Upper Arm Lift

The upper arm lift is a procedure that is performed primarily due to massive weight loss. Regardless however many people are constitutionally strong in the upper arms, which disturbs. Also disturbing is the appearance of wrinkles on the inside of the upper arm, even with normal size upper arms.

There are two methods of upper arm lift available:

  • A crescent-shaped incision in the armpit region
  • A straight incision from the armpit to the ellbow

The method with the crescent-shaped incision reduces the amount of the upper arms only slightly, but the skin is able to be tightened on the inside, and thus eliminate wrinkles.

The method with the incision along the inside of the arm is very effective; it significantly reduces the volume of the upper arms and also removes wrinkles.

In the vast number of my patients, the excess skin is serious, so the long incision is necessary much more frequently than the crescent-shaped cut. Ideally, the scar is placed so that it comes to lie exactly at the transition of the inner upper arm and back. In this way, it is hardly visible in either the front or the back.

An important aspect of the arm lift is the prevention of skin tension in the armpit region, which can lead to a further relaxation of the skin and to a distortion of the skin incision in the direction of elbow. To this end, the skin must be anchored with a dermis flap to a solid structure in the axilla .

If a reduction of size is desired, and the skin is still taut, liposuction alone can achieve very good results.

Before & After Photos Upper Arm Lift

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Dr. Turkof

1. Can a reduction of the upper arm circumference also be achieved with liposuction?

If there is no excess skin or when the skin is still taut yet, quite a good result can be achieved with liposuction.

2. What are the methods of the upper arm lift?

There are basically two ways that depend on the extent of the excess skin to be corrected. With low to moderate skin excess, intervention can be restricted to the axillary region, if there is more to do, then the intervention will be extended to the upper arm.

3. Where does scarring occur?

Depending on what surgical method has been used, the scar either runs from the shoulder, starting along the inside of the upper arm to the vicinity of the elbow or is confined to the axillary region.

4. How noticeable are the scars?

If the skin incision is limited to the axillary region, the scar is visible only with shaved armpits and raised arms. With the long incision, the incision is set so that it comes to lie at the junction of the inside upper arm and back. In this way, the scar is hardly visible from the front and the back.

5. Is the procedure carried out under local anesthesia?

If the operation is limited to the axillary region, the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia. The long incision procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

6. Does insurance cover the cost of the procedure?

Unfortunately not, as opposed to a tummy tuck, arm surgery is a purely aesthetic procedure that is not covered by health insurance.

7. How long is the hospital stay?

If the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, you can leave the hospital on the day of surgery. Under general anesthesia, one night in the hospital is to be expected.

8. What complications can occur?

The most common medical complications include bleeding, infection and injury of a sensory cutaneous nerve. With careful implementation of surgery bleeding and infections are largely preventable. The injury to the skin nerves, however, is sometimes unavoidable, especially if the excess skin is strong and in the surgical field the nerve can not be saved. Aesthetic complications include asymmetrical scars, pulling out the anchoring sutures, dog-ear formation and keloids. Apart from the keloids, the correction of aesthetic complications by surgery is relatively simple.

9. How long after the operation is one mobile again?

Relatively quickly. Barring complications, the arm is already fully operational again after a few days. Overhead sports should not be played for a period of four weeks in order to avoid exposing the scars to any unnecessary tension.

10. What are the long-term results after arm surgery?

If weight fluctuations are avoidable, the long-term results are excellent in general.

Terms & Costs
First Consultation

The first consultation takes up to 30 minutes and costs EUR 180. For consultations lasting longer than 30 minutes EUR 250 will be charged. All other consultations are free of charge.

If you purchase the Enzyklopaedia Aesthetica book “Oberarm- und Schenkelstraffung” (Upper Arm & Thigh Lift) ( EUR 29.90 ) the first consultation is free of charge! You can purchase the book during your first visit in the ordination or order it online.

Surgical preparation for performing the procedure under local anesthesia

For public health reasons, a blood test (so-called “small laboratory blood”) is necessary, including HIV and hepatitis A, B, C. If you are insured in Austria and the procedure is medically indicated, there are no additional costs.

Surgical preparation for performing the procedure under general anesthesia

The surgical preparation includes a blood test (so-called ” complete blood count “), a chest X-ray, and a surgical release by a general practitioner or internist. If you are insured in Austria and the procedure is medically indicated, there are no additional costs. The same applies to the OP-release by an internist or general practitioner, who is contracted with the usual social security institutions in Austria. In our medical center, there is an internist that the insurance considers a physician of choice. In this case, the insurance will cover about 50% of the cost.

Hospital stay – a day clinic or outpatient (no overnight)

EUR 700 – 1.500, – depending on duration of operation and hospital.

Hospitalization – inpatient (overnight)

EUR 1.300 – 3.500, – depending on duration of operation, number of nights, room type (suite, single, triple) and hospital.


In general, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia therefore an anesthesiologist is needed for surgery. The cost of anesthesia varies depending on the duration of the operation and is between EUR 400 – 800. An average cost of EUR 500-600 is to be expected.

Surgical fee

Depending on which method is used, (short or long cut) the surgical fee is between EUR 2.500-4500.


Visits are included in the surgical fee.


Check-ups are included in the surgical fee.

Preparation for Surgery

For surgery under local anesthesia, the following tests are necessary:

  • Preoperative complete blood count including blood type, HIV and hepatitis A, B, C.

For surgery under general anesthesia, the following additional tests are necessary:

  • Chest X-ray
  • ECG
  • Operation approval by a general practitioner or internist.

Please note that the investigations at the time of surgery may not be older than 10 days. Please bring all the findings to the hospital.

Aspirin, Thromboass and similar anticoagulants should not be taken 14 days before the procedure. If necessary, a conversion to Heparin can take place.

Please come 2.5 hours before the procedure to the hospital on the day of the surgery and sign in with the porter. After completing the admission formalities you will be placed in your room. On request, you will receive an infusion, which reduces your thirst.

Please note that you should not smoke for 10 days after the operation because nicotine constricts blood vessels and would compromise wound healing.

Surgical Checklist
  • OP-date plan
  • OP-date set (take vacation, compensatory time or sick leave, arrange for child care if necessary, etc.)
  • Two weeks before the surgery, complete the necessary preoperative exams (blood lab, chest-X-ray if necessary, ECG, surgical release)
  • A preoperative interview will take place the day before the surgery. It will assess the findings, discuss final details and sign the consent form. An instruction sheet will be given to you by the assistant to complete and bring to the hospital.
  • Arrive at the hospital 2.5 hours before surgery to complete admission formalities. If requested, an assistant can accompany you to help shorten the time before the surgery.
  • Discharge from the hospital either on the day of surgery or the following day if the operation was performed under general anesthesia. Please do not drive yourself. Take a taxi or allow yourself to be picked up.
  • At home, relaxation and recovery should be in order. Avoid strenuous activities.
  • 1st Follow-up Visit (about 5-7 days after surgery)
  • 2nd Follow-up Visit (approximately 10 days after surgery): Removal of sutures.
  • 3rd Follow-up Visit (approximately 20 days after surgery)
  • 4th Follow-up Visit (approximately 30 days after surgery)
  • Further follow-up visits will take place after one, two and six months.
  • Final follow-up control after one year