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Are you embarrassed by the flabby skin of your upper arms?

Do you feel very self-conscious about your arms to the point that you will wear only long sleeves even in the scorching Arizona summer heat?

Have any children been struck or even injured by your bat-wings flailing wildly while using your arms?

If any of these are true then you may be a candidate for an arm lift procedure, also known technically as a brachioplasty. The purpose of a brachioplasty is to treat the lax, hammocking tissues of your upper arms.

Depending on the particular situation, it can address excessive, heavy fat deposition, tighten droopy inelastic skin of the upper arms or a combination of both.

Woman with drooping, heavy skin of the right arm – also known as bat wings. This is the result of lax, redundant skin with decreased elasticity along with heavy fat deposits

Because there are different underlying pathologies leading to this undesirable hanging skin, there are also various treatment options available to specifically and appropriately address this problem.

Arm Lifts Come in Different Flavors

Unlike ice cream, where you can choose whatever flavor you want with only brief consequences at most (excluding your waistline and weight!), selecting the wrong one for your brachioplasty can result in long term disappointment, unnecessary scarring and substantial deformities.

Options for an arm lift can be categorized as follows:

• Liposuction
• Mini-arm lift (mini brachioplasty)
• Standard arm lift (brachioplasty)
• Extended arm lift (extended brachioplasty)

Let’s look at each of these options:


If the predominant cause of the drooping of your upper arm tissues is fat and the skin elasticity is fairly good then liposuction may be the right solution. Using one or two very small incisions, around 3/16” to a 1/4” in length, the fat can be suctioned out allowing for an improved contour with closer re-draping of the skin to the underlying muscles and a smaller diameter and circumference of the upper arms.

Though this is not technically a brachioplasty, it can effectively lead to an arm lift and with very minimal and imperceptible scars.


This technique may be an option for very minimal, early upper arm skin laxity. The overall scar length is relatively limited but so are the effects from the procedure and the results. Therefore, its usefulness is relatively limited. It can be combined with liposuction in the right circumstances to provide a substantially improved contour with minimal scarring.

With this approach, an ellipse or crescent of skin is removed from its relatively hidden location in the armpit. This can produce longitudinal tightening but it will not address circumferential laxity which is usually the more major issue.

Standard Arm Lift

This approach is by far the one most commonly performed. It involves a transverse excision of an ellipse of skin in the armpit and a longitudinal elliptical excision of skin and fat of the upper arm. The longer incision can be placed in the inner arm, at the bottom of the upper arm or even on the posterior surface of the arm. The combined scar that eventuates is “T” shaped in configuration.

This option provides for the most effective global tightening of the upper arm tissues.

Extended Arm Lift

The extended arm lift is more commonly employed after massive weight loss where lax skin abounds. It includes the standard brachioplasty which is then extended to include lax tissues of the forearm, of the lateral chest or both. Often, it is part of a staged body lift that addresses the consequences of massive weight loss.

Which Arm Lift Procedure is Right for You?

In order to maximize the probability of obtaining the brachioplasty results that you desire, the technique most appropriate for your situation should be selected.

How is this determined?

You should consult with a reputable Plastic Surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who is highly experienced in the brachioplasty procedure.

Dr. Turkeltaub is all of the above and has been doing this procedure for well over 30 years in Arizona – starting far before the arm lift became such a popular and highly requested procedure.

Scheduling Your Brachioplasty Consultation

If you are unhappy or embarrassed about your lax, hanging upper arm skin and are interested in finally getting this taken care of, you can schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub. To do so, you can either call the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery at (480) 451-3000 or contact us by email.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona


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