Arm Lift in Burlington, Ontario

As we age, our skin produces less collagen which leads to sagging skin. This is further compounded by significant weight loss, resulting in excess skin that cannot be adequately treated with collagen creams, anti-aging serums, or non-surgical treatments. In such cases, the most effective way to achieve an ideal aesthetic is to seek out an arm lift, also known as Brachioplasty.

Arm Lift at a Glance

Procedure Length

Approximately 1 – 1.5 hours

Typical Recovery

About 5-7 days for office jobs and non-strenuous activities
4 weeks to resume exercise/strenuous activities


General Anesthesia



What Is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess “hanging” skin and, in some cases, excess fat from your upper arms. It is typically sought by women, in part because of the muscle structure in the arms. However, many men find themselves with excess upper arm skin, especially after significant weight loss. Depending on your specific needs, this outpatient procedure uses incisions to remove excess skin and fat from your upper arms.

How It Works

Brachioplasty works in just a few simple steps. Upon arrival at the surgical centre, patients will first meet our anesthetist who will explain their anesthesia and individual pain management plan. The surgeon then marks out where each incision will be made. After being placed under general anesthesia, incisions are typically made on the inside or back of the arm, extending from the underarm to the elbow. The length and placement of each incision will depend on several factors including the patient’s anatomy. Excess skin and fat is then excised, and supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with sutures.

What Happens After the Procedure?

Your recovery requirements will be discussed extensively during an initial evaluation and the pre-surgical appointment. After the procedure, we will review your specific recovery instructions. A dressing is applied and the arms are wrapped in bandages until your follow-up appointment with us. You will be provided with compression garments to wear during the recovery period.

It is important to understand that you will not be allowed to drive after receiving general anesthesia. Please make arrangements with a friend or loved one to drive you home. Some pain and nausea can be expected. You may choose to take certain analgesics during your recovery; however please read and follow the labels on the medications, as well as any instructions provided by the anesthetist. It is also important to stay hydrated and focus on rest.

Who Is Brachioplasty Right for?

You may be considered a good Brachioplasty candidate if you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your upper arms due to excess (or sagging) skin. An initial consultation is required to assess whether an arm lift is appropriate for you. If your weight loss journey is still ongoing, you will need to wait until you have reached a stable goal weight before considering this procedure.

It is essential that your health, including medical history, is reviewed thoroughly in order to determine whether you are a good Brachioplasty candidate. You should also keep in mind that certain health conditions may disqualify you from this procedure. For example, a recent viral or bacterial infection, or an untreated condition can affect a patient’s eligibility for brachioplasty.

Who Isn’t This Procedure Right for?

This procedure is not appropriate for women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. It is also not appropriate for women who are breastfeeding or have recently stopped breastfeeding. You must have a stable weight in order for this procedure to leave you with the best desired results.

Are there other options if I do not want large incisions on my arms?

Depending on whether you have excess skin, fat, or both as well as the degree of each, other options can include non-invasive body contouring with EvolveX, liposuction, BodyTite or a combination of these methods. For any candidate that is concerned about whether this procedure is right for them, a full consultation with our plastic surgeon will help assess what options best fit your unique needs to create a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

The Bottom Line

An arm lift procedure is designed to improve one’s appearance by excising excess skin and a little excess fat. The appearance of one’s upper arms is further enhanced by the tightening of loose skin. It works through carefully placed incisions through which excess tissue can be removed. It is appropriate for healthy adults who believe their self-confidence would be improved by removing excess upper arm skin and fat. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Shih.

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Jessica Shih, MD, FRCS(C)

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Dr. Shih is a double board-certified plastic surgeon, born and raised in Burlington. She completed her undergraduate degree from Cornell University before completing her medical doctorate and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at the University of Toronto. She then completed a subspecialty fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins University.

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