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Arm Lift Surgery

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a custom surgical procedure to resolve the aesthetic problem of saggy, fatty upper arms. Dr. Antell provides arm lift surgery in his New York City office to remove excess fat, skin, and tissue, surgically restoring the upper arms so they appear firm and sculpted. If there is only excess fat in the upper arm, liposuction may be sufficient with a shorter recovery and minimal scarring.

Dr. Darrick Antell: Leading New York Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Darrick Antell is widely regarded as being among the most accomplished board-certified plastic surgeons practicing in New York and has frequently been listed as a “Top Plastic Surgeon” by Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Vogue, and New York Magazine. He is among the world’s most respected and sought-after plastic surgeons, with a long and illustrious career. 

Dr. Antell’s extraordinary accomplishments include being honored for his groundbreaking research on identical twins and the aging process, and he is the only plastic surgeon who has his work displayed in the Smithsonian Museum. He approaches arm lift surgery with the philosophy that “Plastic surgery should whisper, not scream,” meaning that he takes care to ensure that his work produces a natural, yet enhanced, result. He achieves exceptional surgical outcomes in the surgical reshaping of the upper arms – firm, fit, and natural in appearance.

Am I a candidate for an arm lift?

Anyone in good overall health who is suffering from excess skin and fat in the arms is likely a candidate for an arm lift in NYC. An arm lift is ideal for those who: 

  • Want the freedom to wear sleeveless tops, swimsuits, and other revealing clothing with confidence
  • May have physical problems caused by chafing and irritation of the excess skin and fat
Beautiful woman with slender arms.

Why should I choose Dr. Antell for my arm lift surgery?

Achieving a beautiful, natural look from an arm lift is the direct result of the skills, experience, and surgical techniques of your plastic surgeon. Trained at Stanford and Cornell, Dr. Antell is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City with a reputation for excellence in aesthetic surgery. When under the care of Dr. Antell, you can be confident that your arm lift is being performed by one of the country’s most acclaimed physicians. Many new patients are referred by former patients, speaking volumes about how they felt about their new look. 

With a reputation for achieving exceptionally natural-looking results, Dr. Antell has performed surgery on numerous celebrities, industry leaders, and countless high-profile patients. He will perform your arm lift surgery with total discretion and meticulous surgical techniques, including a specialized focus on minimizing scars.

What can I expect during my consultation?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Antell will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your general health and medical history, as well as assess your skin quality. After listening to your concerns, he will then work with you to develop the most appropriate body-contouring plan for achieving your desired outcome, while minimizing risks. If there is only excess fat in the upper arm, liposuction may be sufficient with a shorter recovery and minimal scarring. 

In the case of upper arms that have begun to sag and droop, combined with skin that has lost its youthful, flexible quality, it is likely that surgical correction is required. During your initial consultation, be sure to mention any dramatic weight losses or gains you have experienced. You should also inform him if you smoke and if you're taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs. Don't hesitate to ask Dr. Antell any questions about the surgery, recovery, and expected outcome.

Where will my arm lift surgery be performed?

Dr. Antell has privileges in numerous hospitals throughout New York City, but most patients prefer for the procedure to take place in his discreet, private operating room located just across the street from world-renowned Lenox Hill Hospital. His facility has a private back entrance to ensure total discretion and all members of his staff have been thoroughly trained to offer personalized care. The state-of-the-art outpatient surgery facility is fully accredited, designed for your comfort, and equipped with the latest technology.

How should I prepare for my arm lift procedure?

You will be provided with instructions to thoroughly prepare you for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets, and specific medications. You may be given prescriptions that should be filled prior to your day of surgery. Depending on your medical history, you may be asked to provide pre-operative clearance from another doctor. As the procedure is performed under “twilight” sedation, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and ensure you have someone to assist you for the first few days. 

What are the risks of an arm lift? 

Although all surgery involves some level of risk and the potential for complications, an arm lift is typically a safe procedure when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who employs the latest surgical techniques and the most stringent patient health and safety protocols. The most common complications include fluid accumulation, skin injury, and infection. You can reduce your chance of complications by having your surgery performed by Dr. Antell, who, as an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, is among the most respected doctors in New York City. 

How is an arm lift surgery performed?

An arm lift helps to create smoother, tighter arm contours by removing excess skin and tissue. The incision is placed from the underarm area, extending along the inside or back of the upper arm. Additional incisions on the arms could also be utilized to achieve your desired outcome, as discussed with your surgeon. Initially, the changes to your arms will be concealed by swelling or bruising, which fades in the weeks following surgery. The surgery will likely take around two to three hours to complete. 

What type of anesthesia is used?

An arm lift surgery is typically performed using a combination of local anesthesia and IV sedation, or another form of “twilight” anesthesia. This helps to ensure that you are comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure. For your safety, you will be monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist during your surgery. 

What can I expect after the procedure?

Your arm lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return home the same day after the procedure. When performed under IV sedation, you should be prepared to have an escort to bring you home, as you will not be able to drive for 24 hours after the administration of anesthesia. After undergoing the surgery, you will recover in Dr. Antell’s state-of-the-art recovery suite while being monitored by one of his nurses until you feel well enough to be discharged. Upon leaving the facility, you will be provided thorough discharge instructions that will guide you through the initial postoperative period. Throughout the entire recovery process, Dr. Antell and his staff will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Your first follow-up appointment will typically be scheduled for the day after surgery so that Dr. Antell can observe the healing process. Patients can usually return to most daily activities within days after the procedure but are asked to refrain from vigorous exercise for around two weeks. The incision sites will typically be covered with a sterile dressing that will stay on anywhere from one day to one week. Some dissolvable stitches may be used, while external sutures are usually removed one to two weeks after the procedure.

You can sponge bathe immediately and are usually able to take a shower 48 hours after your procedure. If deemed necessary, you may be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection. If so, please be sure that you take the entire course as directed. After the procedure, your arms will likely be swollen and bruised, and you may feel a burning sensation. While most of the swelling and bruising will be gone within six to eight weeks after surgery, some residual swelling can remain for six months or more.

With regard to scarring, the incisions for an arm lift are strategically placed along the inner arm, from the underarm area to the elbow, to be as hidden from view as possible. The scars from an arm lift can be visible when the arm is lifted in certain positions. Over time, the incisions will fade and become barely noticeable. The skills of your surgeon are the most critical in achieving the desired outcome. It is important to prevent exposure of your scars to direct sunlight for the first six months, as this can cause changes to the pigmentation. You can be confident that you will achieve a superior result after arm lift surgery when under the care of a doctor with the experience of Dr. Antell.

What will my expected result be?

An arm lift is a highly effective technique for restoring firm, sculpted, youthful upper arms. The results are long-lasting, provided that you eat sensibly, exercise regularly, and do not gain a significant quantity of weight. Your upper arms will look trimmer, firmer, and more attractive and many of our patients have improved confidence wearing sleeveless tops, swimsuits, and other revealing clothing. Our patients have been delighted with the results after an arm lift — they are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with their bodies.

Attractive woman with gracefully slim arms.

How do I get started?

Dr. Darrick E. Antell and his staff will be happy to provide a discreet and private consultation to evaluate your needs and discuss an arm lift. Please call the office at (212) 988-4040 to schedule your consultation.

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