Learn more about

Arm Lift

Arm Lift

Average Cost



10-14 days

The length of the incision and whether or not liposuction is needed varies patient to patient.

Armlift Overview


An arm lift (also known as a brachioplasty) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that addresses loose sagging skin and excess fat in the triceps area of the upper arm. An arm lift candidate has typically lost a significant amount of weight or is experiencing issues as part of the aging process. 

Surgery Information

Anesthesia - General 

Facility - Accredited outpatient facility 

Recovery - 10-14 days

Cost - $9,800 - $12,000

Newport Beach board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph T. Cruise is one of the top surgeons in the area who performs cosmetic surgery on patients’ bodies as well as their faces. Many people who have lost a significant amount of weight are interested in bodily procedures such as liposuction and tummy tuck which can help them deal with sagging, loose skin left over after the weight loss. These patients are often interested in tightening up the skin on their arms and upper body as well, and often have questions about arm lift, also known as “brachioplasty.”

One way to determine if the arm lift procedure is right for you is to view before and after pictures to see patients’ results. Because he believes that every patient deserves high quality information in order to make their decision, Joseph T Cruise, MD has developed these pages to provide the best arm lift resource in Orange County.

See the topics below related to arm lift:

Arm Lift Overview

The brachioplasty procedure involves removing loose, sagging skin from the triceps area of the upper arm. The typical arm lift patient is someone who has lost a significant amount of weight and is left with excess skin that does not shrink to fit the new muscle and fat structures underneath. Some other arm lift patients are people whose skin has overstretched over time as it has lost elasticity, and the upper arm has become sagging and unsightly without weight loss. The loss of support from underlying fat and muscle in the arm that occurs with aging often contributes to saggy upper arms, and Joseph T Cruise, MD performs brachioplasty technique that addresses these issues and provides long-term results.

Joseph T Cruise's Cosmetic Arm Lift Philosophy

Dr. Joseph T. Cruise in a suit and tie

For me, the most important aspect of the brachioplasty is finding out exactly what a patient’s expectations are. Arm lift is an excellent operation to remove excess skin, however, it is not the best procedure option when a person has a significant amount of subcutaneous fat. If a patient plans to lose more weight in the future, it may be appropriate to wait to perform any plastic surgery until that time. In fact, the arm lift becomes much easier after a person loses all their planned weight, not while they are still reaching that goal.  The arm lift, itself, does not function as a weight lost procedure; it is only designed and performed to remove excess, sagging skin from the upper arms. If you are concerned that your upper arms contain subcutaneous fat that you would like removed, a combination of weight loss and liposuction may be right for you.

Benefits of Arm Lift

Patients with a significant amount of loose, hanging skin on the upper arm often report a number of benefits from their arm lift, including:

  • Removal of loose, hanging skin from the triceps
  • Wider choice of clothing options, more comfortable fit to shirts and dresses
  • Greater satisfaction with appearance and upper body confidence
  • Reduction of underarm rash, skin irritation, and discomfort
  • Better proportioned body shape

People who have worked hard to lose weight and who are then left with loose, sagging skin have many cosmetic surgery options to remove excess skin from various places on their body. The upper arm is one area that often is overlooked, but its excess skin will never shrink. If you want to tighten the skin on your upper arms to best complement your lower-weight, better-proportioned body consider how an arm lift will benefit you and your life.

Are You a Good Candidate?

People who have a significant amount of loose skin on their upper arm, without a great deal of subcutaneous fat, are the best candidates for arm lift surgery. Often, these are patients who have recently lost a large amount of weight and their skin has not shrunk down to their new, smaller size. Other arm lift patients are people whose skin has been affected by aging, and over time they have developed sagging upper arms with skin that hangs from the underlying muscle and fat structures.

You can check the underlying structure of your arm to see if an arm lift will address your concerns. Pinch the skin of the upper arm between your fingertips – if your fingers almost meet with only a thin amount of fat between them, you are probably a good brachioplasty candidate.

If the amount of skin and fat between your fingers prevents them from getting very close together, an arm lift may not be practical until subcutaneous fat is removed. In patients with these circumstances, Joseph T Cruise, MD often discusses whether liposuction is an option to remove the fat before proceeding with any other cosmetic surgery procedures.

After the Arm Lift

The procedure will take approximately 2-3 hours.

