About Arm Lift Surgery
The delicate skin of the arm often causes the arms to be the first to look saggy with age or weight loss. At A Woman Plastic Surgeon, we offer arm lift surgery (also called brachioplasty) as a procedure for people who cannot tone or tighten the arm with natural methods. Excess or lax skin from the elbow to the upper arm is very common, especially for people who are getting older or have lost significant amounts of weight. An arm lift removes this excess skin, sometimes known as "bat wings." Cynthia Mizgala, a plastic surgeon in Metairie, LA, is very knowledgeable in skin tightening and fat removal techniques. She also offers both full and mini arm lifts. If you would like to learn more about how brachioplasty can alter the contour of your arms, please contact us for a consultation at A Woman Plastic Surgeon.
"Dr. Mizgala is Phenomenal! - I recently had a Tummy Tuck / Liposuction procedure done by Dr. Mizgala and I couldn't be more happy with the results. Dr. Mizgala and her staff a great. They made me feel comfortable and answered all of my questions no matter how many I asked and believe me I asked a lot of them. I have never experienced a doctors visit as pleasant and professional as the ones I had with her. She will have my..."- L. / RealSelf / Nov 07, 2018
"very knowledgeable and friendly. She really cares about her patient."- L.P. / Google / Jun 21, 2019
"Dr. Mizgala and Her Staff Are the Best in the Business! Dr. Mizgala is the best! I had my initial consultation in August 2018, to discuss excess skin removal on my stomach, back and arms after losing around 140 pounds. I had maintained the weight loss for around 15 years, and my work and financial situation finally made skin removal surgery possible. I knew I was looking at major surgery/ surgeries, and I needed to feel confident and trusting of the person I chose to perform such extensive work on me. I have pre-existing high blood pressure, frequent skin infections and a history of severe nausea and vomiting with anesthesia. I needed a surgeon who appreciated the complexity involved with the amount of skin I needed removed, and who would be able to safely get the results I wanted. I consulted with two other surgeons, and both of those appointments were rushed and quite uninformative. Instead of answering my questions, I was referred to a pamphlet or the internet as I was being shown the door. My consultation with Dr. Mizgala was the exact opposite. I was encouraged and comfortable before I went to the office. Patty, the office manager, was so sweet and helpful when I spoke to her to make my appointment. At the consultation, Dr. Mizgala and I discussed several procedures to get the best results for my body type. She took the time to fully explain the pros and cons of each procedure, the downtime and recovery involved, and the results I could realistically expect. She answered my questions and addressed my concerns with respect and dignity. Together Dr. Mizgala and I came up with a plan of action that would provide the best outcome for me. I never felt rushed or like I was in a sales pitch; I was at ease and I just knew I was in good hands. From that very first day, I have felt safe, comfortable and supported by the entire staff. Every visit since then has just reinforced my feeling of gratitude for having found such a wonderful, caring surgeon and her awesome team. Dr. Mizgala and her staff truly care about their patients’ complete recovery. I had a fleur de lis tummy tuck and radiofrequency assisted liposuction on my neck in November, a bra line back lift in March, and an arm lift in April. I only had one minor wave of nausea between all 3 surgeries; I’ve experienced worse with a 15 minute epidural. I had several feet of incision on my torso and arms with the 3 surgeries. Given my long history of skin infections, it was not surprising that I experienced delayed healing in some areas. Dr. Mizgala saw me every single day, including weekends, and she came to my condo to check on me. She was also a strong advocate in helping me get the care I needed to heal with the best results. I felt her concern and I knew she sincerely cared about my recovery. I am absolutely thrilled with my results. Dr. Mizgala and her team have treated me like family throughout this entire process. I never expected this to be such a life-changing experience, inside and out. Dr. Mizgala and her staff’s encouragement helped me to find self-confidence I didn’t even realize I was missing! They all truly care about their patients’ holistic recovery every step of the way. When my life circumstances allowed me the opportunity to have my excess skin removed, this was mostly about the practicality of getting rid of the physical complications caused by the skin while I was still relatively young. I wanted to be able to exercise without having infections and interference from the extra skin, and I wanted to get the extra weight off my back to help my sciatica and hip pain. I got the practical results I was looking for, but the care, support and encouragement of Dr. Mizgala and her staff have given me so much more. I thought this was going to be the last step in my weight loss journey, but it has turned out to be the start of my new life. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself, which is an incredible and priceless surprise. My friends and family see a huge difference in the way I look and carry myself, physically and mentally. I recently turned 45 years old, and I called it my Re-Birth Day. I knew I would have a significant change in my body, but I never dreamed I would have such an incredible mental and emotional transformation so quickly. I have been reborn as a confident, self-assured woman, and I am excited to think about what’s to come in my new life."- L. / RealSelf / May 09, 2019
"Excellent experience - It has been a few years but she was very patient and kind and really cared about me. Her staff was also great. I still recommend people to her even though it’s been overs 5 years. JoAnn Proctor"- Anonymous / Vitals / Apr 26, 2019
"I Had a Wonderful Experience - It has been a few years, but Dr. Mizgala did my breast reduction and tummy tuck. She was very kind and attentive and I still recommend people who are considering any type of surgery for cosmetic reasons to contact her office. JoAnn Proctor"- J. / RealSelf / Apr 25, 2019
An arm lift is a plastic surgery employing innovative techniques to slim and eliminate unwanted skin. It may be combined with new liposuction techniques if there is also unwanted fat on the arms. If you are tired of hiding your flabby arms and want them to look trim and taut again, you are a great candidate for an arm lift. You should be in good overall health so that the skin will heal well. Some of the top concerns for potential arm lift patients are excess, hanging skin on the upper arms, and lost tautness of the skin. It is crucial that you are at or close to a healthy, stable weight prior to your surgery.
