What to Expect Before and After Arm Lift Surgery

arm lift

Arm Lift Surgery

Even common tasks like waving to a friend may be embarrassing if you have sagging upper-arm skin. Unfortunately, life events like age, weight loss, or pregnancy have a tendency to result in excess skin and fat in the arms — fat that is challenging (if not impossible to lose with diet and exercise) 

Irrespective of why the sagging skin came, it is often unsightly, and many women and men desire to remove it using arm lift surgery.

The Meaning of Arm Lift Surgery

An arm lift is a cosmetic process that enhances the appearance of your upper arms. The arm lift, also known as Brachioplasty, entails removing excess skin and fat between the elbow and armpit. 

The remaining skin is put back over the freshly tightened contours for a more toned appearance.

What Are the Benefits of Arm Lift Surgery?

Arm lift surgery has become a rampant procedure for helping people get rid of sagging skin. An arm lift is beneficial in the following ways:

Offering Smoother Skin and Contours

An arm Lift in Plano, TX, will essentially reshape your upper arm by trimming away excess skin and redraping the remaining skin over the newly reduced and tightening tissues. 

Removing Excess Fat

Many women and men struggle with excess fat in their upper arms (even if they are in good shape elsewhere). Fortunately, arm lift surgery reduces excess fat with the use of liposuction techniques. This helps to provide a slimmer, more youthful appearance.

Improving Tone and Shape

While an arm lift does not create muscles, it does allow your existing muscles to be on better display. 

Giving the Body Better Proportions

This procedure helps tone the arms; however, this improvement often helps shape the entire upper body.

Am I a Candidate for an Arm Lift?

Individuals looking to have an arm lift are in good overall health and have realistic expectations of their results. This surgery is ideal for women and men who are unhappy with the laxity in their upper arms and are eager to correct it.

How to Prepare for Your Arm Lift

One Week Before

  • Avoid using aspirin-containing products as they may increase your risk of bleeding
  • Take extra-strength TYLENOL® to manage headaches and other slight pains
  • Notify your doctor if you experience fever and a significant cough — the doctor will reschedule the surgery if necessary
  • Avoid smoking and other nicotine use as this inhibits the wound from healing and increases your chances of experiencing surgical complications
  • Arrange to have a relative or friend drive you home after the surgery

The Night Before

Avoid eating and drinking anything at least 8 hours prior to your planned surgery time. You should also ensure that you have all of your necessary paperwork and identification prepared and ready. This will help you the following day.

Be sure to get a good night’s sleep.

The Day of Your Surgery

  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke (with the exception of water)
  • Ensure you have someone to drive you home after your surgery
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes
  • Do not use lotion, powder, or perfume 

How Is an Arm Lift Performed?

Arm lift surgery techniques will vary by patient depending on the extent of correction. 


Arm lift incisions are made on the inside of the arm and can extend from the armpit to the elbow (or even past the elbow). 

Fat Removal

Liposuction is commonly performed during an arm lift to reduce the extent of excess fat in the arms. 

Skin Removal

Your plastic surgeon will trim loose skin from the incisions and redrape the remaining skin. Incisions will be closed with sutures. 

You can expect your arm surgery to take two to three hours.

What Should You Expect for Your Arm Lift Recovery?

You will be provided with an arm lift recovery guide that will outline what you can expect after your surgery.

This will include:

  • How to care for your incisions
  • How to minimize pain (medications, cold compresses, etc.)
  • When you can shower
  • When you can return to work
  • When you can resume exercise (including any lifting)

How Can You Hide Your Arm Lift Scars?

Unfortunately, scarring is a part of any surgery, and arm lift scars are among the very most visible of all plastic surgery scars.

While no one wants to have scars, most arm lift patients gladly accept them because they allow for the significant improvement in the shape and tone of the arm. 

Additionally, because incisions are made on the underside of the arm, they are only visible when the arms are raised, and all scars fade with time. 

When Can You Exercise After Surgery?

It is essential to avoid vigorous exercise after surgery to increase your blood pressure and heart rate. But you can resume casual walking one week after surgery. You can resume light exercise four weeks after your arm lift surgery. Ensure you wear the compression garment during the exercises.