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Excess skin under the arms can be one of the most frustrating challenges that comes along with getting older or losing a significant amount of weight. At our San Francisco practice, we offer upper arm lift surgery (also called brachioplasty) as an intervention for anyone having trouble toning or tightening their arms through 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. This issue is sometimes known as "bat wings." Dr. James Anthony, a San Francisco, CA plastic surgeon, is highly experienced with fat removal and skin tightening procedures, and brings his artistic sensibility to each and every surgery for natural results.

If you want to hear more information about how brachioplasty can change the appearance of your upper arms, please contact us for an appointment.

Our patients love the arm lift procedure for its ability to eliminate loose, hanging skin on their upper arms, while restoring youthful tautness to the skin.

Dr. James Anthony Plastic Surgery

Am I an Ideal Candidate?

If you’re tired of hiding your “bat wings” and are interested in an arm lift in San Francisco and the Bay Area, you may be a great candidate for an arm lift. You’ll need to be in overall good health so you can recover properly, and it’s critical that you’re at or close to a healthy, stable weight before your surgery.

Dr. Anthony’s Surgical Technique

In most cases, your upper arm surgery will be performed in an outpatient facility, unless it’s one of multiple procedures to be performed at the same time. An upper arm lift may be done with other surgeries (often completed at a facility with inpatient monitoring), including a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or mommy makeover, as long as Dr. Anthony considers it appropriate.

An upper arm lift is typically done with the patient under general anesthesia and can require a few hours to finish. There are two types of arm lifts. One uses a limited skin excision limited to the armpit while in a traditional brachioplasty skin is removed starting at the elbow and continuing to the armpit. Dr. Anthony will help you select the best procedure for you. The incision will be placed in a way that allows it to be hidden as easily possible, although it will become a visible scar. In cases where liposuction is wanted to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat, this can be completed as well. 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.

What Can I Expect After My Arm Lift?

Most patients recover over the course of about two weeks, with lots of rest and arm elevation. It’s important to 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 after your surgery.

You’ll need to keep compression garments on until you receive permission from Dr. Anthony to remove them. For at least one month, you’ll have to avoid all exercise and strenuous activity except for short walks, which you should take regularly.  

Before & After

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Enjoy the Arms You’ve Always Wanted

If you’re sick and tired of hanging, droopy skin under your arms, Dr. Anthony can help you improve your appearance with a San Francisco arm lift. His highly experienced approach is focused on natural results, helping you to look and feel fitter and younger with upper arm lift surgery.

Dr. James Anthony Plastic Surgery


How much does arm lift surgery cost?

The price of your arm lift surgery will depend on a variety of factors. Before your procedure, Dr. Anthony will work with you to gain an understanding of your specific needs and personal goals, after which he’ll be able to create your surgical plan and estimate your costs. To make it easier to afford a skilled surgeon like Dr. Anthony and get your best results, our practice accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest medical financing.

Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?

It’s fairly common for arm lift patients to combine the surgery with another procedure. This is sometimes referred to as an upper body lift and may include liposuction, a tummy tuck, or breast surgery. An arm lift is also commonly performed as part of an after-weight loss surgery for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want full body contouring. During your consultation with Dr. Anthony, each surgery will be discussed so your unique surgical plan can be developed.

Will there be scars?

Arm lift surgery requires incisions to remove excess skin, which means there will be stitches and scarring. However, Dr. Anthony makes every effort to ensure that your incisions are small and placed in inconspicuous areas, and his extensive experience has made him quite adept when it comes to leaving minimal scarring. After your surgery, topical ointments to assist in scar healing will be recommended along with other tips for scar care management. Dr. Anthony also recommends you avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration.

What results can I expect from an arm lift?

An arm lift is designed to remove hanging skin and fat. Once your arms are fully healed after surgery and Dr. Anthony has authorized it, you can begin weight training. This is a great way to add shape to your arms by toning and strengthening the muscles, and you should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid a dramatic weight loss or gain, which could compromise your surgical results.

Are there non-surgical treatments to improve my arms?

While there are many great non-surgical skin tightening treatments, most will only provide mild improvements. To remove moderate to severe amounts of loose skin, an arm lift is your best option. Along with removing excess skin, Dr. Anthony can also carefully remove small amounts of fat before smoothing the remaining skin and tissue for better results. If you are interested in non-surgical options, Dr. Anthony can walk you through all possible treatments during your consultation and help you decide which is best for your needs and goals.

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