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Considering an arm lift?

Do you dread warm weather. . .because you struggle with how your arms look in tee shirts and tank tops?

Do you avoid making sudden movements – even waving – with your arms, because you’re embarrased about the way the look and feel?

The upper arms tend to be extremely resistant to improvements with diet and exercise. This explains why arm lift surgery (also called brachioplasty surgery) is one of the fastest-growing procedures performed by plastic surgeons today.

Dr. Jason Roostaeian specializes in natural looking arm lift surgery, using a meticulous technique to improve the appearance of your upper arms while leaving as little scarring as possible.

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Am I a good candidate for an arm lift?

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If you have failed to see a positive change in the appearance of your arms with diet and exercise, surgery may be your only option to get the results you desire.

Good candidates for a brachioplasty procedure are those who experience:

  • excess skin, often present after massive weight loss and sometimes referred to as “bat wings”
  • excess fat in the upper arms
  • both excess skin and fat in the upper arms

In some cases, Dr. Jason uses a combination of surgery and liposuction to tighten up the appearance of the arms.

If a patient has only a small amount of excess arm fat and also has good skin tone, Dr. Jason may advise that only liposuction – without any skin removal – will provide a desirable outcome.

Natural looking arm lift results

When performing an arm lift, Dr. Jason takes every measure to ensure that the incision is placed in the least visible position along your arm. Typically the scar for an arm lift is best concealed by placing it in the lower inner edge of the arm.

An incision is necessary to remove the extra skin and/or fat that is present. The length of the scar really depends on where the excess skin is located. If the extra skin is only in the very beginning of the arm, the scar can often be hidden in the armpit.

Some patients only have extra fat in their arm and therefore are candidates for liposuction alone where the scarring is minimal.

A right posterior before and after view of Dr. Jason Roostaeian's natural looking arm lift female patient

UCLA arm lift consultation

Coming in for a consultation with Dr. Roostaeian is the best way to determine whether brachioplasty surgery is right for you.

During your meeting, you’ll have the chance to explain your concerns and ask as many questions as you need, without being rushed or feeling obligated to book a procedure. Dr. Roostaeian prefers to listen and get to know patients first, which helps him guide you to a solution that works best for you. Together, you’ll discuss the look you’re trying to achieve, and you’ll be able to view standardized before and after photos of Dr. Jason’s previous results that are similar to your aesthetic goals.

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All consultation fees may be credited to any subsequent service performed by Dr. Jason. To book a consultation, please complete the form and we will contact you within two business days.

Alternatively, you may call 310.825.8827 to speak with Lili to make an appointment.

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Dr. Jason and our staff at the UCLA Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Suite are ready to get you started on your journey. Whether to answer questions, schedule a consultation, or simply to listen, we're ready when you are.

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      Everything you need to know about arm lift surgery



      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


      During your consultation, Dr. Roostaeian will listen to your goals, answer any questions, and help you determine the best treatment plan for you. If you decide to reserve a date for your brachioplasty, Dr. Jason’s surgery coordinator, Lili, will also schedule you a pre-op appointment to take place about a week or two prior to your surgery.

      As with any surgical procedure, you must be physically and mentally fit for arm lift surgery. To ensure patient safety, Dr. Jason only operates on patients who are within a healthy weight range, do not smoke, and who have received anesthesia clearance by their primary physician.

      Am I a good candidate for an arm lift?

      Good candidates for a brachioplasty procedure are those who experience any one of the following:

      • excess skin, often present after massive weight loss and sometimes referred to as “bat wings”
      • excess fat in the upper arms
      • both excess skin and fat in the upper arms

      Depending upon a patient’s individual anatomy and goals, Dr. Roostaeian will recommend an arm surgery plan that’s best.

      What are the different types of arm lifts?

      Arm lift with skin removal

      If loose skin and/or excess fat is present in the upper arms, Dr. Jason will perform an arm lift by removing the skin and fat. This produces a fine, thin scar along the inner edge of the arm beginning near the armpit. How far down the scar extends depends upon the amount of excess tissue Dr. Jason needs to remove to acheive the desired outcome.

