One big challenge when getting older or losing weight is gaining excess skin. At our New Jersey facility, we offer upper arm lift surgery (or brachioplasty) as an option for patients who cannot manage to tighten and tone the arm with diet and exercise. Lax skin from the elbow to the shoulder is very typical, particularly for men and women who have lost weight or are advancing in age. An arm lift effectively excises this hanging skin, commonly referred to as “bat wings.” Dr. Smita Ramanadham, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, is very experienced in fat removal and skin tightening techniques. If you want to hear more information about how brachioplasty can correct the shape of your upper arms, please contact us to schedule a complimentary cosmetic consultation.


An upper arm lift is a cosmetic surgery that employs advanced methods to contour and excise excess skin. If you are self-conscious about your “bat wings” and would prefer them to appear trim and contoured again, you are a good candidate for this procedure. You need to be in overall good health so that your skin will recover properly. Some of the primary signs for an arm lift patient are loose, excess skin on their upper arms, plus minimal elasticity of the skin. It is important to note that you are at your ideal weight prior to surgery.


Most likely, your arm lift surgery will be performed in an outpatient facility, except in cases where several cosmetic surgeries are being performed at one time. An upper arm lift may be combined with other surgeries (often completed at a facility with inpatient monitoring), such as tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, and thigh lifts — as long as Dr. Ramanadham considers it appropriate. An arm lift is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia and can require a few hours to finish. The unwanted skin will be excised starting at the elbow all the way up to the armpit. The incision will be placed as inconspicuously as possible, although it will most likely leave a visible scar. In cases where liposuction is needed to eliminate stubborn fatty deposits, this can be completed also. After the skin is pulled taut, it will be stitched back into place. You will have to care for the incisions by keeping them clean, bandaged, and wrapped with compression garments.


A typical recovery timeframe should take about two weeks with lots of rest. Allow your body time to heal. You use your arms for almost everything so most patients should ease their way back into their normal daily activities. A suture removal appointment will be set approximately ten days following surgery. Compression garments must be kept on until you receive permission from Dr. Ramanadham. For at least a month (4 – 5 weeks), all exercise must be eliminated, except taking short walks. If you notice uncontrolled bleeding, excessive swelling, fluid buildup (hematoma), signs of infection, numbness in the hands or arms, or unusual scarring, please contact our office for assistance.


  • How much does arm lift surgery cost?
    The cost for your arm lift surgery will be based on several things. Before she can estimate your costs, Dr. Ramanadham will start with a consultation to understand your needs and goals. After that, she will develop your surgical plan and break down your costs. In order to make it easier to afford an experienced plastic surgeon, like Dr. Ramanadham, and achieve the results you want, our office accepts several forms of payment. We will also give you information on low-interest medical financing.
  • Can I combine an arm lift with other surgeries?
    It is normal for patients who want an arm lift to create a custom treatment plan with another surgery. This is often referred to as an upper body lift and can combine liposuction, a breast lift, or a tummy tuck. Arm lift surgery is also frequently performed in an after weight loss surgery for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and need contouring throughout their body. In your initial consultation with Dr. Ramanadham, each surgery will be talked about so your unique treatment plan can be developed.
  • Will there be scars?
    Arm lift surgery requires incisions in order to remove excess skin, which leads to stitches and scarring. However, Dr. Ramanadham will make every effort to ensure that your incisions are small and placed in inconspicuous areas. Following your arm lift, topical creams that help with healing will be suggested along with additional tips for minimizing scarring. Dr. Ramanadham also suggests that you limit UV exposure for at least one year to protect the incisions from any additional discoloration. In general, patients consider the overall benefits of an arm lift are worth the minimal scars created.
  • What results can I expect from an arm lift?
    An arm lift is performed to excise loose skin and fat. You should adhere to a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise in order to avoid a dramatic weight loss or gain, which could compromise your surgical results. After your surgery, as soon as you are recovered and Dr. Ramanadham has given permission, you should start strength training. This is a good way to improve the shape of your upper arms by strengthening the muscles.
  • Are there nonsurgical treatments to improve my arms?
    Although there are many great noninvasive skin tightening treatments, they can only give you small improvements. To remove moderate to severe skin laxity, an arm lift is your best choice. In addition to removing loose skin, Dr. Ramanadham also uses liposuction on small pockets of fat and smoothes the tissue and remaining skin. If you are interested in learning about nonsurgical options, Dr. Ramanadham can explain these in your consultation and then help you choose which fits your needs and goals.


No matter what you call your droopy skin or “bat wings” under your upper arms, plastic surgeon Dr. Ramanadham calls it as a way to improve your life with cosmetic surgery. This exciting surgery provides both physical and emotional benefits. If you are at your goal weight but still cannot lose the skin and flab that hang off your arms, please contact us to plan a complimentary cosmetic consultation with Dr. Smita Ramanadham to look fitter and younger with brachioplasty.