Mini Arm Lift

arm Lift in NYC

New York Arm Lift and Arm Contouring

About Arm Lift

nps_arm-liftOur arms are how we interact and engage with the world. They are also star players in fashion. Our patients of all ages come to see us with particular frustrations about the appearance of their arms.

The arms are one of those incredibly difficult areas to shape and mold with diet and exercise alone.

We hear patients all the time tell us that they are bothered by the appearance of their arms in sports bra, tank tops, or anything sleeveless despite being in good shape and a healthy weight. Frequently the patients tell us that their mother or other family members have the same issues and that it runs in the family.

Our goal as we discuss arm contouring options is always to help make the best decision possible for them. We will discuss their goals, their fears, their dreams and ultimately come up with a plan that will help them achieve the results they desire so they can live the live they want!

In general, we sculpt younger patients who have stubborn fat and no loose skin, and we remove skin and fat in older patients, especially those after 60 years of age and those who have lost a lot of weight.

Regardless of the procedure or scar size we get patients the results they want to so they can enjoy their arms.

Anatomy of the Arm

The aesthetic arm is lean, with natural curves that follow the shapes of the muscles in the arm. The large shoulder muscle (deltoid) cups the upper arm and gives a smooth coned shape to the area. Bicep and triceps muscles further contour the arm between the armpit and the elbow.

Exercise can help tighten the loose skin since increased muscle mass occupies the space fat and skin would have been.
The whole arm can be contoured but it is typically best to avoid the front of the upper arm, since this is where many nerves and blood vessels are located that provide movement, blood flow, and sensation to the hand.

Skin and Fat in the Arm

All bodies have areas where genetics, sun damage, and weight changes are emphasized. In many women these areas are the neck, the arms, the lower abdomen, and the inner thighs.

If you pinch your waist and your arms you will feel that arm skin is much looser and thinner. This is why weight changes, maturity, sun damage, and gravity all dramatically change these areas more than others. Also, fat in these areas tends to be more resistant to diet and exercise.

mini-arm-liftArm Lift: Are You A Candidate

In general, we have two groups of procedures for patients:

The first is arm liposculpting. This can be performed under local anesthesia or general and will involve either one to three tiny little incisions around the arms. The more incisions means the more areas of the arm we will target. We discuss one point, two point, and three point liposuction of the arms. In these cases, we are melting stubborn fat with VASER lipo technology, removing the fat with our custom cannulas and tightening the skin with Renuvion technology.

These are usually 90 min to 2 hour with bruising and swelling for 2-3 weeks. The arms start to look really good at about three weeks and keep getting better and better, especially with high rep low weight exercise.

The second group of patients have stubborn fat and a little but of loose skin in the arm. These patients can have a full arm lift or a mini arm lift if they are ok with the trade offs of a shorter scar. We see a lot of younger patients now getting these procedures because of weight loss from medications such as Ozempic or Mounjaro.

A mini arm lift is a body contouring procedure that creates a sleeker arm. The procedure re-sculpts arm tissue and removes saggy or loose skin by tightening the arm skin.

Mini arm lifts, or mini brachioplasties, are one of the most common procedures our NYC patients seek. In carefully selected patients, it can be a great operation.

Arm Lift with Neinstein Plastic Surgery in NYC

How is a Mini Arm Lift Performed

We typically perform mini arm lift procedures under general anesthetic at our accredited operating room in NYC, but if a patient is the right candidate it can be done under local anesthetic.

  1. Marking: Marking is essential to any procedure. Before surgery, we outline with the patient the areas of liposuction and the anticipated area of skin removal. The scar is designed to be a short “u” in the depth of the armpit. We ask the patient to put their arms out to 90 degrees and gently bring the arms down. The first point of skin contact the body is usually about where we make the apex of the skin removal area. The skin removal design looks like a half moon. We only mark this for landmarks as we double and triple check in the operating room to make sure we remove as much skin as we can, safely. If too much skin is removed the patient is at risk for a wound healing problem, or a poor scar as tension can pull a healing scar apart giving it a wide appearance.
  2. Numbing: After the induction of anesthesia we place numbing fluid into the areas to be treated which includes the areas of liposuction and the area of skin removal.
  3. Vaser: Vaser ultrasound technology is used to liquefy all of the fat in the area to ensure a smooth and easy fat removal.
  4. Curved Cannulas: One specific area we are very interested in fat removal is the upper outer part of the arm. Dr. Neinstein has designed curved cannulas that curve around the corner. This dramatically helps with the aesthetics of the arm.
  5. Small Cannulas: We next perform gentle but aggressive liposuction and fat removal with small cannulas. We want to be aggressive because we want to really loosen the skin up to ensure we can get out as much as possible in the armpit.
  6. Tailor Tacking: At this point we do something called tailor tacking. Here, we put the arm at the exact tension we feel is ideal and temporarily suture the skin. This allows me to redraw the markings for skin removal and enables me to be safe and meticulous.
  7. Sutures: The skin is removed and sewn in multiple layers with dissolving sutures to give the best scar possible. No drains are necessary.
  8. Plasma: The signature key step is to now use plasma technology on the remaining skin. This technology allows the conversion in selected patients from a full arm lift to a mini arm lift.
  9. Bandage: A bandage is placed over the incision and a compression garment is applied to the arms.