  • Get plenty of rest and limit yourself to light activities the first 10 days after cosmetic surgery. Sleep and rest with your head slightly elevated for the first 3 days.
  • You may take a cool shower the day after arm lift surgery. Make sure you have someone available to help you. Let water run gently over the drains exits. Dab dry. Place gauze over drain exit. Put garment back on.
  • 2-3 weeks after brachioplasty you can remove your steri-strips. Apply ScarLess®, allow it to dry, and then re-apply silicone sheets twice a day for the next two months.
  • Your incision sutures will dissolve on their own.
  • Avoid lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds for the first 2 weeks.
  • Do not drive for the first week, or any time you take your pain medications. Do not do heavy housework and do not perform any work-out routine for the first 3 weeks. You may begin a lower-body workout at that time, but Joseph T Cruise, MD encourages you not to perform an upper-body workout for at least 8 weeks after an arm lift surgery.
  • Wear a post-surgery compression garment for 8 weeks, unless Joseph T Cruise, MD instructs you differently.
  • Avoid exposing the incision to sunlight for at least 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) to the incision area anytime you will be in the sun for extended periods of time.
  • Do not smoke for at least 1 week after brachioplasty, as nicotine can impair healing and may cause complications.
  • Do not use aspirin-containing products for at least 1 week. You may take Tylenol or pain medication as prescribed.
  • You may apply ice or cold compresses on the arms for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
  • Be sure to use all your plastic surgery medications as directed.
  • 4-8 weeks after a surgery some patients experience a small part of their incision opening up. It often looks like a pimple and the skin is red and irritated. This condition is a Stitch Abscess, which happens when a suture does not dissolve properly. Wash the area with soap and water and apply Neosporin or Polysporin. Call the office if the redness is larger than a dime.


  • Immediately after arm lift surgery, some patients feel groggy or nauseous. These feelings normally subside by the next day.
  • Many patients experience some discomfort for the first 3-4 days and soreness for the first 2 weeks.
  • Some patients experience swelling and bruising, which usually disappears within 2 weeks.
  • Brachioplasty patients experience a scar along the upper arm. The area will be reddest from 8-12 weeks, and can take as long as 18 months to fully mature.
  • Commonly, rippling and unevenness around incisions can be seen. The texture will become smoother about 3 months after the surgery.

Empty headingRecovery from Cosmetic Arm Lift

Most patients return to work approximately 1 week after the arm lift procedure. People whose work requires strenuous arm and upper body movement may decide to take additional time to hal after the surgery, and often do not return to work for 2 to 3 weeks.

During your recovery time you will attend post-surgery follow-up appointments at the Cruise Plastic Surgery office in Orange County. During those visits, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with Joseph T Cruise, MD or another member of the staff. They will also discuss with you how to minimize the appearance of scarring that often occurs after brachioplasty, and assess the state of your incisions and how they are healing. It is very important that patients attend these appointments, so that Joseph T Cruise, MD can ensure the best results and help you prevent any complications.

Cost of Arm Lift / Brachioplasty

Patients interested in body sculpting, including arm lift, often have questions about its cost. An arm lift, also known as “brachioplasty” is the process of removing excess, loose, drooping skin from a patient’s triceps area on the arm. Dr. Joseph T. Cruise of Orange County has been specializing in this procedure for years, and has seen patients benefit from both the external, and internal, benefits of the procedure. He and his staff at Cruise Plastic Surgery believe that the cost of an arm lift is an investment in yourself, an investment in your personal happiness.

Quality vs. Value

While price may play into a patient’s decision when choosing a surgeon for their brachioplasty, it is not the only important factor. The best results are produced by plastic surgeons with extensive training and experience, those who consistently keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques. Please visit our extensive gallery of arm lift before and after pictures .

Joseph T Cruise’s Approach

An arm lift is designed to remove excess skin and tighten underlying structures, but is not possible for patients with too much subcutaneous fat in their arm. Often, the arm lift is performed in conjunction with liposuction, to remove both the excess fat and the excess skin from the arm. The approach offers arms that are tightened, more youthful, more shapely, but also may affect the cost of the arm lift when you combine procedures.

On average, brachioplasty cost ranges between $9,800 and $12,000, depending on the amount of skin that needs to be removed and the length of surgery. During your consultation with Joseph T Cruise, MD you will discuss your concerns and desired results, and the staff of Cruise Plastic Surgery will be able to provide you will a more individualized estimate for the cost of your arm lift.

Find out more about cost of arm lift / brachioplasty financing options available through Cruise Plastic Surgery.