Hanging skin on the upper arms or thighs combined with a loss of tone are aesthetic concerns which frequently occur after major weight loss, or simply from the natural aging process. This loose skin is sometimes accompanied by fatty deposits, which often lead to a lack of definition. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Tiffany McCormack, MD, performs the arm lift and thigh lift procedure at McCormack Plastic Surgery to help patients restore a smoother, leaner contour in the treated areas. Whether performed alone or at the same time during one surgery, an arm lift and thigh lift are designed to remove loose or hanging skin. This creates a tighter appearance and a sleeker circumferential contour around the arms and/or thighs.

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

An arm lift, medically termed a brachioplasty, is a procedure that is performed to remove excess skin in the upper arms to restore a more youthful and defined appearance. This cosmetic surgery is often pursued after significant weight loss, as the skin can lose the ability to contract around a patient’s new arm shape after fat is shed — a factor known as skin elasticity. For individuals with good skin elasticity, minimal skin sagging, and disproportionate amounts of fat, liposuction is another body contouring procedure that can be a good alternative to an arm lift. An arm lift and liposuction are also commonly performed together for comprehensive improvement in the upper arms.

What are the Benefits of an Arm Lift?

Depending on your surgical goals, an arm lift can be an exceptional way to achieve a smoother, firmer, and tauter arm appearance. In general, a brachioplasty procedure can:

  • Eliminate loose or hanging skin in the upper arms
  • Pull remaining skin taut
  • Tighten the structures that define the arm shape

Who is a Good Candidate for Arm Lift Surgery?

In most cases, the best candidates for an arm lift are healthy individuals who do not have any uncontrolled medical conditions or future plans for significant weight loss. Prospective patients should also be concerned with excess skin in the upper arms and desire a smoother, more defined arm appearance. Dr. McCormack will fully assess your medical history and cosmetic goals during a consultation to help you determine whether brachioplasty is the best procedure to meet your needs.

How is the Arm Lift Procedure Performed?

Performed by Dr. McCormack, the arm lift procedure takes between two to three hours. Excess skin is removed and some liposuction is commonly performed as well. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. A scar is placed along the length of the upper inner arm and is hidden whenever your arms are by your side. Often, a drain tube is left in each arm. Each patient is placed in a compression garment to help minimize swelling.

What is Arm Lift Recovery Like?

The arms remain swollen for several weeks following the procedure. You will be seen in the office two to three days after your surgery to remove dressings and, possibly, drains. You should refrain from lifting anything greater than 15 pounds for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work in about one week. The scars will not disappear completely, though they will begin to fade within two to three months and reach their final appearance in one to two years. It is important that these scars are not exposed to sun while they are still red, as this may lead to skin darkening or pigmentation. If sun exposure is unavoidable, a sun block of 15 SPF or higher should be applied.

How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?

Like all surgical procedures, the price of an arm lift is unique to each patient’s individual needs and personalized treatment plan. With this in mind, our practice understands that cost is a primary consideration with any cosmetic surgery. While a true cost estimation of your procedure cannot be determined until your consultation, the average reported price of a brachioplasty in Reno — according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) — is approximately $4,861. This only represents part of the total cost of an arm lift, and our office can provide you with a more accurate estimate after your consultation.

To provide a better understanding of how the cost is calculated, common factors that generally affect the price of an arm lift include:

  • The geographic location of the procedure
  • The expertise of your plastic surgeon
  • Whether the surgery is being combined with other procedures
  • The amount of surgical work to be done

Our practice accepts a variety of payment methods as well as financing options for individuals who prefer to pay for their treatment over time. Payment plans from highly reputable plastic surgery financing companies, such as CareCredit®, Alphaeon™ Credit, and Prosper® Healthcare Lending, offer patients affordable monthly installments with low- to no-interest rates for qualified applicants. Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team for more information on our accepted modes of payment.

Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)

Time and gravity can cause the skin of the inner thighs to lose tone and elasticity. This is especially true following massive weight loss. Excess fat buildup may also affect the thighs, sometimes resulting in a displeasing contour that does not improve with dieting and exercise. In many cases, a thigh lift also incorporates liposuction to achieve a leaner, slimmer, and tighter result overall.

What are the Benefits of a Thigh Lift?

Whether resulting from pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process, excess skin on the thighs can present physical symptoms on top of aesthetic concerns. Many patients report skin chafing, irritation, or discomfort due to their redundant skin, as well as an inability to find properly fitting clothing. If you’re self-conscious about hanging skin and redundant fat in the lower body, a thigh lift can reshape the thighs to attain a more sculpted look. 

Along with an arm lift, thigh lift surgery is often considered the last step in a patient’s weight loss journey due to the procedure’s ability to address excess skin. A thigh lift can generally:

  • Remove hanging skin
  • Extract isolated fatty deposits
  • Tighten the supportive structures that define the thighs

For patients with loose skin around the abdomen and torso, Dr. McCormack can also discuss whether mid-body contouring and/or tummy tuck surgery may address your skin laxity more comprehensively. She will help you understand the benefits, risks, and limitations of each treatment option, and your surgical plan will be completely personalized to resolve your unique concerns.

How is the Thigh Lift Procedure Performed?

A thigh lift takes approximately two hours. The procedure involves liposuction and the removal of loose skin. After excess skin and fat have been eliminated, dissolvable sutures are used to close up the incisions. You will be placed in a compression garment for two to four weeks to help minimize swelling.

What is Thigh Lift Recovery Like?

It is not unusual to have some drainage from your incisions for the first couple of days. Walking during the first 48 hours is encouraged. Climbing stairs, squatting, and aerobic activities should be avoided for several days. You will be seen back in the office two to three days following your surgery. Most patients have a “tight” and swollen feeling in their thighs. This gradually goes away. Most of the swelling is gone by six weeks time. Individuals with a “desk job” may return to work after one week. Positions that require lifting more than 25 pounds, prolonged periods of standing, walking, or heavy lifting should not be resumed for three to six weeks. The scars will begin to fade two to three months after surgery and will have diminished considerably in one to two years, though they will not disappear completely.

How Much Does a Thigh Lift Cost?

The cost of a thigh lift is tailored to your individual needs and goals, so prices vary from patient to patient. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) lists the average surgeon’s fee for thigh lift surgery at approximately $5,355. This figure varies across the country, and does not include associated expenses such as anesthesia and surgical facility fees. You will receive a personalized quote after your consultation, but your total costs will generally depend on: 

  • Your overall goals
  • The experience of your plastic surgeon
  • The complexity of the procedure
  • Your geographic location

Financing the costs of the thigh lift procedure via CareCredit®, ALPHAEON™ Credit, and Prosper® Healthcare Lending can help qualified patients pay for their cosmetic surgery in more manageable installments than providing the entire sum upfront. Our office would be happy to speak with you about the cost of your thigh lift, or our accepted financing options in person.

How Long Does an Arm Lift and Thigh Lift Last?

Both the arm lift and thigh lift procedures can achieve results that last for a lifetime. Although the natural effects of aging will continue, the arms and thighs generally maintain their contour as long as patients do not undergo any significant weight fluctuations. The body changes caused by pregnancy or weight gain can alter the results of cosmetic surgery, so our team encourages you to live a healthy and active lifestyle after your procedure. It’s also recommended to consider these body contouring options only after you have no future plans for pregnancy, as having children after surgery can compromise the final outcome. These tips offer the most effective way to maximize the longevity of an arm lift and/or thigh lift. 

To learn more about arm lift, thigh lift, or any other body contouring procedures we offer, contact McCormack Plastic Surgery today.