A brachioplasty, or arm lift, is a procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the upper arm. This procedure effectively eliminates “bat wings” running the length of the upper arms, a common problem that primarily affects women and does not respond to diet and exercise.

Dr. Shapiro performs arm lift surgery in Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ to restore a more toned and youthful appearance to the arms.

How Does an Arm Lift Procedure Work?

This standard procedure is a good option for patients who are at a normal weight but are troubled by lax skin of the underarms or obvious sagging skin. Liposuction alone cannot resolve this problem, as it will remove the fat but leave empty, loose skin.

This surgery begins with an incision that typically extends from the armpits to the inside of the arms to remove excess fat and skin, which are elevated from the underlying muscles of the arms. A drain will likely be placed beneath the incision to drain fluid that could accumulate and delay healing or cause complications.

Incisions will be carefully closed to minimize the appearance of the scar. A sterile dressing will be applied, and a compression garment will be placed over the arms to support the arms during healing and help decrease swelling and bruising.

While brachioplasty scars are long, usually from the underarm to the elbow on the inner portion of the arm, many patients feel their arms still look much better and are willing to trade a scar for shaplier arms that do not swing.


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Arm Lift Recovery

This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients are able to return to work after about one week, although normal exercise should weight at least four to six weeks. During the initial phase of the recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous activities involving arm movement. This includes raising the arms above your head or any lifting.

Absorbable sutures are generally used, which do not need to be removed. Any conventional stitches as well as drains will be removed during a follow-up appointment with Dr. Shapiro about one to two weeks after the procedure.

Discomfort and some pain are normal for the first two days. Dr. Shapiro will prescribe oral pain medication to make the recovery process a bit easier.

Swelling and bruising are also common and typically peak after three days and subside over the next two weeks. Sleeping with your arms elevated on pillows for two weeks is recommended to minimize swelling.

Mini Arm Lift

For patients with excess hanging skin that is close to the armpits, or those who have excess fat on the arms but fairly good skin elasticity, a limited incision brachioplasty (or minibrachioplasty) may be a good option. This procedure uses liposuction for a minimally invasive removal of the fat, as patients with good elasticity will have skin that retracts afterward. Excess skin can be removed through a small incision in the underarm. This procedure allows patients to get smooth, contoured arms without feeling self-conscious in short sleeves.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are bothered by loose skin and/or excess fat on the upper arms, the first step to take is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Shapiro. During your initial consultation, Dr. Shapiro will perform an evaluation of your arms, review your medical history and answer any questions you have. With an understanding of your goals, Dr. Shapiro will help you create a customized surgical plan. This will also be an opportunity to learn about the exact technique that will be used during your surgery, as well as the expected outcome, recovery process, and brachioplasty cost in Scottsdale.


How long does surgery take?

This procedure typically takes one to two hours to complete.

What can I expect during the recovery?

Swelling is typical during the first one to two weeks, as well as some bruising. Most patients do not experience much pain after the first two days, and a compression garment will be worn for a few days to aid in healing. Most patients return to work after one week.

How long do brachioplasty results last?

This procedure produces very long-lasting results. Patients will need to maintain a healthy weight after the surgery to keep the contours of the arms.

What are the risks of this surgery?

This is considered very safe and effective surgery. As with any surgical procedure, though, there are risks. Rare complications include skin discoloration, asymmetry, scarring, bleeding and a loss of sensation.

Meet Dr. Daniel Shapiro

A world-class plastic surgeon in a league of his own.

Dr. Shapiro is an award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon with nearly three decades of experience in his field. With impressive technical skill and a talent for creating natural-looking results, his practice has become a leading destination for discerning patients throughout the country.

Known for his compassion and honesty, Dr. Shapiro strives to educate his patients so that they are empowered about their care. He carefully explains the procedures, expected results, and techniques in a way that anyone can understand. Additionally, he personally guides his clients every step of the way – from the initial consultation to their post-operative care – to ensure an enjoyable experience and the best possible results.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the reopening of my practice for both surgical and non-surgical services on May 1, 2020. As per the governor Ducey's executive order on April 22, 2020, elective surgery has been allowed to proceed, with appropriate precautions taken by health care professionals to ensure continued vigilance against the spread of Covid-19.

Our office staff and the staff of Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center and Surgical Recovery Center have proactively taken necessary precautions to meet strict criterion for health providers according to the state of Arizona. These include necessary patient screening for Covid-19, strict protocols for cleaning offices and treatment rooms, adequate PPE, and continued social distancing. As before, waiting areas will have minimal capacity, and friends and family members should not accompany one into offices or treatment areas.

With great anticipation we welcome you back to the practice, and wish you all continued health and safety.

Sincerely, Daniel Shapiro MD, FACS

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