      Arm lift with liposuction

      Patients who have good skin tone and only a small amount of excess fat may be elligible for an arm lift with liposuction only. Because no excess skin is being removed, patients have very minimal scarring at the site where the liposuction cannula is inserted.

      During your arm lift consultation, Dr. Jason will go over the options that are available to you.

      How do I find the best arm lift surgeon?

      When searching for the best arm lift surgeon to perform your brachioplasty, Dr. Roostaeian advises you to consider several key factors:

      1. Credentials and Certifications: Research your prospective arm lift surgeon online – not just on their website, but on industry credentialing sites such as www.surgery.org, which lists board certified plastic surgeons. Do not choose a cosmetic surgeon who is a member of the ABCS – they do not receive the extensive training and oversight that plastic surgeons do. Look for plastic/cosmetic surgeons like Dr. Roostaeian, who are ABPS and ASAPS members.
      2. Before and After Photos: The doctor you choose to perform your brachioplasty should be happy to show you an extensive array of standardized before and after photographs. Scrutinize them carefully, making sure the lighting is consistent and the various views are shown with detail. View enough arm lift pictures to determine whether or not the work is of high quality, with an aesthetic that matches your personal goals. Dr. Jason strives to provide patients with the highest quality of standardized arm lift photographs so you can feel confident in your choice. Click here to view Dr. Jason’s gallery of before and after brachioplasty photos. [LINK]
      3. Office and Surgery Facility: Before choosing an aesthetic surgeon to perform your arm surgery, closely evaluate the office staff, as well as the surgery facility. All of the staff should be helpful and friendly, and pleased to provide you with detailed information about their operating rooms and equipment. Dr. Jason and his staff are proud to be affiliated with UCLA, world renowned for state-of-the-art surgical facilities and patient care. Click to learn more about our top-ranked hospital.[LINK]
      4. Personal Connection: Seeing eye to eye with your arm lift surgeon is just as important as assessing their operating skills. Plastic surgery is a very personal endeavor, and Dr. Jason strongly believes in creating a connection with all of his patients prior to heading into the OR. 


      Click to read Dr. Jason’s blog post How to Find the Best Plastic Surgeon.

      How much does a arm lift cost?

      Arm lift costs vary considerably from patient to patient. The exact cost of your brachioplasty surgery will depend on the complexity of your case, and whether or not you are combining your arm lift with other procedures. You will receive a written quote from Dr. Jason’s office following your consultation.

      Can I combine an arm lift with other procedures?

      Yes, Dr. Jason often combines an arm lift with other procedures of the face, breast or body. Liposuction of the arms can often be included with the procedure to achieve the best result. This would be a good opportunity to address other common troubles some spots such as the flanks or abdomen.

      Should I lose weight before an arm lift?

      To achieve the best possible result in body contouring it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This should be started before surgery so that you can keep it going after surgery. Although you will have to take a break from exercise for a few weeks during your recovery, it important to maintain a well-balanced diet. Many of Dr. Jason’s patients are more motivated by their new body shape following surgery and want to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

      How do I prepare for brachioplasty surgery?

      When preparing for an arm lift procedure, follow all instructions issued by Dr. Roostaeian, his office, and the staff at the UCLA Surgery Center. These guidelines include, but are not limited to:


      • Avoid smoking cigarettes, wearing a nicotine patch or using nicotine gum three weeks prior and three weeks after surgery. All nicotine products inhibits circulation and slows your healing process.


      • Do not take aspirin or any aspirin products. These medications cause bleeding which can lead to
        complications. You may only use Tylenol.
      • Do not take Vitamin E (it will cause you to bleed).
      • Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the doctor sees you the day following surgery.
      • It is extremely important that we are informed about any medications or supplements that you are currently taking such as diet pills, mega doses of vitamins, prescriptions for depression, etc., Dr. Roostaeian and your anesthesiologist need to know every medication that is in your system.


