What is a Brachioplasty?

An arm lift or also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from between the armpit and elbow. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours to create a more toned look.

For patients who present mainly excess and sagging skin in their arms, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo can perform arm lift surgery or Brachioplasty, either normal or extended, to create more firm and attractive contours.

Brachioplasty can help improve self-esteem and eliminate the negative image of the body, helping to increase your confidence.

During an in-depth consultation, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo can determine if you are a candidate for arm lift surgery.

Before and During the Procedure

Before undergoing an arm lift, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon makes a detailed consultation and assessment. During this appointment, determine if you are a candidate, explain the procedure, discuss your expectations and take action. The doctor may require some preoperative studies and ask that you stop certain medications before treatment.

The procedure is performed in the operating room regularly with regional anesthesia, but depending on each patient, it can be performed under general anesthesia. The procedure takes about three hours to complete.

During the procedure, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will make incisions on the undersides of your arms. The length and pattern of the incisions depends on how much skin will be removed.

After making the incisions, the plastic surgeon will tighten your underlying tissues and secure them with stitches. He or she might also use a suction technique to remove fat (liposuction).

Your skin will then be draped over the new contours and excess skin will be removed. Stitches or surgical tape will be used to close the incisions.

After the Procedure and Recovering

After you have bandaged your incisions, we will take you to a recovery room to allow you to recover from the anesthesia. Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will provide detailed postoperative instructions. You will need at least two weeks out of work, and you should keep your arms raised at heart level so that the arm swells as little as possible. You should also avoid any heavy load and sudden or extreme arm movements for a minimum of two weeks.

All incisions of Brachioplasty are long and most of the time they are visible, so it is important to be aware of that fact and decide if a long scar is preferable to a bulky arm with flaccid skin. Sun protection can prevent scars from becoming pigmented and be less visible.


Following your arm lift surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will recommend you to:

  • Avoid lifting your arms above shoulder level for three to four weeks
  • Avoid physical and athletic activities with your arms that might stretch the incisions for four to eight weeks after surgery
  • Take pain medication as needed and antibiotics to prevent wound infections
  • In case of any infection, wash the wound with soap and water. If discomfort persists, contact your Patient Care Coordinator