What to Know About Arm Lift Surgery

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your upper arms? Do you feel self-conscious because of sagging skin or extra body fat? If so, you might be a good candidate for arm lift surgery.

arm lift

By removing extra skin and fat, arm lift surgery, or brachioplasty, can give your upper arms a new shape and look. The result is a more toned and youthful-looking arm contour.

Who Can Benefit from Arm Lift Surgery?

Arm lift surgery suits people with loose or hanging skin on their upper arms due to aging, weight loss, or genetics. It can also help those with stubborn fat deposits on their arms that do not respond to diet and exercise.

You should be in good general health to be eligible for arm lift surgery. It is best to have realistic expectations and be at a stable weight. It would be best if you were a nonsmoker or willing to quit smoking before and after the surgery.

What to Expect

You will receive general or local anesthesia before arm lift surgery. The surgery lasts two to three hours, depending on how much correction you need. The surgeon makes a cut from your armpit to your elbow along the inside or back of your upper arm. The cut’s length and shape depend on the location and amount of extra skin and fat.

They will then tighten the underlying tissues and muscles, remove excess skin and fat, and close the incision with sutures. They may also use liposuction to sculpt the arm shape further.

The surgeon will wrap your arms with bandages and compression garments to reduce swelling and support healing. They may also insert small drainage tubes to remove excess fluid.

What Are the Risks and Complications?

As with any surgery, this procedure has some potential risks and complications, such as:

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Poor wound healing

  • Scarring

  • Nerve damage

  • Asymmetry

  • Skin discoloration

  • Seroma (fluid accumulation)

  • Hematoma (blood accumulation)

  • Need for revision surgery

To minimize these risks, carefully follow your surgeon’s preoperative and postoperative instructions. Select a qualified and skilled plastic surgeon, like Dr. Metzinger, for the operation.

How Long Is the Recovery Period?

Depending on the complexity of the surgery and how quickly you recuperate, everyone's recovery period following arm lift surgery is different. In general, you can anticipate the following:

  • Rest at home for a few days after the surgery

  • For four to six weeks following surgery, use compression garments

  • For four to six weeks following the treatment, refrain from lifting anything heavy

  • Resume light activities within a week after the surgery

  • Within four to six weeks, return to regular activity

  • See the results of your arm lift surgery within six months

Keep your arms elevated as much as possible to ease swelling and pain. Stay away from the sun and cigarettes to speed healing and avoid problems. Your arms will have some scars after the surgery, but they will get lighter and smaller over time. You can apply scar creams or silicone sheets to make them look better.


Arm lift surgery can improve your confidence and self-esteem by giving you firmer and more attractive upper arms. Book a consultation with a plastic surgeon with board certification to determine if this procedure is right for you. They can evaluate your appropriateness and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of arm lift surgery with you.

For more on arm lift surgery, visit Aesthetic Surgical Associates at our Metairie, Louisiana office. Call 504-226-8200 to schedule an appointment today.