What Makes The Neinstein Plastic Surgery Arm Lifts Different?

Recovery from a Mini Arm Lift

Most patients will take pain medication for 2-3 days and antibiotics for 5 days. We ask patients take a few days off work but they may use the phone and computer the next day.

Given the use of two forms of energy and the skin removal we ask patients to wear the garment for a full month under their clothes as there is more swelling in the cases compared to energy based liposuction alone. We ask patients not to raise their arms above the shoulders for a month after surgery to prevent putting tension on the incision.

Patients may shower the day after surgery and apply bacitracin ointment on the incision for a week. After a week they can switch to silicone based gels to enhance scar healing.

Patients see results but right away but full results take a few months as the body prunes away scar tissue and the collagen bundles tighten and reorganize.


Like anything in life, any surgery has potential for complications. Luckily, elective cosmetic surgery is incredibly safe and this procedure is one of the safest. We give antibiotics to prevent infection and use meticulous technique to ensure a well healed, well placed, thin scar. There is always a small risk of wound healing problems and infection, however. In addition, blood clots are possible but incredibly rare. We personally and carefully screens each and every patient for a personal or family medical history of blood clots.

Full Arm Lifts

This is by far the most common arm lifting and tucking procedure we perform in New York City. Our patients come from near and far for arm lifts because like a tummy tuck nobody really cares about the scar once it heals but they all absolutely love the results from their arm lift because they can wear the sleeveless fashion they want and not feel like they are being forced to always cover their arms.

I do not know much in life but I do know for my older patients or my weight loss patients the procedure that brings them day in and day out joy is the arm lift and especially the full arm lift because they don’t have to see the skin jiggling in their arms all day and night anymore.

Healing scar

The modern full arm lift is pretty sophisticated and was created with the goals of the patients in mind. We place the scar between the biceps groove and the bottom of the arm going from the elbow to the armpit. The reason we place it here is so that you don’t have to see it from the front the back or the side meaning in any normal conversational position (even tennis or golf) the incision is hidden. Sometimes peoples skin is so loose that we have to extend the arm lift down the side of the chest wall towards the breast. Its rare but in those cases again the patients are very happy because like all of our surgical goals its not to minimize scars but to maximize results.

During our full arm lifts we will still perform all the liposuction needed and use VASER and renuvion on the areas we are not removing skin to get the tightest most contoured results possible. The operation is about 2.5-3 hours under general anesthesia. We do not use drains typically and all the sutures are dissolvable. Our patients should expect to take a week off of work and plan to keep the arms elevated during that week. Hand and forearm swelling are normal. Our patients will start lymphatic massages at bout post op day 2 or 3 and will continue twice a week for 6 weeks. Expect the swelling and bruising to take three weeks to really come down.

We will place brijit medical tissue modulation devices on top of the skin to help enhance and turbocharge the scar healing.

After the tissue modulators come off at two weeks our patients will use Aquaphor twice a day for two more weeks than apply silicone tape and start laser therapy. Many patients do not need more scar therapy than the silicone tape but some choose laser and we can perform some of that in our office with Nurse Tara or refer to one of our trusted dermatology provider colleagues for more advanced scar therapy.

Arm Lift Cost NYC

The cost of an arm lift varies based on patient goals, which is why consultations are important. Please contact Neinstein Plastic Surgery today to book your consultation at our Upper East Side location. During your consultation, Dr. Neinstein will examine you and discuss pricing and payment options.

Dr. Neinstein is a board certified plastic surgeon and arm lift specialist.

"I had such a great experience with Dr. Neinstein when I did my arm liposculpting with him in mid-July. The consultation went easy and the procedure flawlessly."
- V.G.


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