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Arm Lift Surgery: Candidates, Procedure and More

Arm Lift Surgery: Candidates, Procedure and More

by Zahra Ijaz · August 5, 2021

Do you have sagging arms after weight loss, excess skin, and fat and want to get rid of it? Then you might want to consider a surgical or cosmetic procedure of Arm Lift.

Read on the following article to learn about the best candidates for an arm lift, procedure, and some common Faqs you might have in mind related to arm lift surgery.


Arm Lift Surgery

An arm Lift Surgery or Brachioplasty is a cosmetic procedure that helps to treat sagging arms.

With the help of this procedure, your doctor will reduce the extra skin, tighten it, and smooth the tissues by removing extra fat from your upper arms.

Most commonly sagging skin can be due to aging, genetics, and excess weight loss and you might have extra skin after losing it.

Arm Lift

However, other than what causes sagging skin there are certain factors to keep in mind when considering an arm lift surgery.

These factors are important to understand before getting any surgery, for instance, thigh lift, arm lift, etc.

Candidates for Arm Lift Surgery

Generally, you are a good candidate for arm lift if you have significant upper arm laxity and your weight is stable.

Moreover, if you are not overweight, then you can have this surgery without any complications.

Many doctors recommend that for any surgery, you should at least avoid smoking more than 4 to 6 weeks before it takes place.

However, if you are a non-smoker, then this means you will have a fast healing process.

This is because smoking can impair your healing process and increase the risk of surgery.

arm lift

Consultation for an Arn Lift Surgery

During the consultation of this surgery, your plastic surgeon with their team will discuss certain factors related to the surgery with you.

This includes the surgical goals, medical conditions, whether you have drug allergies or not, and the treatment plan.

They will also take your medical history, the medications you are currently using, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and other factors that could affect the success of this surgery.

They will also ask whether you had any surgery in the past or not, discuss the options and the outcomes of Brachioplasty or potential complications.

Health evaluation, possible outcomes, and post-operative care are also discussed before getting on with the surgery.

Thus, it is important to discuss all the things with your doctor and surgeon before the procedure and ask them questions you might have in your mind.

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The procedure of Arm Lift Surgery

Before starting the procedure, your surgeon will take certain steps.

These steps are usually taken before certain weeks or even months before the surgery to make your arm lift safe and effective.

Keep on reading to learn more about the preparation, procedure, and post-operative care in this section.

arm lift procedure

Preparing for an Arm Lift Surgery

For any cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery, like botox and fillers, there are certain steps you should take.

Moreover, it is important to avoid or quit smoking at least 1 or 2 months before the surgery takes place to reduce the risk of complications.

For instance, one of the common smoking-related complications is slow wound healing and will increase your risk of developing an infection.

Your doctor will also give your preoperative evaluation and make sure you are ready for the surgery a few weeks before starting the procedure.

The preoperative evaluation includes your lab work, a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram, and a prescription of preoperative medications.

They will also adjust the number of certain medications and supplements you are currently using.

The Arm Lift Procedure

On the day of the surgery, your doctor or surgeon will start by marking your upper arm.

These markings are the site where they intend to make an incision.

There are different ways of performing an arm lift, however, one of the most common ones is to make incisions on the inside or back of your arms.

Other options include making incisions on the armpit or one that extends from the top of your elbow to your armpit.

arm lift procedure

After marking your arm, your doctor will give local or general anesthesia and it depends on the surgical methods your surgeon chooses.

With the help of the markings, your doctor goes in and tightens or reshapes the tissue in your upper arm.

Before closing the surgical wound, they will pull your skin back over the tissue. In the end, they will place stitches to patch you up.

But if you have extra pockets of fat, it might make it hard for your arm to fully heal.

In this case, your doctor will use the process of liposuction at the same time as surgery to remove that fat.

It is important to note that this entire procedure takes 3 hours to complete.

However, you will need someone to drive you back home after the surgery.

You might also need to stay overnight in some cases so that your doctor can make sure you do not have any problems or complications.

Recovering From an Arm Lift

Your doctor will advise you to wear a compression garment to control swelling while you recover from surgery.