In most cases, your upper arm surgery will take place in an outpatient setting, unless multiple plastic surgeries are to be performed at the same time. An arm lift can be done in combination with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or mommy makeover, particularly in a bariatric weight loss patient. An arm lift is usually performed under general anesthesia and may take 1 – 3 hours to complete. The sagging skin will be surgically removed from the elbow and continuing to the underarm. Dr. Mizgala performs several types of arm lifts, depending on the degree of arm skin laxity, the desired correction, as well as the tolerance for scars. The incision will be made to be as hidden as possible. Liposuction is almost always performed during arm lift surgery.
Types of Arm Lifts
Patients with severe arm sag will see the most dramatic improvement with full brachioplasty. This involves the removal of excess skin from the armpit down to the elbow. This involves a long incision, which results in a long scar on the underside of the arm. This incision heals nicely with proper aftercare and can sometimes leave a very faintly scar. While some scars can be more noticeable, Dr. Mizgala takes great care during surgery to leave a clean line.
This is a much smaller version of arm lift surgery than full brachioplasty. In many cases, patients can wear short sleeves and the scar may not be noticeable since the incision is made in the crease of the armpit, extending down the length of the arm just a few inches, or to a certain point where a sleeve may hit. The stopping point of this scar can be discussed with Dr. Mizgala during the surgical consultation. This technique treats moderate to severe sag but in patients who do not have as much excess skin as is warranted for a full brachioplasty.
Limited Axillary (or Mini) Brachioplasty
This arm lift is reserved for patients who have little to moderate arm sag. It is suited for those who desire to have limited scarring or almost no visible scar. The incision is made in the armpit and the scar is hidden there. This technique can still remove excess skin and create a tighter appearance, but there will be limited or no improvement in skin sag that may exist in the distal arm (the area between the mid-arm down to the elbow).
Dr. Mizgala will assess the skin condition of the arm and degree of sag and work with the patient on the best treatment to attain the desired results. She always believes in performing the most conservative operation possible. This minimizes expense to the patient, as well as limits scarring. In addition, it decreases the possibility of complication.
What to Expect
Your recovery period may be minimal, but activities should be limited for 6 weeks. Dr. Mizgala recommends lifting no more than 10 pounds during this time. There is usually limited pain or discomfort associated with arm lift surgery. However, because you use your arms for everything, patients should slowly make their way back into their daily routines so optimal healing can occur. Compression garments may be recommended once the suture lines are healed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does arm lift surgery cost?
The total cost for an arm lift will depend on many factors, but the average cost for brachioplasty surgery is $6,500 – $10,000. This depends on the type of brachioplasty performed. Dr. Mizgala will perform a consultation to listen to your concerns and goals and assess your arms for the best surgical outcome. A Woman Plastic Surgeon accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest financing.
Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?
It is common for arm lift patients to combine this surgery with another procedure. Liposuction is almost always used during brachioplasty. For major weight loss patients, brachioplasty can be combined with cosmetic breast surgery or abdominoplasty. This is sometimes known as an upper body lift and is used for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want full body contouring. During your consultation with Dr. Mizgala, surgery options can be discussed so your personal surgical plan can be devised and tailored to your anatomy.
Will there be scars?
In cases with excess hanging skin, a surgical arm lift needs incisions to remove the excess skin. This will leave scars. The type of arm lift performed will determine the placement of the incisions and length of the scars. Dr. Mizgala is an experienced arm lift surgeon and makes every effort to minimize scarring as much as possible during surgery. After your surgery, scar care, including ointments to assist in scar healing, tape, and some laser treatment, will be recommended. Dr. Mizgala also recommends you avoid sun exposure during the first year to protect the scar from becoming discolored. The benefits of a more toned arm outweigh the appearance of scars.
What results can I expect from an arm lift?
A surgical arm lift is used to treat hanging skin and small amounts of unwanted fat. Following your lift, once your arms are fully healed and Dr. Mizgala has authorized it, you can begin weight training. This is a great way to add shape to your arms by toning the muscles.
Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?
While there are a lot of nonsurgical skin tightening options, most will only provide mild improvements. To correct moderate to severe amounts of loose skin, arm lift surgery is your best option. Along with treating excess skin, Dr. Mizgala also liposuctions undesired fat and smoothes the remaining skin and tissue for a better result. If you are interested in nonsurgical procedures, Dr. Mizgala can tell you about all possible treatments during your consultation and help you decide which is best for you.
- Average Cost
- $6,500 - $10,500
Get Back Your Shape
Whatever you call your "bat wings" or droopy skin on your arms, plastic surgeon Dr. Mizgala can fix it with one of her many nonsurgical or surgical options. If you cannot get rid of the flab and skin that hang from your upper arms, please call and schedule a private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Cynthia Mizgala at A Woman Plastic Surgeon in Metairie, LA. Look and feel younger and fitter with upper arm lift surgery.