offers minimization of other cosmetic imperfections.

To Address Hygiene Issues

Depending on how much excess skin you are trying to manage, you might find that there are certain hygiene issues that are involved. Issues like rash and sweat irritation or yeast infection can occur in areas where there are excess folds that lock in moisture or are hard to clean.

Brachioplasty can help you overcome these issues by removing the excess skin that is creating a problematic environment in terms of overall cleanliness.

To See Your Workout Results

If you work out a lot, you no doubt want to see the fruits of your labor. This can be made difficult if there is too much skin in the way of seeing the muscle in the upper arm build. If you lift weights a lot and have noticed that you can feel the muscle in the upper arm growing, but cannot see the growth, odds are that you have excess skin standing in the way.

An arm lift will help tighten this skin in a way that your workout results will be more obvious. This can help you feel more confident and also allow you to track the progress of your weight-lifting more easily.

To Improve Your Overall Physical Comfort

Much like wearing clothing that is oversized, the issues involved in carrying excess skin can be uncomfortable. You might feel pinching or general discomfort when your arms are tucked inside or your clothing. Even sleeping can present problems if the skin folds in an uncomfortable way.

Brachioplasty can remove these areas of excess skin and help you feel more comfortable, reducing the discomfort that is often associated with excessive folds or wrinkling in relation to sagging skin in the upper arm area.

To Gain Confidence

The upper arm is often a place that creates a sense of low self-esteem. If someone is uncomfortable with how they look, it is hard to feel confident. The fastest way to overcome these feelings is to find a way to feel better about how you look.

Brachioplasty is one way that you can address a body image issue and move forward feeling more at ease with your personal appearance. Sleeveless shirts and crop tops are fun clothing options but are often passed over because of concerns about how the upper arms will look when wearing them. If you are interested in expanding your wardrobe to include more revealing tops, Brachioplasty can help you gain the confidence needed to take the next step.

Following an arm lift, many report that wearing sleeveless tops or even short sleeve blouse options feels more freeing thanks to the newfound confidence they gained as a result of this simple procedure. It is also not uncommon for those who receive Brachioplasty treatment to feel more comfortable shedding the baggy cover-ups at the beach and pool.

Good Candidates for Brachioplasty

Not everyone will be a suitable candidate for Brachioplasty. If you are considering having Brachioplasty done, you must first determine if this is the right procedure to address your individual needs.

Non-Diabetic Individuals

While diabetes is not an immediate disqualifier for Brachioplasty, it does present considerations that must be taken into account when considering the overall healing process from the procedure. Diabetes has been known to affect the ability to heal, so it is important to discuss any glucose issues you know of before undergoing the procedure. This will give your doctor a more clear understanding of your personal needs and help them create a care plan that will ensure your healing goes as smoothly as possible.

Adults With Stable Weight

Most issues with loose skin in the upper arm region are rooted in prior weight control issues. Rapid weight gain or loss following an arm lift can undo the results. For this reason, your physician will want to be sure that you are at a stable and healthy weight before you undergo the procedure.

If your weight has been fluctuating or is not yet at a healthy place, you may be asked to wait before the procedure is scheduled. This might feel frustrating, but it is for the best interest of your health and the overall outcome of the Brachioplasty process.

Positive Outlook and Realistic Expectations

During your consultation, your physician will want to discuss your expectations. Before the procedure can be scheduled, it is important to be sure you are going into the procedure with a full understanding of what you can expect as a result of the process.

Knowing that you are aware of the most realistic results possible, any obstacles you may encounter, and that you are meeting this understanding with a positive outlook will be key in determining your eligibility.


Smoking can affect your body’s circulation. As such, we may have some reservations about performing the surgery on you if you are a frequent and heavy smoker. Those who do not smoke at all will typically see the most success as a result of an arm lift.

Smoking is not an absolute disqualifier, though. It is important to be honest with your physician about your smoking so that they can properly assess the risk factor that is presented as a result of your tobacco use. From there, your physician will be able to discuss recommendations and expectations for the procedure.

While none of these are definitive guidelines to determine your eligibility for Brachioplasty, they should give you a starting point for discussing the procedure as an option with us.

What to Expect

When you meet with us to discuss Brachioplasty as an option, there are a few topics that will need to be covered. First, we will want to discuss your surgical goals to determine whether or not you are placing reasonable expectations for the outcome of the procedure. Next, we need to discuss any medical conditions, previous surgeries, or lifestyle factors that may affect the outcome.

Your surgeon will also want to evaluate your current health with a simple physical and possibly some lab work. You will likely be asked to pose for photographs that will be used in the planning process of the procedure and likely outcomes will be discussed. During your consultation, you should not be afraid to ask questions- this is the time to gather all the information possible ahead of the day of the procedure. Do not be ashamed of asking any questions. There is no such thing as a “silly question” when it comes to addressing your personal wellness.

Following the procedure, your results will be instantly evident. By following the careful aftercare instructions presented by your physician, you can ensure that these results are beautiful and long-lasting.

Call Today to Schedule Your Consultation

If you are interested in an arm lift, call Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, Michigan today to discuss the procedure in more detail and determine if Brachioplasty is the right choice for you. Our helpful staff is happy to answer any questions you may have.


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