Black woman displaying the loose skin or flab on her upper arm pinching it between her fingers, close up view

Do you love your arms? Imagine what your life would be like if you did. You could feel confident wearing short sleeves and sleeveless shirts and dresses. You could go to the beach and not feel like you have to keep your arms covered. Feeling good about your body can change your whole outlook on life. An arm lift could make this fantasy a reality.

Many people aren’t happy with how their arms look after weight loss or natural aging. An arm lift is a surgical procedure that gets rid of excess skin and fat from your upper arms. It can help you get smooth, youthful arms you’ll want to show off.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15,457 arm lifts were done in 2012. This procedure is rapidly growing in popularity. But is an arm lift for you?

Arm yourself with knowledge! Here’s what you need to know before getting an arm lift.

What Happens During an Arm Lift?

An arm lift, also called brachioplasty, is an outpatient surgical procedure. It takes around two hours to complete. During the surgery, an incision will be made along the upper part of your inner arm. From this incision, the doctor will remove excess tissue. Liposuction is often needed in combination with an arm lift. During liposuction, fat is removed from your body using a kind of vacuum. The doctor will remove extra folds of skin before closing the incision.

Will I Have a Scar?

Some scarring does occur with all arm lifts. However, the scar is located on the inside of your arm, where it is not highly visible. Scars will gradually fade in appearance two to three months after surgery. Your doctor will make every effort to minimize scarring.

Are Arm Lifts Safe?

There are slight risks for complications with all surgical procedures. For most patients, arm lifts are very safe. An analysis examining complications from arm lift surgery was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  The review concluded, “Brachioplasty is a safe and effective method of treating upper arm deformity in the massive weight loss patient.” Some potential arm lift risks include infections, problems with wound healing, numbness, pain, blood clots, and tissue damage. If you have any questions about the risks associated with arm lift procedures, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.

How Do You Recover From an Arm Lift?

You will need a family member or friend to help you recover from arm lift surgery. Immediately after your procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. Also, know that you won’t be able to lift anything over 15 pounds for the first six weeks after surgery. You may need someone to help you lift heavy items such as grocery bags or small children.

Some swelling will occur around the areas of the incision. This swelling may last several weeks. Compression garments will help minimize swelling as you recover. You may also need pain medication for the first few days, which your doctor can prescribe if necessary. If you have any concerns while you are healing, let your doctor know right away.

After arm lift surgery, most people are able to go back to work after one week. Normal activities, including exercise, can usually be resumed after six weeks. Be sure to closely follow the recovery instructions you receive from your doctor.


You don’t have to live with droopy, sagging skin on your arms. An arm lift can help you love your arms–and your body. If you have any questions about arm lift surgery, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact Wright Surgical Arts. We can help you sculpt the body you’ve always wanted.