Brachioplasty is a procedure that is done to get rid of the excess skin that occurs under the arm and on the sides of the chest. This excess can be as a result of excess weight loss or caused by ageing.

When you lose weight, there can be a lot of skin that is left hanging due to having been stretched by the excess weight. Also, as you age, your skin tends to sag which can be resolved using Brachioplasty.

If you are intent on losing weight, it is important to first postpone all forms of surgery until you have reached your desired stable weight. A stable weight will be prescribed by your doctor depending on your body mass index.

Why Have a Brachioplasty?

Most people who have a Brachioplasty will do it primarily for cosmetic reasons. You may have taken the time and struggled to lose weight so as to look and feel good only to encounter the after effect which is the excess skin under your arms and on the sides of your chest. You may also have grown older and your underarms and sides of your chest have begun to sag. Old age does not mean that you should not look good. Maybe you still want to wear that bikini or those swimming trunks after losing weight, regardless of your age. A Brachioplasty may be your solution.


Before you decide to go ahead with this procedure, it is important to consult your doctor. You will need to give all your medical history, advise whether you have had any other surgical procedures in the past, and any allergies you may have. The doctor will take you through the procedure and what to expect. He or she will guide you on the kind of diet you should be on before the procedure, which is usually a balanced diet to give you strength and enhance your body’s metabolism. You are also required to quit smoking during the weeks leading to your Brachioplasty and also reduce on your alcohol intake. The doctor will also advise you on the types of vitamins you should or should not take. You are required to inform your doctor of any medication or drugs you are currently taking.

This procedure is done while the patient is under general anaesthesia. The patient is initially marked just before the surgery while in a standing position. Other markings are then done once the patient is asleep and on the operating table. Once this is done, the surgeon will make an incision on the back of your arm or on the under part of your arm. This is all dependent on which part the excessive fat is located and the amount of excessive fat. Once this is done, the surgeon will then tighten and reshape the tissues that are lying inside your arm. If there is fat to be removed or reduced, then the doctor will do this using liposuction. If not, the underlying tissues will be tightened and reshaped. Finally the surgeon will smooth over the skin under your arm and begin to close the incision. The most common way of closing the incisions is by using absorbable sutures which will self dissolve. Alternatively, the surgeon will use stitches that will be removed after one to two weeks after the Brachioplasty. You may not notice the changes immediately after due to swelling, but once the swelling goes down, you will be able to notice the tighter contours and the smoother feel.

Risks and Complications

As with all surgeries, there are risks involved and this one is no different. The risks of Brachioplasty are:

Bleeding: There is risk of bleeding during the surgery and in the post operative period. It is important not to take any aspirin two weeks before the operation as this could lead to bleeding. In the rare case that this occurs there will be a requirement for an operation to drain the excess blood.

Infection: This can occur during or after the surgery and depending on the type of infection, it can either be treated using antibiotics or hospitalization in the more severe cases.
Loss of Feeling: After the surgery, it is common for one to experience loss of sensation in the areas surrounding the operated on area. This will eventually pass, but in rare cases it has been known to last a lifetime.

Skin Irregularities: In rare cases, you may witness irregularities in the skin ranging from depressions and contours in the skin or wrinkling. You may also come across ‘dog ears’ which are irregularities at the end of the incisions. Another skin irregularity will be skin pleating. All these usually disappear with time, but if they don’t, they can be surgically corrected.

Approximately one-third of patients who receive an anaesthetic during surgery will experience “anaesthesia sickness” or post-operative nausea and vomiting (POVN).

Q. Do I qualify for a Brachioplasty?

A.If you have recently lost a significant amount of weight whether through some kind of surgery or a change in your lifestyle, you may find that you have excessive skin under your arms and on the sides of your chest area. This will make you qualify. If you are a thin person and have sagging arms due to old age then this may be the only resort you have.

Q. Will I experience pain after the procedure?

A.There is usually some pain and discomfort after every surgical procedure but for the Brachioplasty, most patients experience some sort of discomfort which is manageable. You will find that you are able to comfortably return to your daily work schedules within a few day of the surgery.

