Do you have wobbly upper arms with loose and flabby skin?
Do you get comments like ‘batwings’ or ‘bingo wings’?
Are your arms too large and not in proportion with the rest of your body?
If sagging skin on your upper arms is a concern for you, then you don’t have to live with it. You can achieve tighter, firmer, more contoured arms with Brachioplasty surgery, commonly known as upper arm lift or arm reduction surgery. And you can choose from among the best plastic surgeons in Melbourne for this surgery.
Who is an eligible candidate for Brachioplasty?
Anyone who has recently had weight loss surgery like Gastric Banding or any other bariatric procedures which may have left them with excessive upper arm skin. This results in the underside of the upper arm skin becoming saggy and droopy. At times, some patients might also feel that their arms are not in proportion with the rest of their post-surgery body.
Weight loss surgery may not be the only reason for the skin laxity. The skin undergoes certain changes with age, which results in loss of firmness, suppleness and elasticity. In some people, this can also cause sagging skin on the upper arms. This procedure is sought out by those who:
- Lost weight through diet and or exercise
- Lost weight through bariatric surgery
- Have excess upper arm skin that impacts clothing choices
- Have loose and unflattering skin as a result of heredity, genetics or ageing
- Have loose skin on the upper arms that just gets worse with time
While exercise can help in toning muscle and contouring the arm to an extent, it does not help with excess sagging skin, this is where Brachioplasty comes in.
Wobbly arms a problem? Read on to know how you can get better, firmer, toned arms with arm lift surgery
Arm Reduction Surgery is a very popular procedure for post-weight loss patients and for people who feel self-conscious about “wobbly” sagging upper arm skin, for which exercise and healthy nutrition haven’t altered the appearance. (Muscles of the upper arm can often be tightened with exercise, which helps with the appearance of the arms — but unfortunately; stretched and baggy upper arm skin cannot be exercised away).
What is Brachioplasty?
Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the excess skin and unwanted adipose tissues from the upper arm area, improving the contours. Some people call it bat wing or bingo wing or arm lift surgery.
It addresses lax skin from the elbow to the under-arm area, by making incisions that sometimes extend into the torso or the sides of the body depending on the extent of the surgery required. This helps to reduce arm girth, tighten the appearance of the skin, and reduce flapping skin and chafing problems.
What can you expect from arm lift surgery in Melbourne?
Typically, patients have both arms done in an extended surgery session. There is a significant amount of skin removal, depending on the degree of ptosis (drooping or sagging skin). Liposuction may be performed if there is stubborn fat in the area as well.
This is a serious procedure that is performed in a single theatre session at an approved hospital, in the presence of a general anaesthetist. Operating in quality hospitals allows surgeons to do their best work, confident that a full range of support and services are available.
An overnight hospital stay of 1 – 3 days is recommended for post-operative care and support. Your surgeon will be the best person to advise you on the specific duration of your stay post surgery.
You will be required to wear compression garments for the time period prescribed by your surgeon. You will also need to arrange for extra care at home while you recover, and will not be allowed any heavy lifting and driving for a period.
Click on the image to request a download of the complete guide to arm reduction surgery!
Tip: Review the ARM LIFT/Brachioplasty Surgery information page
Who are the expert plastic surgeons who perform arm lift surgery in Melbourne?
Brachioplasty is best performed by experienced and FRACS qualified surgeons who specialise in body contouring. We have several highly experienced plastic surgeons on our team who specialise in skin reduction and body sculpting available to see patients in Melbourne.
Dr Geoff Barnett(MBBS, FRACS)
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon & Body Lift surgery expert (near Melbourne Kew/ Richmond/ Camberwell/ Toorak)
Dr Richard Maxwell MBBS, BMedSc, FRACS (Plast)
Plastic Surgeon and Body Lift and Arm Lift Surgery (nearby in Williamstown/Melbourne)
All of these surgeons offer decades of expertise in helping women and men get firmer looking, shapely upper arms. They operate only at accredited major hospitals in and around Melbourne, with experienced anaesthetists and a top surgical support team to provide best practice patient care to all their patients.
