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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery > Arm Lift

Arm Lift Cost

How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?

 average costTypical: $5,000-$11,000 
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An arm lift is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the arms, tightening and lifting arm tissue. It typically is performed when there is too much excess skin, or not enough skin elasticity, for arm liposuction alone to produce desired results.

Typical costs:

  • An arm lift -- or brachioplasty -- typically costs between $5,000 and $11,000, depending on the patient and the amount of fat and skin that need to be removed. For example, at the Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery[1] in California, an arm lift costs about $5,000 to $6,000. At Youthful Images[2] in Connecticut, it costs $6,000 to $8,000. And at the La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre[3] in California, it costs between $8,000 and $10,500, depending on the patient.
  • An arm lift is considered a cosmetic procedure, so it typically is not covered by health insurance.
Related articles: Arm Liposuction, Body Lift, Breast Lift, Thigh Lift, Liposuction, Liposuction for Men

What should be included:
  • In an initial consultation, the surgeon will discuss patient goals, examine the arms and discuss the arm lift technique most appropriate for the patient, as well as risks and cost.
  • For the arm lift, the patient typically is put under general anesthesia, but some doctors use 'twilight' anesthesia. Then the surgeon makes an incision that might be confined to the armpit or extend further down the arm, depending on the amount of excess fat and tissue. Then the doctor either excises or uses liposuction to remove unwanted fat, then trims and re-drapes the remaining skin before closing the incision. Drainage tubes will then be placed in the arms. An arm lift usually takes two to four hours and is done as an outpatient procedure. A board-certified plastic surgeon[4] in New York provides an overview of arm lift procedures.
  • During follow-up visits, the doctor will remove drainage tubes, check the progress of healing and discuss recommended diet and exercise. It can take three months to see full results.
Additional costs:
  • The doctor might prescribe antibiotics and pain medication after surgery.
  • To aid healing, you will need to wear compression sleeves or a compression top[5] that can cost $50 to $100.
  • Recovery usually requires three to seven days off work.
  • Most plastic surgeons offer discounts for multiple procedures. An arm lift sometimes is performed with a breast lift or lower body lift.
Shopping for an arm lift:
  • Good candidates for arm lift surgery are healthy non-smokers who are close to their ideal weight and for whom diet and exercise have not worked.
  • Tip: Make sure the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has privileges at an accredited hospital, even if the surgery is not taking place there. Both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons[6] and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery[7] offer referral services. Also ask how much experience the surgeon has performing arm lifts, and look at before-and-after photographs of previous patients.
  • Risks[8] include bleeding, infection, scarring, blood clots, numbness, damage to blood vessels or other structures, deep vein thrombosis, heart or lung complications and anesthesia complications, including death. The procedure might not be recommended for patients who have had a mastectomy or certain other types of surgery involving the lymph nodes in the arm pits or who have excess sweating or have had infections in sweat glands.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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