Brachioplasty Melbourne (Arm Lift)

About Brachioplasty

Brachioplasty is performed on the arms to remove excess skin, tissue and/or fat. The surgery typically focuses on the upper arm and is sometimes referred to as an arm lift. Sometimes, the procedure may involve liposuction to target fat pockets.

Suitable candidates for brachioplasty

Candidates who want to address skin laxity or excess skin, localised fat and tissue on the arms may be suitable for brachioplasty. Dr Ritz will need to ensure that you are suitable for the procedure and will conduct an assessment during your first consultation.

Your arm/s will be assessed for skin laxity and/or excess skin, tissue and fat pockets. Candidates should always keep expectations realistic when it comes to results. Pregnancy or breastfeeding can be contraindications to the surgery, as well as medications, supplements, and smoking habits.

To be suitable for the procedure, you may be asked to stop taking or switch some medications or supplements (particularly blood thinning medications), and quit smoking. Making sure you are a suitable candidate before planning your procedure will help to prevent complications from occurring during or after surgery, and help to ensure that the procedure can achieve results you are happy with.

Your initial consultation

Your initial consultation will be with Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Ritz at our Melbourne location. He will ask about your health history, any part surgeries you have had, lifestyle factors (such as exercise) and what you do for work. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or having a job that requires strenuous exercise, will need to be considered when planning the pre-operative and post-operative process.

Dr Ritz will explain your options, and make recommendations as to what the most appropriate approach to surgery may be. When creating your procedure plan, you will discuss how your surgery will be performed. He will also inform you of the potential complications of a brachioplasty and how he will aim to prevent them. Since the risk level of some complications can be minimised by closely following post-operative instructions, he can outline what may be required during recovery and the steps you may need to follow.

Once you feel that you understand your surgery and have made an informed decision, you will be able to speak to his Personal Assistant Georgie, to discuss your procedure costs and booking your procedure. Costs will vary from patient to patient as they need to be calculated by considering the steps of your procedure, procedure time, anaesthesia fees, surgeon fees and any other fees that may be required.

Brachioplasty Melbourne (Arm Lift) | 1 The procedure

You will discuss the details of your procedure (such as incision placement, the estimated procedure time, the procedure steps and what to expect on the day of your procedure) during your consultation.

On the day of your surgery, you will likely need to be at the hospital about two hours before undergoing your procedure. Your surgeon (Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Ritz) will go over your procedure steps again, and draw some pre-operative markings to guide the surgery. You will consult with your anaesthetist as well, since the procedure needs to be performed under general anaesthesia.

To perform the surgery, incisions will be placed depending on the details of the results you want to achieve. Most often, an incision is made on the underside of the arm, from the armpit to the elbow. Excess skin and tissue are then excised, and sometimes liposuction will also need to be performed when removing excess fat pockets. Once the skin, tissue and any specific areas of fat have been addressed, the incisions are sutured closed to complete the procedure. Drains may be placed, which will need to be removed at some stage during recovery (before you return home). After your procedure, you’ll need to be monitored for one to two nights, before being able to return home to follow your post-operative instructions.

Brachioplasty Melbourne (Arm Lift) | 2 Recovery

You are required to stay in the hospital for one to two nights after your procedure. Your drain tubes will be removed before you go home, and a compression garment will need to be worn day and night, typically for about six weeks. We will arrange post-operative appointments to have your dressings changed.

Depending on the physical demands of your work, you will require anywhere from two to six weeks at home. You are unable to drive for the first two weeks, so you should organise transportation home from the hospital. To complete your recovery at home, you will have a list of recovery instructions and receive advice on what to do should you notice any signs of complications. The speed of your recovery will depend on individual factors, including how complex the steps of your procedure were, the rate at which your body naturally heals and how closely you follow recovery advice. As for results, swelling and bruising will need to sufficiently subside before you can clearly see the outcome of your procedure. Your results will typically begin to be visible at about six weeks of recovery.

Brachioplasty Melbourne (Arm Lift) | 3 Post-operative care

After a brachioplasty, it is expected for the operated area to feel tender and appear swollen. We will provide you with recovery instructions that can help you manage pain and swelling, such as taking prescribed pain medication and avoiding certain activities that can prolong swelling. You will need to avoid driving for the first two weeks of your recovery. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least six weeks, allowing your body to rest and recover.

You may be prescribed antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection and may need to stop taking certain medications (or make adjustments) for your recovery period. Taking care of your incisions by keeping them clean and avoiding excessive heat exposure will be key to preventing complications that can occur during healing, such as wound infection. You will need to avoid heavy lifting and lifting overhead objects, as there will be limited arm movement. Post-operative care will be all about supporting your body to heal sufficiently, so you should follow your personalised instructions slowly.

As for further recommendations to assist you with your recovery period, organising for someone to pick you up from the hospital and someone to help you with household tasks can be helpful. Since the surgery is performed on the arm, movement needed to perform specific household tasks can be limited. Making sure your home is suitable for your recovery will also help to ensure that you can recover comfortably, such as ensuring frequently needed objects are within reach and that you have access to healthy meals. We recommend ensuring you get plenty of rest, follow a healthy diet and stay hydrated throughout your recovery.

Throughout your recovery, you’ll need to monitor your healing progress. Dr Ritz can provide you with advice on signs of complications to look out for. You will be required to attend post-operative appointments so that the progress of your healing can be monitored.

Your procedure costs

The costs of your brachioplasty procedure with Dr Ritz in Melbourne will be calculated by surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist fees, and hospital fees.

Possible complications

The potential complications of brachioplasty can be prevented by ensuring that surgery is only performed on suitable candidates and providing clear, thorough aftercare advice. Complications of the procedure can include prolonged pain, wound healing or swelling, asymmetrical or unsatisfactory results, skin necrosis, temporary or permanent areas of numbness, excessive bleeding, reactions to anaesthesia and scarring. Your personal risk, according to individual factors (health, lifestyle and the steps of your surgery), will be discussed during your consultation, as well as any other possible risks of the procedure. One of the goals of your initial consultation is to help you make an informed decision as to where or not to undergo your surgery so we will make sure that risks (and what will be done to manage risks) will be thoroughly disclosed.


**Individual results will vary based on factors such as genetics, age, diet and exercise. The outcome experienced by one person do not necessarily reflect the outcomes that other people may experience.

All surgery carries risks. These risks include but are not limited to bleeding, infection, scarring, pain, numbness, asymmetry. All surgery requires a recovery period and post operative care. This will be all discussed in further detail during your consultation**

Morris Ritz is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
AHPRA Registration: MED0001156076