Richard Zinn

Richard Zinn is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a special interest in breast and cosmetic surgery.
1 Verona Lane 3002 Melbourne, Victoria
Phone: (03) 8658 6655


Procedure: Brachioplasty
Indication: Excessive skin and fat of the upper arm, which may extend to the elbow and onto the chest well. Removal of this tissue by means of skin resection and/or liposuction
Duration: Two – three hours
Associated procedures: Liposuction, thigh lift, abdominoplasty, breast reduction and mastopexy
Anaesthesia: General anaesthesia
Incision: This may be placed in the bicipital groove (inside of the arm when arm is resting at the side) or posteriorly on the arm
Length of hospital stay: Day case or up to 24 hours
Recovery: Two weeks to return to work. Six weeks to return to strenuous activity and exercise

An arm lift (or Brachioplasty) is a surgical technique designed to address excess skin, fat or the combination thereof in the upper arm. The procedure aims to improve the contour and shape of the arm.

Patients presenting with complaints relating to their arms include:

  • Massive weight loss
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Older patients
  • Patients with genetically determined skin laxity

Brachioplasty may be performed in a massive weight loss patient as part of a body lift, or independently in a patient specifically concerned with ‘flabby’ arms and loss of tone and shape. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, as a day procedure or with an overnight stay.

There is no one-size-fits-all brachioplasty. Patient assessment looks at the balance between skin excess, fat excess and whether the arms look ‘inflated’ or ‘deflated’. Some patients require removal and tightening of skin only, others a combination of liposuction and skin removal. Incisions vary depending on the amount of excess skin however, the final position of the scar may be adjusted according to patient preferences. Dr. Zinn will guide you to decide on the type of brachioplasty that is right for you and answer any questions you may have.

Recovery following a brachioplasty can be slow relative to some other cosmetic procedures. Dr. Zinn uses drains for this procedure and will remove them in the first few days following your surgery. Return to work is advised between two and three weeks, and return to exercise at six weeks. Patient satisfaction following this procedure tends to be very high.

Dissatisfaction relates to prolonged post-operative swelling, numbness on the inside of the arm, fluid collections under the suture-line and minor asymmetries. Scars also tend to mature slowly in this area. Dr. Zinn manages scarring with the use of pressure garments and other scar management protocols. This will be offered as part of routine follow-up. Compression garments are worn for at least six weeks to optimise your result.