      • Shampoo your hair and body with an antiseptic soap the night before surgery. We prefer you to use Hibiclens (sold at most drug stores) to wash your hair, face, and body (avoid the eyes) the night before and/or morning of surgery.
      • Do not eat or drink anything (not even water) after midnight. The morning of surgery you may take your regular medications such as blood pressure, heart, thyroid, etc. with a small sip of water.
      • Leave all your jewelry at home, including any body (pierced) jewelry. Do not wear contact lenses- not even extended wear. Remove all makeup. Do not apply lotion or creams. Bring a robe, gown (one that will slip easily over your head or one that buttons up the front) and slippers.
      • DO NOT “WORKOUT” THE DAY BEFORE OR THE MORNING OF SURGERY. This will dehydrate your body and you will not be able to replenish it with water.

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      undergoing arm lift surgery

      A photo of Dr. Jason Roostaeian's natural looking plastic surgery practice at 200 Medical Plaza Drive UCLA

      When you arrive for your arm lift surgery, the UCLA Surgery Center nurses will prepare you for your operation. Dr. Roostaeian will stop in to answer any remaining questions you may have, and to make surgical markings for the OR.

      Once you have received the anesthesia and are comfortably sleeping, Dr. Jason will perform the brachioplasty as discussed during your previous meetings.

      Dr. Jason will explain to you during your consultation that sometimes, a surgical plan may need to be slightly amended depending upon what is revealed in the operating room. He will make adjustments as needed in order to achieve the results that you’ve agreed upon. 

      Will I have local or general anesthesia during my arm lift surgery?

      Typically, Dr. Roostaeian performs brachioplasty surgery using general anesthesia. During your pre-operative appointment, Dr. Jason will review your anesthesia options.

      Is an arm lift an outpatient procedure?

      Arm lift surgery with Dr. Jason Roostaeian is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home after a brief recovery (usually 2-3 hours) when you are cleared by the doctor and UCLA Surgery Center nurses.

      Patients who have undergone multiple procedures (a mommy makeover, for example) may be required to stay overnight. UCLA is unique in that it provides patients with the only fully staffed, on-site overnight care facility in Southern California. Dr. Jason and the nurses at the UCLA Surgery Center will monitor your progress and make sure you have the highest standard of care.

      How long does arm lift surgery take?

      Although each case is unique, arm lift surgery with Dr. Roostaeian takes about 2 hours. If you are having multiple procedures, your surgery time will vary. Prior to your surgery, Dr. Jason will let you know the approximate duration.

      What happens during arm lift surgery?

      An arm lift (brachioplasty) procedure typically last approximately two to three hours.  Dr. Jason will typically create an incision to best conceal your scar inside your arm. The incision will be made as inconspicuously as possible, however, its length will vary depending on what your particular case needs to achieve the best possible shape. Dr. Jason will also employ liposuction in any of the areas you need to achieve the best result. The extra skin from your arms will be removed and your incisions are closed using absorbable sutures so there is no need to later remove any stitches.

      What are the main brachioplasty surgery risks?

      Serious complications following arm lift surgery, while possible, are unlikely. Some potential complications can be avoided by carefully following Dr. Jason’s instructions.

      In addition to the usual risks associated with anesthesia, other risks include:

      ARM LIFT SURGERY recovery


      Prior to your arm lift procedure, Dr. Roostaeian will go over what you can expect after your surgery and answer any questions you may have. Before being discharged from the UCLA Surgery Center, you will receive detailed post-op instructions from the staff, as well as information about your follow-up appointment with Dr. Jason. If at any time you have a question or concern after your surgery, our staff is available to assist you. Dr. Jason cares deeply about providing the highest standard of care for his patients, and will closely monitor your healing process.

      As with any surgical procedure, recovery from a brachioplasty proceeds in stages. While everyone’s healing process is different, you may expect the immediate recovery period to take about one to two weeks, followed by an activity restriction. Full healing and results will be apparent around the 3-4 month mark, while your scar and will continue to improve for 6 months to one year.

      What can I expect after an arm lift?

