An arm lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the under portion of your upper arms.
Loose skin that hangs from the upper arms is most commonly the result of large weight loss and aging. While exercise can strengthen and improve muscle tone in the upper arm, it can’t address excess skin that has lost elasticity. This hanging skin is frequently a source of embarrassment that makes it difficult to wear sleeveless clothing, dresses, and swimsuits with confidence.
An additional factor which can cause the upper arms to have a flabby appearance is the accumulation of fatty deposits in this area.
The goal of the arm lift (brachioplasty) is to reduce skin redundancy and circumference of the arm.
During an arm lift surgery excess skin and fat are removed from between the armpit and elbow. The incision length largely depends on the amount of excess skin that is to be removed. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours with tightening of the underlying supportive tissues to create a more toned look.
The recovery is generally quick and painless.
To reduce swelling, you will be fitted with a compression garment, which will be worn for approximately 4 weeks. Bruising and swelling diminishes within 1-2 weeks. Scars generally take about 2 weeks to close, then a year or so to fully mature. Most patients are able to return to work in a week and resume exercise in about 3-4 weeks.
In the first few days after an arm lift:
- Avoid lifting your arms above shoulder level for 3-4 weeks.
- Avoid physical and athletic activities with your arms that might stretch the incisions for 4-8 weeks after the surgery.
- Take pain medication as needed and use topical or oral antibiotics as prescribed to prevent wound infections.
How Soon Can You Get Back to Work?
Arm lift recovery time is usually 1 to 2 weeks.
For a quicker recovery, it’s important to follow your post operative instructions. Get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activity that may include bearing weight or lifting over your head.
It’s normal for your arm and hand strength to feel weak at first. They will get stronger over time as you heal. Keep arm movement and activity limited during the recovery phase.
You’ll also need to pause your exercise routine. Your doctor will recommend when you can begin physical activity in your arms again.
It will most likely be a month or two before you can resume all regular activities. Start out slow with a daily walk. Then ease back into your normal fitness routine.
By removing loose skin, an arm lift can give your upper arms a more toned appearance.
Arm lift results are typically long lasting. Remember, however, your skin will naturally lose some firmness as you age and some sagging might occur. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results.