What to Expect – Recovering From an Arm Lift


Do you remember the days when you felt comfortable showing off your arms? But now there’s sagging skin on your upper arms you keep under cover.

Or maybe you lost a lot of weight and were looking forward to finally showing off your arms. Yet, now there’s excess skin hanging there.

You DO have options with a brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery. And the good news is, recovering from an arm lift is fairly straightforward.

Recovering From an Arm Lift

The brachioplasty procedure typically lasts around two to three hours and is performed under general anesthesia. And the smoother contours of your upper arm will be apparent almost immediately.

As time progresses, results will eventually be somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. And there will be some scarring.

Recovery from brachioplasty is one of the procedures with a shorter recovery time. Yet, it’s always going to be different from person to person. But here’s what you can generally expect:

Immediately After Brachioplasty Procedure

As with any surgery, experiencing discomfort after brachioplasty is common. Any swelling and redness may be addressed with oral pain medications.

In addition, you can expect to wear a compression garment to help circulation and minimize your discomfort.

First Week

It’s during the first few days when you’ll likely experience moderate pain. Your arms will be bandaged which will limit your range of motion. This is intentional, as you don’t want to make any major movements with the arms during this time. Your muscles may also feel sore and you’ll see bruising and swelling. Increased pain and pressure near the incision site are normal – especially when your arms are in motion.

You’ll want to have someone stay with you overnight the first night and enlist a little extra help with everyday activities in the days that follow. It is crucial in the first week that you don’t lift anything over five pounds. And since you need to avoid reaching over your head, be sure you have comfortable, loose button-up shirts on hand.

Pain, swelling, and bruising will subside by the end of the week. Expect them to persist to some degree for the first month, however. You may be able to transition to OTC pain management at this point – if you need any at all.

Two to Three Weeks

Bandages and any stitches are removed one to two weeks post-surgery. You’ll have an improved range of motion and arm mobility, but you’ll have weight restrictions of 10 pounds in the second week and 15 pounds in the third. Stretching the arms is still not recommended.

Most patients return to work at this point and can perform normal activities around the house. You’ll probably have to continue wearing your compression garment though and your doctor may recommend beginning a scar therapy treatment plan.

One to Two Months

At the four- to six-week point, you can expect any swelling or bruising to resolve. You may also be cleared to remove your compression garment and routine to your regular exercise routine. Treatment for scarring will continue throughout this time.

Acquire a More Contoured Look for Your Upper Arms

You don’t need to accept sagging upper arms as one of the inevitable results of aging or weight loss.

Brachioplasty is a great option. And as stated above, recovering from an art lift is not an arduous process.

So contact us today to set up a free consultation with our board-certified surgeons. And get started on your journey to slimmer and move lovely arms.