Brachioplasty (Upper Arm Reduction)

Reshape the upper arms

Upper Arm Fat Reduction Surgery Melbourne

Arm Reduction (brachioplasty) Surgery involves treatment of excess skin in the upper arms (such excess skin may result in arms being referred to as “bingo arms” or “bat wings”).
Arm fat removal
Brachioplasty Melbourne

Common reasons why people consider having Brachioplasty

  • Some people have hygiene issues (Rashes, infections, skin breakdown).
  • Clothes may be difficult to find that fit.
  • This issue often arises after a significant amount of weight loss or with the normal ageing process.

What is involved with Brachioplasty surgery?

A/Prof White  generally recommends the longitudinal incision which extends along the inner part of the upper arm.  The result of this treatment is to obtain better proportion and tightness of the arms.

A transverse/horizontal incision with the majority being hidden under the arm pit generally results in the overall effect not being very dramatic.

Recovery After Surgery

  • Patients most commonly require a hospital stay of one night although longer if combined with other procedures.
  • Generally you will feel a little uncomfortable for a few days.
  • A gradual increase of mobility and activity (Often back to most normal day to day activities at two weeks).
  • Most people allow two – three weeks off work; however, you may require additional time if your job is more physically demanding – this can be discussed with A/Prof White.
  • Able to drive when feeling comfortable.
  • No heavy lifting/exercise for six weeks e.g. avoid gym, aerobics, running.
  • You will need to wear a compression garment during your recovery period.
  • The recovery period may differ from patient to patient.

Post-Operative Care & Review

  • A/Prof White and his team will care for you in hospital.
  • Drain tubes are removed when the daily fluid reduces.
  • A review appointment to take off the dressings, check your wounds and remove any sutures is generally undertaken one week after surgery.
  • Subsequent review appointments are generally made for 6 weeks after surgery and then 3, 6 and 12 months later to assess the results of your surgery.
  • If there are any concerns you will be seen more frequently.

Risks To Consider


In otherwise well people, general anaesthesia is very safe with modern techniques. A/Prof White’s rooms will give you the details of your anaesthetist prior to surgery to discuss any specific concerns.


This may need a return to the operating theatre to evacuate a blood clot. This can impact on wound healing or skin survival.

Infection in the wound

If this does occur it can usually be cleared up with antibiotic tablets.

DVT/PE (Deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolus)

Blood clots that are potentially very serious and even life threatening, which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs. Multiple strategies are employed to minimise the risk of these occurring.

Wound healing issues

Stretch marks may not all be removed or new ones may be created. Gathers in the wound are often present at either end. These settle over several weeks to months in the majority of cases but sometimes may need a small revision. Initially there is almost always some contour issues or puckers. These settle down in most cases over several weeks.


Typically are at their thickest and reddest at 6-10 weeks after surgery. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Scar management advice will be discussed in your follow up visit with A/Prof White to assist in achieving the goal of a thin, barely noticeable scar.


The scars may be slightly different on your right compared to left side.

Wound separation/delayed healing

This is much more common in smokers or if there is an infection.

Skin necrosis/loss

Very rare complication and almost only seen in smokers. If it does occur it needs significant aftercare, possibly more surgery and even skin grafting in the most extreme cases.


Clear/straw like fluid that can collect following surgery. Usually it settles down with no intervention but if persistent or large may require drainage in the rooms (sometimes on several occasions) or even a drain tube to be inserted.


Generally settles down over weeks to months.

Does brachioplasty result in scarring?

Yes, like any other surgical procedure, upper arm fat reduction surgery does leave scarring. However, Associate Professor Dean White takes extreme care in looking to minimise scarring effects outcome and placement. His priority is to make the scarring as discreet as possible in order to get the best results.

Surgical Goals

  • Tighten arms.
  • Decrease excess skin and fat.
  • Produce a more pleasing arm shape.

No Surgery Is Risk Free

All surgery is a balance between realistic surgical goals and knowledge of possible risks and complications. Risks are minimised by careful patient selection and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post-operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These very rarely have any long term effect on an excellent final result.

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