Moreover, they will insert a temporary drainage tube in your arm to drain any fluid or blood that may build up.

Before going home, your doctor will give you post-operative care instructions.

These instructions will cover how to take your surgical stitches, medications to take, certain warning signs to looks for.

And a timeline for follow-up treatment.

post-operative care

Keep in mind that you should not smoke while you recover as it can slow down your healing process of the wounds.

This can increase your chances of developing permanent scarring or infections.

You can return to work after 2 weeks of surgery, and within 6 weeks to normal routine activities.

However, it is important to consult your doctor about any pain or problems you might face after the initial recovery period.



Like all surgeries, like cryolipolysis or liposuction, an arm lift surgery has some potential risks that might worry you.

In this section, we will try to answer some of the common questions you might have in mind related to this surgery.

Read on to learn more.


What are the Common Risks Associated with Arm Lift Surgery?

In the case of arm lift surgery, you can have certain risks with it. However, it is important to note that these risks are associated with all types of surgeries.

These risks are as follows:

Excessive bleeding, permanent scarring, fluid buildup, nerve-muscle or blood vessel damage, and fatty tissue death.

Moreover, general anesthesia can also cause some side effects after the surgery.

These risks are confusion, pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, or death in rare cases.

However, in some cases, patients can remain partially awake under general anesthesia.

It is important to discuss all the potential side effects and risks associated with this.

This is important to get effective treatment.

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What are the conditions that can make this Surgery Risky?

There are a number of conditions that can make an elective or a cosmetic surgery risky in particular.

For those who frequently smoke, many doctors and surgeons do not recommend it.

As for any elective plastic surgery, all tobacco products, vaping, and nicotine gums, and patches should be stopped at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery.

avoid tobacco products

Individuals with a history of connective tissue disorder like Ehlers Danlos are also not good candidates for this procedure.

This is because, arm lift surgery involves extensive incision and in the case of Ehlers Danlos, it can cause more issues.

Moreover, individuals who have a history of poor tissue quality may also face difficulty healing.

In the same way, individuals who use long-term oral steroids for medical conditions are not good candidates for Brachioplasty.

What type of Scars you Might have?

One of the biggest factors to consider is the extensive scarring that is often difficult to conceal.

While another option exists that causes short-scar Brachioplasty, this technique is often for those with loose skin.

Especially for individuals whose upper skin is at the upper posterior arm near the armpit.

After surgery, individuals can hide these scars with a short-sleeved shirt.


However, a traditional Brachioplasty scar extends from the armpit to the elbow.

Either on the very back of the patient’s arm or the inside facing their chest.

Therefore, in this case, this type of scar is often difficult to hide.

For those who do not smoke, the scars will heal and fade over with time.

Thus, it is important to protect the scars from extensive sun exposure with sunscreen or long-sleeves is the key to lighten them.

Can Liposuction alone fix the Problem?

If you have excess arm skin, underlying fat keeps your skin tight, an arm lift and liposuction combination is an option.

However, for most individuals, an arm lift is the best fix for sagging arms than going for liposuction.

Many individuals request liposuction as there is not extensive scarring as a result, however, with an arm lift, there is scarring afterward.

surgical markings

This is particularly the case if your surgeon removes a significant amount of fat and skin.

But liposuction alone cannot solve the problem as excess skin will be left behind.

Even if your surgeon removes the pockets of fats, the excess skin remains there even after liposuction.

What are the Results and Costs?

As with many other surgeries, arm lift carries with them some risks as well.

However, following the advice of your doctor can ensure to improve the results before and after the surgery.

Eventually, you will lose some firmness as you age, however, your overall results should last for several years.


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of an arm lift is about $4,257.

The cost, however, may change with your health and the extent of your surgery.

You should also consider other factors in extra money to cover any complications, follow-up procedures, or repeat surgeries you may need.

The Take-Away

An arm lift or Brachioplasty is a cosmetic or surgical procedure of the body contouring to help improve the appearance of the under portion of your upper arm.

However, there are certain factors to consider while you intend to go for surgery.

We have tried, to sum up, all the potential questions you may have in mind with regard to this procedure.

However, if you do have any further questions, you can visit us or contact us.

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