How Long Does It Take to Recover From An Arm Lift

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat that often creates a "bat wing" type appearance when arms are extended outward. A common issue with weight loss or natural aging, upper arm skin can lose laxity and muscle tone, causing droopy skin that extends from the underarm to the elbow. By removing it (and any excess fat with the combined efforts of liposuction), individuals can have a more toned, sculpted appearance. Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso is a board-certified plastic surgeon and offers several body contouring options at his state-of-the-art surgical facility. Here is a more in-depth look, from Dr. LaGrasso, at this cosmetic procedure and what Miami, FL patients can expect with their arm lift recovery period.

What can brachioplasty do?

When it gets warmer outside, who doesn't want to feel more confident in their sleeveless shirts or a bathing suit? Both women and men desire to have a more fit and trim body, and that includes their arms. As we get older, the skin on the upper arm can begin to change. It can start to lose elasticity, causing the skin to become loose or saggy. Significant weight loss can also affect the underside of the upper arms leaving flabby, deflated skin behind. Exercising and weight training can improve muscle tone, but it can't tighten skin that has lost elasticity, which is why some patients turn to this body contouring procedure for help in Miami, FL.

What can you expect with arm lift surgery?

The primary goal of brachioplasty is to give patients a more toned, slimmer upper arm appearance. Typically performed under general anesthesia, this outpatient procedure takes about 1 – 2 hours to complete. The length of the incision varies on how much fat and skin must be removed for optimal results. Patients with mild skin laxity may only require a small incision placed inside the armpit area. However, patients with significant amounts of loose, hanging skin will require a longer incision that will extend on the underside of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. During brachioplasty, the excess skin is trimmed away, and the underlying muscles are tightened. It can be done in combination with liposuction to remove any excess fat for a more sculpted appearance.

What are some arm lift recovery tips?

After arm lift surgery, a patient's arms are protected with compression garments or bandages. If drainage tubes are necessary, those will be present to avoid the risk of infection. Swelling or bruising is normal and will begin to subside in a few days. Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Take all pain medication as prescribed
  • Do not smoke
  • Most patients can return to work in about 1 – 2 weeks
  • Use pillows to elevate your arms and increase circulation, helping to reduce swelling
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to take on and off
  • Keep an eye on surgical incisions for any increased redness, swelling, or drainage
  • Avoid lifting or raising arms above shoulder level for 3 – 4 weeks
  • Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 4 – 8 weeks
  • Once cleared by your surgeon, ease back into an exercise routine or any strength training
  • Get plenty of rest during the healing process

Arm lift recovery period

After brachioplasty, patients will experience dramatic results. It is a highly effective cosmetic procedure that can change the appearance of saggy arms to a more smooth, toned, and fit look. While the results are significant and instant, patients will experience a relatively short recovery period. However, the duration and symptoms will vary by patient and what type of surgical technique was necessary. Due to limited mobility during recovery, especially in the earlier stage, patients should wear loose button-up shirts that are easy to put on and take off. After about ten days, any stitches, bandages, and drainage tubes will be removed. Arm mobility will increase over time, but patients should be mindful to avoid any heavy lifting or stretching until they are fully healed or cleared by their surgeon.

In the months that follow brachioplasty, scarring will start to fade and begin blending in with the surrounding skin. Working closely with an experienced, qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. LaGrasso will ensure that every effort will be made to make arm lift scarring as inconspicuous as possible. If you are considering brachioplasty, we invite you to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso. His private practice, in Miami, FL, offers body contouring procedures to help men and women achieve their aesthetic goals. Feel more confident about how your arms look by calling Dr. LaGrasso today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.