What is an arm lift or brachioplasty?

Arm Lift, or brachioplasty, involves the removal of loose and hanging skin from the inside of the upper arm.  This tightens the skin of the entire upper arm giving it a more attractive and youthful appearance.

What does arm lift or brachioplasty surgery involve?

Arm lift involves making an incision on the inside of the upper arm.  Excess skin and soft tissue are then pulled up over this incision.  The excess skin and soft tissue are then cut away.  The incision is then closed, leaving a hidden scar on the inside of the upper arm, and resulting in a much better contour of the upper arm.

What are some of the risks of brachioplasty?Brach1

Please refer to the following form published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)


Will I have to stay in the hospital after brachioplasty?

No. brachioplasty is an outpatient surgery.

What is the typical postoperative course?

Day 1-2

  • Keep dressings clean and dry
  • You will have an compression wrap or garment in place.  This will be worn at all times for the next month, and at night for an additional month.
  • You may or may not have drains in place.  You will record the drain output daily

Day 3-7

  • You may now remove the dressings/garments to shower. Tape will be in place over your incision. This tape is to remain in place until removed by your surgeon
  • Continue to wear your compression garment
  • If a drain is in place continue to record drain output.  The drains will likely be removed at 1 week follow up appointment

Day 7-1 month

  • Continue to wear compression garment at all times

1 month-2 months

  • Continue to wear garment at night for one more month
  • You may now begin to apply scar creams
  • You may now resume cardiovascular exercise and sex
  • No arm exercises or heavy lifting

2 months+

  • You may now resume full activity including arm exercises

You may drive when you are off narcotics and feel confident to control the car.  Most patients are able to drive within 2 weeks.

Time off of Work? Restrictions?
This is dependant on the type of work you perform.  Many patients with office jobs only require a week or two. However, patients who perform heavy labor may require 4-6 weeks to recover.  You will not be able to lift anything greater than 10 lbs for 8 weeks. You will not be able to run or jog for 4 weeks.