Susan's Brachioplasty Batwings, Tuckshop Arms, Bingo Wings… Get Rid of Them! February 13, 2017 - With over ⅔ of Australians said to be obese or morbidly obese at some stage in their lives, this also means there are a huge number of us losing massive amounts of weight. Shedding the weight is not just awesome for our health and life expectancy, but for our self esteem and confidence. One of the downsides is that many of us are left with sagging skin. After making such a huge effort to get rid of the fat, we want to be able to show off our new bods and wear singlet tops (isn’t that an Aussie institution or something?). One of the most common fallouts of losing weight is batwings, tuckshop arms, bingo wings… Get rid of them!! Dr Jeremy Hunt is often seen in the media. He is a recognised and highly respected Australian plastic surgeon and has a plethora of happy patients. He was recently on the Channel 9 Morning Show (Monday, 6 Feb) speaking about this very issue of batwing arms. Whilst there is a very effective surgery, brachioplasty, to get rid of saggy skin underneath the arms, one of the most frequent questions Dr Hunt gets asked is about the scars involved. It’s a […]
Jo’s Story – circumferential body lift, brachioplasty, thigh lift, abdominoplasty and liposuction October 20, 2016 - For most of us, the idea of a 7 hour marathon on the operating table is a little (lot!) scary. However, in the hands of the right surgeon, and when you combine several different procedures to be performed in one go, it can absolutely be the best way to go. Jo, was brave enough to share her story with us. She had a circumferential body lift, brachioplasty, thigh lift, abdominoplasty and liposuction all in the one procedure. Jo is a 53 year old nurse whose story starts when she had a gastric sleeve in 2014 and lost 50kgs. Because of the massive weightloss Jo had heaps of excess skin. She says, “I had empty skin that exercise just didn’t get rid of. My arms bothered me the most – they were big and floppy. Also, my inner thighs were drooping down to my knees.” Making the Right Decision Jo says she initially tossed up going overseas for her surgery but never got around to organising it. One of the girls at her work had had surgery with Dr Mark Hanikeri, Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon based in Subiaco, WA, and so Jo decided to make an appointment with him. She […]
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Bat Wings (Brachioplasty) Bat Wings Are Not As Cool As They Sound! November 27, 2015 - So many of us have what are known as “bat wings” or “tuckshop arms”! Often occurring after substantial weight loss, they are a pendulous fold of redundant skin and flap, especially evident when the arms are outstretched. In the past decade the number of patients undergoing a brachioplasty, or arm lift, is certainly on the rise. We recently heard a wonderful presentation by Dr Joseph Hunstad at the 38th Annual ASAPS Conference and this coincided with a spate of brachioplasty enquiries so we thought we’d give you a rundown on the what’s and how’s of brachiplasty, or arm lifts. Australia is one of the most obese countries in the world. However, this also means we have a large number of the population losing a large amount of weight at any one time. One of our highly-skilled, contributing Australian Plastic Surgeons, Dr Mark McGovern from the VIE Institute in Maroochydore in Queensland, says, “Brachioplasties are especially satisfying for those who are at the end of their weight loss journey. Many consider the surgery due to having an unsightly amount of excess skin hanging on the under-side of the arms. ‘Tuckshop’ arms are due to a combination of prior obesity and poor […]
Margaret's Brachioplasty Margaret’s Brachioplasty – I lost 98kg – big weightloss needs reconstruction January 12, 2015 - Margaret is a consultant with Cohen’s Weight Loss Clinic in Sydney. Her journey to get to that point is remarkable and inspiring for women everywhere. Margaret is a wonderful advocate for women looking to lose a large amount of weight and shows that with persistence and a positive attitude you can get to where you want to be. We were lucky enough to be able to ask Margaret some direct questions and she gave us some honest and insightful answers. Q: Margaret, you have lost a large amount of weight. Exactly how much did you lose, and did this prompt the plastic surgery to complete your journey of transformation? 98kg. Yes of course. Big weight loss needs reconstruction. I also lost most of my weight loss with Cohen’s. No weight loss surgery. Q: What plastic surgery procedures have you had? Did they all run smoothly, and was there any unexpected trials along the way? I have had my arm lift. No (they didn’t all run smoothly). I’ve had a revision. I had a complication with my first arm lift surgery and a revision was done 7 months later. First surgery = haematoma; had to have an operation the same night […]
Not Just for Aesthetics: How Plastic Surgery Can Help Save Lives Not Just for Aesthetics: How Plastic Surgery Can Help Save Lives September 23, 2014 -   Many people think that something like plastic surgery is solely for looks and many people would be right. For the vast majority of individuals who took on plastic surgery in the past, it was very cosmetic-driven. However, with the exploration in plastic surgery benefits and our ever vigilant need to live well, plastic surgery can be a vital means to better living. Experienced plastic surgeons find more patients are signing on for surgeries not just for aesthetics anymore, but for life-saving treatments and solutions. Rhinoplasty On average, we breathe some 20,000 times a day. Even as we age that number is still massively high. So what is someone who has poor breathing issues or impacted sinuses supposed to do? Imagine having to struggle for every breath you take. So while rhinoplasty has taken on all kinds of subtext for those that want the perfect point or bridge, for some people, a nose job is very necessary in order to properly breathe and maintain good airflow through the nasal cavity. Breast Issues One of the scariest things a woman can hear is that she has breast cancer. While breast implants have certainly become very popular in some circles, having a full, […]
BRACHIOPLASTY: A simple description BRACHIOPLASTY: A simple description March 6, 2014 - Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure for the arms. It is commonly called an arm lift. The aim of this is to improve the shape of the under portion of the upper arm and the connecting area of the chest wall to the elbow, and for a more toned and proportionate appearance. More often, this is done to simply eliminate the loose skin and excess fat in the arms of those who have experienced a massive weight loss. Though exercise can help tighten the muscles, it cannot do anything with the drooping and sagging skin that has lost elasticity due to weakened tissues and fat deposits. The procedure requires anaesthesia. Once the patient is unconscious, the surgeon will make an incision under the arm, right above the elbow. The incision will depend on the amount of skin that needs to be removed. The incision is done on the back or inside of the arms which may extend from the arm pit (axilla) to just above the elbow. After the incision, the surgeons will then remove the skin and fat, tighten the underlying tissue and reform the tissue with stitches. Surgeons will then smooth the skin over the new contoured arm and […]


  1. Upper Body Lift - Plastic Surgery Hub - […] required, it may be decided that a variety of plastic surgeries be undertaken. These can include brachioplasty, liposuction, tummy…
  2. Margaret Homsy - Real Story - […] have had my arm lift. No (they didn’t all run smoothly). I’ve had a revision. I had a complication…

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