(Arm Lift)

A Brachioplasty, or arm lift, is designed to remove sagging, loose skin and excess fat from the upper arm area, and smooth or tighten the body tissue underneath.


Arm lifts are one of several options for surgical body contouring after a major physical change, such as significant weight loss or pregnancy. However, this sagging also occurs naturally as we age, and may be hereditary.

Often referred to as “bat wings,” this sagging is a source of irritation and insecurity for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Exercise and a healthy diet may help keep the sagging under control for a time, but they alone cannot correct the sagging or prevent it completely.

If you have sagging skin and/or excess fat in your upper arm that exercise and diet cannot remove, you may be a candidate for a Brachioplasty/Arm Lift procedure.

To be recommended by Dr. Kuhlman-Wood for a Brachioplasty (Arm Lift), you will need to be physically healthy. In addition, you should maintain a stable weight, as any major weight changes after a Brachioplasty may reverse the results and require an additional surgical correction.

If you are a smoker, you will be required to quit for at least four (4) weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free until your surgical results have been fully achieved. Smoking has been proven to interfere with the body’s naturally healing process. For your safety and to achieve the desired surgical outcome, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood screens for Nicotine prior to surgery.

During your initial consultation with Dr. Kuhlman-Wood, be prepared to discuss the following:
  • What are your expectations
  • What are your desired outcomes.
  • Your previous Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments.
  • Your Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
  • Any Dramatic changes in weight, if it applies.

Schedule Your Brachioplasty Consultation

In addition to a meaningful discussion, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will more than likely discuss and do the following:
  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • If applicable, and with your written consent, take photographs for "Before & After" comparisons.
  • Discuss your plastic surgery options and recommend a course of treatment, including non-surgical options that may be available.
  • Discuss likely outcomes as-well-as any risks or potential complications.

At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, our entire staff is committed to providing a frictionless surgical experience. It begins with listening to your needs and continues through appropriate education and care across your entire surgical experience. This includes providing you the care you need while you recover.

Where will my Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) be performed?

Dr. Kuhlman-Wood performs all Brachioplasty Procedures at either Northwest Specialty Hospital or PleasantView Surgery Center. Both facilities are Doctor-owned facilities and have impeccable records of patient success and satisfaction. Factors such as schedule availability, procedural complexity and your individual needs will determine the location of your procedure.

What should I expect on the day of Surgery?

On the day of your Brachioplasty procedure, you will check in at the front desk and be placed in the pre-operative section of the surgical center. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will meet you prior to surgery to answer any questions you may have, calm your nerves and verify you are ready for the procedure. During this time, an IV will be placed to delivery the necessary Anesthesia (Anesthesia types vary depending on patient and procedure). Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will have determined an individualized technique for your procedure depending on the amount of sagging and extra skin, and the overall elasticity of your skin. Using a special marker, she will place marks on your body to serve as her surgical guides.

In surgery, incisions are generally made on the side of the upper arm or on the back of the arm. They will likely extend from your underarm to the area right above your elbow. Once the incisions are made, the excess fat will be removed directly or through liposuction. Next, the tissue underneath will be reshaped and tightened using sutures. Finally, the skin will be smoothed over, and the incisions will be closed. To close the incisions, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will use sutures that can be absorbed, or stitches that will need to be removed within a couple of weeks after the procedure.

Recovering after your Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Dressings and/or bandages will be placed over the incisions after the procedure is complete. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood and her staff will provide you with individualized instructions detailing your post-operative care. These instructions will detail information about your dressings, how long you’ll need to wear them, how to change them, and how to keep your incisions clean and free of infection.

Small tubes called drains may need to be placed underneath your skin in order to collect any fluid or blood that may result as a natural part of the body’s healing process. The staff at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ will schedule your necessary follow-up visits to have any drains or non-dissolving stitches removed. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will prescribe and council you on the appropriate medications to take to prevent infection, aid in your healing, and reduce pain. She will also provide guidance on when it is appropriate to resume your normal daily activities, like exercise and work.

There are many factors that can determine the cost of a Brachioplasty (Arm Lift). However, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes Dr. Kuhlman-Wood’s surgical fee, the cost of anesthesia, facility fees for the hospital and/or surgical center, medical tests, clothing and bandages required after the procedure, and prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. It also includes 90 days of post-operative care.

Health insurance plans typically do not cover the Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Procedure; however, Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery does offer financing to help break up the cost over time. Although monetary cost is important, it is only one of several factors to consider. It is equally important to find a surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS, trustworthy, and close enough to reduce travel time between visits – especially after your procedure. Perhaps most importantly, choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable to share in your surgical journey.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of Kate Kuhlman-Wood, MD