Does Brachioplasty leave scars? What do the scars look like post surgery?
Brachioplasty entails the removal of extra skin, and hence, scarring is common after the procedure. The incision line can go from the underarm down to the inner elbow in some cases. If liposuction is performed, one might also be able to see those scars, though they are usually quite small and fade well.
The degree of scarring varies from person to person. Brachioplasty scars are generally on the inside of the arm, but can also extend from the underarm area towards the elbow, or sometimes onto the upper back or torso. When fresh, these scars will appear quite red, but tend to fade over time just like any other scar you may have. This can be up to 12-18 months.
Need Arm Reduction Surgery to reduce flabby-looking upper arms? Get the GUIDE.
Click the image to request a download.
As a prospective patient, we can discuss post-surgical scar management methods like Fraxel or SkinPen as an example, incision line care, compression garments, etc.
Our Brachioplasty surgery costs cover some methods of scar management.
Arm Scar Photos
The pictures below show a brachioplasty scar post surgery. Please note, that most of these incision scars are still fresh, and will continue to heal and fade over time. These scars will be less visible when arms are by the side.
What are the associated risks with an arm lift surgery in Melbourne?
Like all surgical procedures, Brachioplasty has certain risks, whether it is on its own, or in combination with Liposuction. Broadly, the risks associated with this procedure are:
Modern techniques used in general anaesthesia are very safe, and most patients respond quite well. Having said this, there is always some risk from general anaesthesia. In case you wish to speak to your anaesthetist before surgery, our team will provide you with all the details. By operating in approved hospitals, your surgeon will be able to offer a safe and supported environment for a successful surgery. Apart from qualified plastic surgeons and a trained surgical assistants, you will also have a fully trained anaesthetist attending to you at all times during your procedure.
This is a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues, and can occur during surgery. Drains are occasionally used to lessen the risk of haematoma or fluid build-up. If this does happen you will be required a visit to the hospital to remove the blood clot.
Sometimes, infections can arise post surgery; in this case, you will be prescribed antibiotics and kept under close observation.
Delayed Wound Healing
Your Surgeon and Nurse coordinator will manage the healing process. This sometimes occurs with patients who are overweight, smokers or those with an infection.
Some scarring is inevitable, and these continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Having said this, our surgeons take great care to minimise scarring and will ensure that scars are as minimal as possible. Feel free to ask your surgeon about your concerns. After surgery and initial healing has occurred you will see one of our Dermal Clinicians, starting approximately 8 – 10 weeks post surgery to help you manage scarring.
Numbness in the arm
This can occur and mostly settles down over the initial months up to 1-2 years.
We are not born symmetrical, and part of your surgeon’s skill lies in trying to minimise any asymmetry between right and left arms. There could be a minor degree of asymmetry even post surgery. This is not a serious risk.
Asymmetry also holds true for scars, as they may be slightly different on both sides. But this is not something you should worry about, if you follow all the post-op instructions and scar minimisation protocols.
This again, is an inevitable part of any surgical procedure, but can be managed with pain medications, prompt aftercare and following the surgeons instructions.
There are the rare risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis and fluid build-up (Seroma).
All successful surgery outcomes are the result of realistic expectations of the patient, realistic surgical goals and the knowledge of possible risks and complications. Nothing is ever guaranteed. However, all care is taken to minimise the known risks through careful patient screening and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical techniques and vigilant post-operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These rarely have long term effects on an excellent final result.
How long does it take to recover after a Brachioplasty / arm lift surgery?
The actual recovery period can vary from patient to patient. In general, you can account for 2-3 weeks before resuming some activities and up to 6 months before you can engage in lifting heavy weights. All this combined with wearing compression garments 24/7 for a period of a few weeks to a few months, as prescribed by your surgeon.
How much does an arm lift procedure cost in Melbourne?
The consultation for an expert FRACS accredited, specialist plastic surgeon costs $200, but if you have a referral from your GP, you may get a rebate from Medicare if there is an item number applicable.
