Fluctuations in body weight, mainly after massive weight loss by diet or after bariatric surgery (sleeve resection or gastric bypass) combined with age and genetic related skin changes and gravity can result in loose upper arm skin with a loss of the tonic appearance.

Exercise may strengthen and increase the volume of the underlying muscle but cannot influence the quality of the skin that has lost its elasticity nor significantly change the fat deposits that lead to the flabby appearance of the upper arms. Loss of skin elasticity as a consequence of weight loss, age or genetic predisposition lead to the so-called bat wings (bingo arms) that mainly concern the inner side of the arms that appear over-dimensioned, disproportionate and hanging.

Brachioplasty is the procedure that effectively re-contours the shape of the upper arm by removing the skin and fat excess from the inner side of the upper arm, axilla and elbow to give a toned appearance creating a thinner, harmonious and natural contour.

At a Glance

Medical Term: Brachioplasty

Type of Anesthesia: General Anesthesia

Surgery time: 1 to 2 hours

Length of hospital stay: Outpatient or 1 overnight stay (depending upon extent of surgery)

Aftercare: Compression garments for 4-6 weeks

Back to public: After 1 week

Back to work: After 1-2 weeks (depending upon physical strain)

Time of recovery: 6 weeks

Fees: starting at 7.000 CHF


Since there is no such thing as a „one size fits all“ patient, the treatment is customized to each individual patient to meet his/her specific needs. The procedure can therefore be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the extend of the procedure. In selected cases, the procedure englobes a remodeling of the underlying tissues and muscles. As a general rule, the skin is removed in an elliptical fashion from the inner side of the arms, so that the scar can be maximally concealed. In more important cases, the resection extends to the elbow and/or axilla.

The ideal candidate for a brachioplasty has a significant skin excess and stable weight for at least 6 months and does not plan to lose more weight since this can lead to a recurrence in extra skin. After a bariatric procedure we recommend planning the procedure if the weight is in the expected range.


Complications are rare after an arm lift. Occasionally, a swelling of the hand and lower arm can occur during the first few days. Temporary changes in sensibility also can occur. The first few days after the procedure, a hematoma or infection can occur. Wound healing problems can occur but mostly heal uneventfully.

Postoperative care

For the first 4 weeks after the procedure a customized compression garment should be worn to improve wound healing and contouring of the arm. Taking a shower is possible the day after the operation. The first follow-up visit is usually scheduled approximately 1 week after the operation. Lymphatic drainage can be initiated one week after the operation to reduce swelling and accelerate healing. Recovery period is individual. In general, resuming professional activities is possible after 2-3 weeks. Heavy physical activities should be limited for 6 weeks.


As with any cosmetic procedure, costs for an abdominoplasty can vary widely and depend on the extent of the planned procedure, the skin quality, age and so forth. Our fees are based on the exact type and extent of the surgical procedure planned and the chosen form of anesthesia, i.e. general- or local anesthesia.

The fees are preoperatively discussed and agreed with you and can be considered as a flat rate including the surgeons and anesthesia fees, the operation room cost, compression garments and the follow-up consultations. The fees are due before surgery.

In general, most health insurances do not cover cosmetic surgery and arm lifts. In selected cases a demand for cost reimbursement by your health insurance can clarify this.

Price for brachioplasty: from 7.000 CHF

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