Procedure Spotlight

  • Removes excess tissue on upper arms that is not improving with diet and exercise alone
  • Arm Lift aims to reshape and better contour the arms, resulting in a firmer, more toned appearance
  • Incisions usually extend from the armpit to the elbow on the underside of the arm

Excess skin on the upper arms is usually the result of the ageing process and / or weight loss. Loss of skin elasticity is caused by both the aging process and weight loss and combined with the effects of gravity this can cause excess skin to sag in the upper arm area. Brachioplasty can help you reduce the appearance of excess skin on the arms by surgically removing it.

An arm lift surgery aims to reshape and better contour the arms, resulting in a firmer, more toned appearance. Not every arm lift requires liposuction, it’s only if excess fat is present that liposuction will also be required.

Once it’s determined that you are a candidate for brachioplasty surgery, Dr Safvat will take you through the procedure, how to prepare for it and what you can expect. Realistic expectations are essential before undertaking any type of plastic surgery.


Brachioplasty is done under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited private hospital in Sydney or the Southern Highlands. Dr Safvat only works with highly trained anaesthetists accredited with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

Depending on skin tone, and the area with the excess skin and fat, the incisions usually extend from the armpit to the elbow and can be concealed when the arms are held against the body. They may also extend into the armpits. A full-length incision is not always necessary. Dr Safvat will discuss how long the incisions need to be during your consultation.

The entire procedure takes around three hours to complete and usually won’t require an overnight stay in hospital.

Procedure Snapshot

Anaesthetic Type: General Anaesthetic
Length of Surgery: 3 hours
Stay in Hospital: Day only
Downtime: 2-3 weeks


Following your procedure, a compression garment will need to be worn for around six weeks to alleviate swelling and accelerate healing.

Arm and shoulder movements may be limited for up to a week after your arm lift surgery as the skin stretches and settles into its new shape. Any activities that involve your arms should be postponed for one to two months, giving the arms the chance to fully recover. Patients should aim to spend at least a week at home after surgery and will need someone to assist them for several days due to the limited range of movement.

Pain medication can be used to make your recovery comfortable and antibiotics will need to be taken to prevent infection.


Smoking has been shown to cause more complications after any surgery including Brachioplasty. Dr Safvat insists that his patients stop smoking at least 4 weeks before their upper arm lift surgery.

Also, the best results are achieved if a patient’s weight is stable and they are near or at their ideal body weight. Brachioplasty is not a substitute for weight loss.

There may also be certain medications and supplements that will need to be cut out in the weeks leading up to your surgery. This will be discussed during your consultation in Ethique Plastic Surgery’s rooms in Miranda, Concord, or Bowral.


There is no way to prevent scars completely after surgery and everyone can scar differently. However, the techniques Dr Safvat uses to suture his wounds are designed to minimise scarring. What’s more, any scarring will fade over time, especially if they are cared for correctly.

Brachioplasty scars are usually from the armpit to the elbow and whilst it is on the underside of the arm, patients need to be aware that these scars will potentially be visible when wearing some types of clothing and whilst lifting your arms.

Dr Safvat will provide you with his specific protocol for scar management that will help you protect and care for your incisions in a way that will minimise scarring. Dr Safvat will also include LED Light Therapy sessions (available in Miranda only) which will assist with wound healing, scarring and recovery.

Patients who have followed Dr Safvat’s protocol for scar management diligently have been very pleased with their progress in reducing and fading of scars.


While all care and diligence is taken by Dr Safvat to minimise or avoid complications, any surgical procedure can be associated with some general complications and/or specific complications related to the surgery you are having. Choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon such as Dr Safvat and having your procedure done in an accredited hospital minimises risks as does using an accredited Anaesthetist.

Some general surgical potential complications are:

  Infection that may require antibiotics (Dr Safvat prescribes all patients antibiotics after surgery to minimise this risk).

  Fluid build-up under the skin (seroma).

  Allergic reaction to dressings and other items used during the procedure.

  The formation of blood collection (haematoma) which could require additional surgery.

  Scars heal differently in different people. Some people are genetically prone to develop keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars develop when there is a complication in the healing process. Whilst not ideal, there is no threat to your health if you develop these.

Some potential complications related to brachioplasty surgery specifically are:

•  Visible Scarring.

  Asymmetry in the shape of the arms.

  Changes in skin sensation.

  Temporary numbness which usually returns within a few months.

 Skin that does not heal and could require a skin graft.

  Restrictive movement to the tightened skin.


Brachioplasty surgery has a Medicare item number in some cases and patients should get a rebate from Medicare and their health fund (where applicable). If the patient qualifies for the item number, the hospital costs are generally covered by their private health fund. However, it does depend on the patient’s level and type of cover. There are stringent guidelines from Medicare as to whether a patient qualifies for a Medicare-subsidised arm lift. This will be discussed with you during your consultation with Dr Safvat. Alternatively, you can have the procedure done in a Private Hospital as a Self-Funded patient. Detailed information regarding costs will be provided to you after your initial consultation.

Detailed information regarding costs will be provided to you after your initial consultation.

Frequently asked questions


If you have excess underarm skin that appears loose due to excess fat or skin laxity then you may be able to benefit from an arm lift. You should also be at a relatively stable weight and in good general health. Dr Safvat will discuss whether the surgery will achieve your desired outcome. It is important to have realistic expectations about the final results.


Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the natural ageing process from affecting the results of your surgery however, if you lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a stable weight, it will help prolong the results of your arm lift surgery.


become visible. Most patients can see the final results of their arm lift after six months. During this time, your scars will also continue to heal but they can take up to two years to fade. Fortunately, any scarring from your brachioplasty is naturally concealed when your arms are by your side. The only time that scarring might be visible is when exercising or raising the arms. If you follow Dr Safvat’s scar management protocol, scarring can be kept to a minimum in most cases.


Arm lifts are generally undertaken to reverse the effects of weight loss and age. This means it’s usually paired with similar procedures that combat the same effects. Arm lifts can, in some cases, be paired with breast reductions or thigh lifts. It’s also important to remember that not all procedures can be performed at the same time. Dr Safvat will determine whether it’s viable to perform all the procedures you have in mind at the same time.

Where does Dr Safvat perform this procedure?

Dr Safvat does the Brachiplasty procedure in Sydney region (Sutherland Shire and Inner West) as well as in the Southern Highlands, NSW. He only operates in fully accredited Private Hospitals, these being Kareena Private Hospital (Caringbah), Strathfield Private Hospital, Southern Highlands Private Hospital (Bowral) and Ramsay Surgical Centre Miranda.

Before and Afters

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 Dr Safvat is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Every patient is unique and results may vary. Any surgical procedure carries risks which need to be discussed with your doctor to ensure you are fully informed and realistic outcomes have been explained. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

These photos are of actual patients of Dr Safvat. Each has given consent for the photos to be used by Dr Safvat only.


Registered Medical Practitioner, Specialist Plastic Surgeon (specialist registration in Surgery – Plastic surgery).

Dr André Safvat – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Renowned for his dedication to his patients, his attention to detail and impeccable outcomes, Dr Safvat’s unparalleled expertise is reflected in the quality, professionalism and dedication of every member of our team.