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Arm Lift Techniques

Posted in Body Plastic Surgery

The dreaded bat wings—excess, hanging, flabby skin in the upper arms—can develop even in the healthiest and fittest of individuals. Lost skin elasticity due to weight loss, genetics, and aging can cause the loose skin to hang from the upper arms. Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Schlechter offers two solutions to improve the contour of your upper arms: traditional brachioplasty (arm lift surgery) or Smartlipo™ (laser arm lift). He will recommend one of these two techniques for you, which will improve your bat wings and restore attractive, slender, and youthful upper arm contours.

Arm Lift Before and After Photos


Brachioplasty is the formal name for traditional arm lift surgery. Arm lift surgery is the best technique for patients who need severe correction of sagging skin and tissue, especially after major weight loss. This technique is for those who would trade their bat wings for slender contours with a scar on the inside of the upper arm. Preferred candidates are also in good health, have realistic expectations, and are prepared for a surgical procedure. Patients will need to plan for the recovery, which will take approximately two weeks for significant healing and up to six months for the swelling to subside and the area of the incision to mature.

Arm lift surgery improves upper arm contours by surgically excising the sagging tissues. Dr. Schlechter makes an incision on the inside of the arm so that he can remove the excess tissue. This incision and resulting scar typically extend the full length of the armpit to the elbow, though it may be longer or shorter depending on the amount of skin removed. Dr. Schlechter then removes excess skin and fat to create a tight and smooth upper arm. Dr. Schlechter offers scar management options that can minimize the appearance of the scar.

Laser Arm Lift With Smartlipo™

Smartlipo™ is a method of using laser skin tightening and fat removal to lift and recontour the upper arms. This technique is minimally invasive and is best for candidates with minor to moderate upper arm jiggle. Suitable candidates are in good health, less than 30 pounds overweight, and unable to tighten their upper arms despite exercise and dieting. Candidates should also have realistic expectations and be prepared for the recovery, which could take a few days to a week or longer.  

Smartlipo™ improves upper arm contours by using laser energy to tighten the skin and destroy surplus fat. This technique requires only a single small incision above the elbow, about the size of the tip of a pen. Through this incision, Dr. Schlechter inserts the fine Smartlipo™ laser fiber and delivers laser wavelengths of energy to the tissues. This laser energy melts fat and stimulates collagen production to tighten the skin. The melted fat is gently suctioned out to improve the tone and definition of the upper arms.

Brachioplasty and Smartlipo™ are two proven arm lift techniques that can enhance the definition and contour of the upper arms. Both procedures are highly effective in improving the tone and shape of the arms. If you are not certain which technique you need, Dr. Schlechter can help you determine which of these techniques will be best for you. To schedule your consultation, call (847) 393-4770 or fill out our online contact form today.