The average cost of a bilateral Brachioplasty procedure in Melbourne from a specialised plastic surgeon can range from $17,000 to $22,000 AUD for both arms. The actual cost will vary from a patient to patient and can only be determined after a consultation with a surgeon. This procedure is performed in an accredited hospital, and an overnight stay is recommended for 1 to 3 days.
Some other patients also seek further skin surgery like a Belt Lipectomy, Abdominoplasty, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction and other contouring surgeries prior to or after a Brachioplasty, to help reduce skin folds and flaps, and to redistribute adipose tissues.
Are arm lift costs covered by Medicare or Super?
For some post-obesity patients who have had Bariatric surgery, Medicare may help to cover some of the arm lift costs. However, the rebate criteria is very strict and extensive documentation is required. You will still be required to pay some out of pocket costs for surgery.
For some patients, this surgery can be claimed for medical reasons. This means that you may be able to gain early access to your Super through the ATO. If you fit into this category, then you could pay for your surgery costs with your Super.
If you are not eligible for a Medicare item number then private health funds will also deny any rebates to you. We have seen that these systems are often subject to sudden changes with little or no prior notice. If Medicare approves then the fund will approve based on your level of cover of course.
Is it possible to withdraw Super early to pay for the cost of Brachioplasty / arm lift / skin reduction surgery?
This would be possible for some weight loss surgery patients, if they develop skin problems or other health conditions post bariatric surgery that medically warrant an arm lift procedure. In cases like these, patients may be able to apply to the ATO for an early release of Super, to pay for their arm lift surgery.
Tax implications will apply in case of Early release of Super for Surgery.
Search for our blogs for other articles on Super for post-bariatric weight loss surgery.
What are the benefits of choosing a surgeon from our team?
As a Brachioplasty surgery patient with PlasticSurgeons.com.au, you will have access to excellent surgical and post-operative healing techniques, which include:
- Recovery Packs with scientifically proven products to assist you during recovery
- Scar minimization treatments
- Knowledgeable staff and accredited hospitals
Combined Body Contouring or Breast Procedures and Mummy Makeovers
Patients choosing an upper arm lift often combine other body reshaping, body contouring & body liftprocedures for a complete makeover. The most popular surgeries combined with upper arm (Brachioplasty) surgery include Breast Enhancement Surgery (Breast Reduction, Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation), Liposuction, Body Contouring and Tummy Tuck procedures.
What are the next steps towards more toned arms with upper arm reduction surgery?
- If you want to explore options for reducing sagging upper arm skin on the triceps and your arm girth, tighter and more contoured arms, then just call us on (03) 8849 1444.
- Visit our FAQs page to learn more about the procedure have a look at our photo galleries and read actual patient reviews.
Here is how to book your initial consultation
- Email us or call us on (03) 8849 1444 to schedule your appointment for a surgeon consultation.
- A Referral from your GP or from your specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation even without a GP referral but there will be no opportunity to claim any rebate without one.
- Schedule a confidential consultation with your selected specialist surgeon by paying the $200 booking fee.
What should you bring to your first surgeon consultation?
Be sure to read the Downloadable E-books before you meet your surgeon, to understand the basic details of the procedure, and to clarify any doubts you might have.
Apart from this, you could
- Bring a relative or friend along, to be able to discuss your choices in detail
- Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
- Wear simple clothes as you may need to undress for a physical examination
If you still want more information before you schedule your first surgeon consultation, then here is what you can do:
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us. If you call us during clinic hours, you could speak to Michelle or Donna, our patient care coordinators on (03) 8849 1400.
- Book a Complimentary Nurse Consultation (FREE)
- Organise a phone call with Patient Coordinator (FREE)
- Attend our (Free) Regular Practice Events and hear directly from our Plastic Surgeons and their top surgical support teams
- Speak with a past patient that has had the procedure (call or contact us for more details)
- Fill in the enquiry form below, and we will get in touch with you