Arm Lift


Fluctuations in weight, aging, and even heredity can cause changes in the appearance of your upper arm, resulting in a droopy, sagging, or even ‘batwing’-like appearance. Fitness may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arms, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity, or the associated fat deposits.

If the underside of your upper arms has developed sagging, droopy skin, or appears loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an arm lift (brachioplasty) may be right for you. Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and underlying fat between the underarm region and elbow to create tighter skin and a more defined contour. It results in a more toned and proportionate appearance, enhancing your self-confidence and expanding your fashion choices. The trade-off to your improved image is a resulting scar in your armpit (mini- brachioplasty) or more commonly, on the inside of your upper arm extending from armpit to elbow.

Am I a good candidate?

Here are some common reasons why you might consider an arm lift (brachioplasty):

  • You have achieved a stable weight after massive weight loss but are left with excessive upper arm skin and fat.
  • You have hanging upper arm skin due to aging

As with all cosmetic procedures, good health and reasonable expectations of the outcome are important. Dr. Capek will also consider the following before recommending brachioplasty:

  • You should not be obese and weight loss prior to brachioplasty surgery may be required to minimize the risk of serious complications and to optimize your cosmetic outcome.
  • You cannot smoke for at least 6 weeks before or 6 weeks after this surgery. Major wound healing problems and other life-threatening complications are much more likely in smokers.
  • You should be in stable health with any chronic conditions well managed.
  • You can accept the trade-off of permanent scars for the major shape improvement you are likely to see.
  • You are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle

If you have realistic expectations and are in general good health, you are most likely a candidate for this procedure.

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board-certified plastic surgeon


Dr. Lucie Capek offers advanced cosmetic plastic surgery from the unique perspective of a female plastic surgeon. Since 1996, she has been serving patients in the Capital District from Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Troy, NY. She is known for using the latest technology to perform body contouring, breast surgery, and facial cosmetic surgery. She personalizes every treatment to give each patient the most natural-looking results, enhancing their beauty and increasing their self-confidence. Above all, her practice is dedicated to your health and wellness. Dr. Capek understands that your beauty and confidence is about more than just your appearance. To schedule your first consultation, contact Lucie Capek, MD.


Before Your Procedure

The success of your surgery, ensuring safety and overall satisfaction, hinges on your overall health and personal outlook. Open communication is vital—honestly share your expectations, disclose your complete medical history, and commit to following Dr. Capek’s instructions.

An initial consultation with Dr. Capek is necessary to discuss your goals and to review the best course of treatment for your specific concerns. Dr. Capek will carefully examine you, review your health history, and answer your questions. You will have a thorough understanding of your surgery plan at the end of your visit. Being prepared for the procedure is your first step in ensuring a positive outcome.

As always, you want to be in optimum health when considering elective surgery. Follow a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, don’t smoke since this decreases your body’s ability to heal normally and increases the likelihood of serious complications, and follow your primary care physician’s advice when treating chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

You will meet with out Patient Coordinator to review quotes, scheduling and policies. Once you have scheduled your surgery, Dr. Capek’s staff will provide you with written, specific pre- and post surgery instructions covering diagnostic testing, medications, the day of surgery details, anesthesia, and post-operative care. You will also have a phone call with one of our nurses to review these documents, as well as consent forms for surgery. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress.  Discuss these feelings openly.

Your Procedure

If you have minor sagging skin, a SmartLipo Precision Tx treatment may be a less invasive option to tighten this area. However, if you have more significant hanging skin, a traditional arm lift may be an effective solution for you. During the procedure, Dr. Capek surgically removes the loose skin, and in most cases, incorporates liposuction to optimize contour.

Brachioplasty surgery is usually performed in our QuadA-accredited office-based operating suite, Capek Surgical Arts, under general anesthesia. Before you go to sleep, Dr. Capek marks out the incisions, which vary in length depending on the amount and location of the skin being removed. Once you are under anesthesia, she begins by removing excess fat with liposuction and then excising the redundant skin in a precise, controlled fashion with minimal bleeding.

After removing excess skin and fat, Dr. Capek will tighten the superficial fascia and reshape the arm with dissolvable internal sutures. The skin incisions are then closed with dissolvable bacteriostatic sutures and glue, which protects the wounds for several weeks. Although the procedure will leave a permanent scar on the inside portion of your upper arm, it heals in a relatively inconspicuous location and fades significantly over time. Many patients find this to be an acceptable tradeoff for eliminating their “bat wings”. This is a satisfying and relatively safe procedure that can improve your self-image, so you can wear sleeveless tops and dresses again with confidence.

After Your Procedure

After your surgery, your may go home the same day wearing light compression sleeves over a dressing. You will have detailed instructions and prescription medication to help control your discomfort, though over-the-counter medication such as extra strength acetaminophen is adequate for most patients. You can shower 2 days after surgery. Most people go back to sedentary work after 7 days and longer if your job is active. After surgery, you should be moving around and walking frequently during the day but more strenuous activities that raise your heart rate are restricted for at least 2 weeks.

Your sleeves should be worn for about 1 week and your incisions do not require wound care while the glue is on, which is about 3 weeks. Avoid any range of motion that puts tension on the incisions, including raising your arms above your head, lifting greater than 5 lbs or repetitive arm movements for at least a month. You will receive detailed, written post-op instructions that are important to follow. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome and minimizing complication.

Additional healing will continue for many weeks as swelling resolves and scars continue to improve. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will resolve over time. You must practice diligent sun protection until the healing process is fully completed or skin in the treated area may develop irregular pigmentation and scars may become raised, red, or dark. It may take a year or more following your procedure for incision lines to refine and fade maximally. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

What are the risks?

Significant complications from brachioplasty surgery are rare, especially when performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Capek. However, all surgical procedures carry some risks, including adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, bleeding, delayed or poor healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation, and irregular or asymmetric contour or scars.  You can help minimize the chance of complications by following Dr. Capek’s instructions and advice before and after your surgery.

QuadA Accredited


Dr. Capek is pleased to offer her patients an intimate, comfortable and discreet surgical experience at Capek Surgical Arts (CSA), her state-of-the-art Quad A accredited operating suite right here in Latham, NY. You can undergo your procedure under the expert care of board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Capek and her exceptional team of anesthesia and clinical staff without having to go to a hospital or surgery center.. Cae you can expect with Dr. Capek and her team.


Schedule a Consultation

Patients throughout the Capital District trust Dr. Lucie Capek to perform their arm lift surgery. Many of our patients also travel from New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts, and beyond just for her experienced care. We offer a variety of body contouring procedures to help you complete your weight loss journey with a more sculpted, contoured figure.

If you are dissatisfied with excess skin and fat deposits in your upper arms, it’s a great time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Capek to determine which procedure is right for you. Contact our Albany, NY practice today. Our office is just 9 miles from Schenectady and 5 miles from Troy, New York.


For more information, schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Capek today!