      Following your brachioplasty procedure with Dr. Roostaeian, your arms will feel tight and swollen for about 2 weeks. You will wear a special garment to help with this swelling. You will be up and about within the same day; start showering in two days; stitches are dissolvable; bruising mostly gone by 1 week; back to work if not strenuous after 1 week; avoid any exercise or significant increase in your heart rate for 2 weeks. Can restart gentle exercise routine at 6 weeks and return to full activity by 3 months. Scars will continue to lighten and mature over 6 months to a year.

      What is brachioplasty recovery like?

      Dr. Roostaeian will perform your procedure is performed at UCLA’s state of the art outpatient surgery center that provides an unparallel level of safety. US News has ranked the UCLA Medical Center among the top 5 hospitals in the country for more than 20 years.  Following your procedure, you will be taken to the recovery suite where you will stay and be cared for and monitored  by UCLA’s excellent nurses. You can take a shower after 2 days but baths, swimming, or soaking of your incisions should be avoided for 4 weeks.

      Most patients require prescription narcotics for at least a few days after surgery. You can drive if you’re not taking prescription narcotics and most feel up for it 1-2 weeks after surgery. You can return to work within 1-2 weeks as long as it doesn’t require any significant physical activity or lifting.

      The majority of the swelling will likely subside within a week while some mild swelling may persist for a few more weeks. Within one week after surgery you will visit Dr. Jason as a follow up so he can check on your healing and answer any questions.

      How long will it take to heal after an arm lift?

      After your brachioplasty with Dr. Jason, most of the swelling and bruising will be gone by 1-2 weeks. You can return to activities, even exercise,  that do not stress the incisions after 3 weeks. A compression garment is recommended for 6 weeks. You can return to full activity by 12 weeks.

      When can I exercise or work out after arm lift surgery?

      For the first 2 weeks following arm lift surgery with Dr. Roostaeian, you want to avoid straining (lifting anything more than 5 lbs), or getting your heart rate/blood pressure up as this can lead to bleeding. After 2-3 weeks you should avoid mechanical forces that will put stress on the areas treated. This means you should avoid high impact activities that lead to excessive movement or stress on any of the incisions.  Listen to what your body is telling you at all times, for instance stop the workout if you experience any new discomfort. Remember, getting plenty of rest and reducing your overall activity will give you time to heal and speed up your recovery.

      As always, consult with Dr. Jason if you have any questions about your post-arm lift healing process.

      What does an arm lift scar look like?

      Dr. Jason Roostaeian is extremely meticulous about the placement of his arm lift incisions. He typically places the scar along the inner side of the arm. The length of the scar depends upon the amount of tissue removed. The scar fades over time, remaining quite inconspicuous in most people.

      Visit Dr. Jason’s brachioplasty photo gallery to see examples of arm lift scars.  [LINK]

      How much time off work should I take after an arm lift?

      While everyone heals at a different pace, there are general guidelines to help determine how much work or school you’ll miss after an arm lift. To promote proper healing, Dr. Roostaeian recommends taking at least 1 week off after arm surgery. Most patients are able to work from home or do homework after a few days of rest. Most patients with non-strenous jobs can return to work after about one week. If your work requires significant physical activity (lifting more than 5 pounds) you want to wait at least 2-3 weeks to prevent any increases in your blood pressure that can lead to bleeding while your’re still in the early stages of healing.

      How long do the results of an arm lift last?

      It is very rare to need to repeat an arm lift procedure if there are no dramatic changes in your weight. Therefore, Dr. Jason’s patients who maintain a healthy lifestyle will continue to enjoy the result of their procedure for many years to come.

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      Body Contouring Patient Testimonials

      Extremely happy – my scar is thin like a needle

      Dr. Roostaeian performed my breast augmentation and redid my abdominoplasty due to a big scar below my belly button which did not heal correctly from the original abdominoplasty 8 years ago. I am extremely happy with the result! My scar is thin like a size of a needle, unlike the size of a finger with my first abdominoplasty. He really listens to his patient and most important is, he cared. I stayed at the hospital for a day and he visited me 3 times to make sure I am doing well. He responded to my emails quickly with any questions and concerns. I highly recommend him if you’re looking for a plastic surgeon, you will be please with the quality of his work.

      -Anonymous Patient  

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