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What is a Brachioplasty?

Brachioplasty – also referred to as an arm reduction or arm lift surgery –removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms which may have resulted from weight loss, diet and exercise or following pregnancy.

Some patients choose to have an arm reduction to reduce the occurrence of skin irritation and infection caused by the loose skin.

Brachioplasty is best suited to individuals whose weight has remained stable for at least three months and are in good physical condition.

Arm Lift Surgery Consultation

You will need to allow one hour for your initial consultation with the surgeon. During this appointment, the surgeon will discuss your expectations for the arm lift, how the surgery will be performed, the risks involved, and the recovery process.

During this appointment, you will also need to inform the doctor of your full medical history to ensure you’re a suitable candidate for the surgery.

Before Your Surgery

Your surgeon will discuss with you the necessary steps you must take to prepare yourself for surgery.

This includes:

  • Stopping smoking at least six weeks before and six weeks following surgery
  • Altering any medications or ceasing certain medications such as Aspirin, Disprin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Completing any required blood tests

Your surgeon will also discuss with you the extent of scarring you can expect as well as how much fat and tissue will be removed during your procedure.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications involved in brachioplasty, which your surgeon will discuss with you in depth during your consultation. While minimal, patients need to be informed of the risks before consenting to surgery.

Arm lift surgery carries the following potential risks and complications:

  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to tapes and medication
  • Problem scarring
  • Wound breakdown
  • Blood clot formations
  • Excessive tissue fluid formation
  • Numbness, redness and swelling of the inner arms and forearms

Loss of sensation, redness and swelling of the arms tend to improve over 18 months to two years after surgery. There is a small percentage (approximately 5 per cent) of patients who require further surgery to address the risks and complications of brachioplasty.

How Much Does a Brachioplasty Cost?

We do not include a cost-per-procedure on our website. This is in line with the Australian Medical Board’s guidelines on advertising for regulated health services.

During your consultation, your surgeon will provide you with a tailored costing or you can contact our clinic before your first appointment to discuss approximate costs and possible rebates.

Please contact us on 07 3180 3400 or submit an online enquiry to find out more.

There is a cost for an initial consultation at our Brisbane clinic, with the potential to receive a portion of this back via Medicare where eligible for rebate, provided you have a referral from your GP.

The Surgical Procedure

Brachioplasty surgery is performed by one of NorthEast Plastic Surgery’s highly trained and experienced surgeons, Mr Patrick Tansley or Dr Sugitha Seneviratne, in an accredited hospital.

While the patient is under general anaesthetic, the surgeon makes incisions that run from armpit down to the lower arm, just above the elbow. Excess fat from the inner aspect of the arm is removed and in some cases, liposuction is also performed to create a more contoured look.

Dissolving and external skin stiches are applied to close the skin, and drains may be inserted to reduce the risk of blood or tissue fluid build-up.

Following surgery, some patients may need to have their external stitches removed a week to 10 days afterwards.

Recovery After Surgery

It is important that access to medical attention is available by telephone once you have been discharged. Issues about which your surgeon needs to be made aware urgently include pain uncontrolled by medication, bleeding to the extent that the dressings soak through with blood, temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius, redness of the skin or any concerns related to the surgery.

After surgery, patients have sterile dressings and compressive garments where appropriate to keep swelling down and encourage a healthy wound healing process.

To keep bruising and swelling to a minimum, it is also recommended to keep arms elevated with pillows for a week. Patients also need to take great care ensuring that their arms do not get knocked or accidently hit for six weeks after the surgery.

Patients are advised to contact their surgeon immediately if they experience significant bleeding, high temperature, or pain not controlled with pain medication prescribed after surgery. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed by your Specialist Anaesthetist, which will assist in minimising discomfort and potential infections of the wound.

Patients are advised to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and driving for a number of weeks after surgery, and are generally fit to return to work three weeks afterwards.

In post-operative consultations, patients will be advised on the best ways to manage their scars and swelling so as to reduce the appearance and thickness of surgical scars.

While bruising and swelling will increase a few days after surgery, it generally subsides some five to 10 days afterwards, although it will take several months for all soft tissue swelling to completely subside.

The final results of an arm lift may not be visible for many months following surgery, as the inner arm scar will remain visible for up to 18 months after surgery.

Second Opinion

Mr Patrick Tansley MD FRCS (Plast) and Dr Sugitha Seneviratne FRACS (Plast) provide second opinion to patients seeking to address previous cosmetic plastic surgery problems and revisions for already ‘botched’ surgery. If you would like a second opinion on previously undertaken surgery, book a consultation to discuss this with one or both of our surgeons.

Before & After Photos

As the privacy of our patients is of the utmost importance to us, we do not provide before and after photos on our website. You will be shown a number of before and after images during your private consultation to illustrate the potential outcomes of surgery. These images have been provided by previous patients who have consented to their private use.

contact us

T (07) 3180 3400
F (07) 3180 3401
P 0411865055
(paging service for after hours emergencies only)


NorthEast Plastic Surgery
Wickham House
Level 1 155 Wickham Terrace
Spring Hill
Queensland 4000

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