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How long does it take to recover from an Arm Lift?

December 3, 2020

Arm Lift Surgery or Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that enhances the shape and contour of the arms by removing excess skin and fat in the upper arm, usually between the elbow and underarm. The procedure is performed by using a combination of liposuction and surgical excision. This is beneficial for those people who want to reshape their arms to look more attractive and for people who have undergone dramatic weight loss.

Although the results are essential, arm lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, and many patients experience a relatively short and straightforward recovery. However, the recovery process may vary from patient to patient depending on the number of factors including the patient’s past health history, patient’s tolerance for pain, and the surgical technique used.

Recovery Timeline

Usually, partial arm lift recovery takes about 10 to 14 days, and complete recovery takes about 4 to 6 weeks.

1 to 3 days after the surgery:

Most patients experience light to moderate pain after the surgery. Pain is usually well controlled by anti-inflammatory drugs and prescription drugs. After the procedure, the arms will be wrapped and bandaged which may decrease your motions of the arms. Hand swelling can also be expected even when the drainage is in place. The patient will be advised not to wear rings or other jewellery until the swelling is removed, along with lifting the arms (arms over the heart) during sleep.

1 week after the surgery:

The pain will gradually reduce 1 week following surgery. You may no longer need pain medications or drugs. Bruising and swelling of the arms will decrease, but it will still be there and may continue 2-3 weeks after the procedure.

10 days following the surgery:

Bandages, stitches, and drainage tubes are removed. There is an improvement in arm mobility. However, most patients are advised to avoid lifting heavy materials or doing stretching exercises. Patients can resume their daily activities such as going to the office, showering, etc. Your cosmetic surgeon may advise you to wear a compression garment for the next 2-3 months to improve your healing process.

2 weeks after the surgery:

Most patients opt for a scar therapy plan that consists of either a scar cream or a silicone based tape product.

4 to 6 weeks after the surgery:

Swelling and bruising should be entirely removed by revealing the end result of the procedure.

In most cases, patients do not require to wear compression garments. They may also resume their daily exercise routine. They are also allowed to involve in activities like lifting heavy weight and other intense arm activity such as playing golf and tennis.

6 months after the surgery:

Arm lift scar in an incision area blends nicely with the surrounding skin and make the wound less visible. The injuries will continue to improve for up to 2 years.

Pain Management

Most patients experience light to moderate amount of pain after the surgery. It can be more in the first 2-3 days following the arm lift procedure and reduces with time. Your surgeon may prescribe you pain relief medication to avoid any discomfort experienced by you.


Unfortunately, Brachioplasty leads to scarring which can be seen at the base of the arm running between the elbow and the armpit. Scarring often lightens after some time and become less visible. Besides, some non-surgical cosmetic treatments can be done to reduce the visibility of any scarring that result.

Arm Lift Recovery Tips

  •      Follow the post-procedure self-care instructions recommended by your cosmetic surgeon
  •      Contact your surgeon immediately if you have any concerns or queries related to the recovery from Arm Lift
  •      Make sure you've assigned a home care assistant (especially during the first 7-10 days as your arms will be motionless)
  •      Attend all scheduled follow up meetings with your surgeon
  •      Take all prescribed medicines as instructed
  •      Take rest for a few weeks immediately following your arm lift procedure. Also, do not involve in any physical activity or heavy lifting in the week after your arm lift
  •      Sleep with your arms raised to the pillow to reduce discomfort and swelling
  •      Plan to wear unique garments that compress your arms to minimize pain, reduce swelling, and improve blood flow.
  •      Avoid touching the cutting edge or removing the bandages to test your wound
  •      Get as much sleep as possible after your surgery to speed up the recovery process
  •      Eat healthier and lighter foods
  •      Drink a lot of water following surgery

Tried all possible remedy for loose arm skin, but no result? Consult a cosmetic surgeon near you today.

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