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Arm lift

What is brachioplasty? 

Brachioplasty, commonly known as arm lift, is a cosmetic surgery performed to reshape the back of your upper arm, from the arm to the elbows. It is done to remove the extra skin and tissue, making the upper arm look toned and sculpted. 

Often, when people gain weight, their skin tends to stretch over time. However, when they lose weight, the skin does not have enough elasticity to spring back into shape. It leaves extra skinfolds of tissue, making people conscious of their physical appearance. Loose skin in the upper arm is common, and while there is no medical need for a treatment, arm lift has become a popular surgery, giving people a sense of confidence. 

Sometimes, neither diet nor exercise fulfils the quest for toned triceps, as constant weight fluctuations leave the person with extra skin. In addition, aging and genetics also contribute to developing droopy upper arms. Many people tend to undergo arm lift surgery after their weight loss journey as the extra skinfolds of tissues are also likely to form under the chin, lower stomach, and upper thighs. 

The doctor can also remove extra tissue from the side of the chest and may perform liposuction of the area. It is a fat-removal procedure often performed during cosmetic surgeries. 

How to prepare for an arm lift? 

A person considering undergoing an arm lift needs to look at several aspects as there are numerous reasons, causing sagging skin. A surgeon will carefully examine for any underlying medical condition, reducing the risk of complications during the surgery. 

While everyone needs to be well-prepared weeks in advance, habitual smokers must quit smoking six to eight weeks prior to the surgery. It increases the risk of complications as smoking can result in delayed wound healing. Under most instances, people will need to avoid consuming water and food 12 hours prior to the surgery. Moreover, people should avoid any medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.

Get more information about this procedure at Fortis Healthcare where the doctors provide you a preoperative evaluation weeks before the arm lift to study your current health status and medical history. This is an ideal time to raise any medical concerns to avoid complications during the procedure. These surgeries can be expensive; hence, a person must look at their finances beforehand. Often, insurance does not cover cosmetic surgeries. 

A person should only consider an arm lift surgery when they have maintained a stable weight for some time. There is a chance of developing sagging skin again if a person loses weight after the surgery. On the flip side, if they gain weight post-procedure, it might harm the weakened skin and cause widened scars. 

What to expect on the day of the surgery? 

The doctor starts the surgery by marking the arm where the incisions will be made. While an arm lift surgery can be performed in multiple ways, the most common way is creating an incision on the back or inside of the arm. Then, the tissues are tightened. The doctor then pulls the skin and stitches the surgical wound back. In other ways, an incision is made on the armpit or running from the elbow to the armpit. A person is administered general or local anesthesia, depending on the kind of procedure. 

It is ideal to have a helping hand for a few days after the surgery. A person might need to stay overnight at the hospital. If they are discharged the same day, someone should accompany them to drive them home. Avoid driving for some time. 


An arm lift surgery can cause infection, excessive bleeding, nerve or muscle damage, permanent scarring, or tissue death. 

Recovery after arm lift surgery

During recovery, the person might need to wear a compression garment to control the swelling. The doctor might need to insert a drainage tube in the arm to remove fluid and blood that builds up after the surgery. Moreover, the doctors will assist with postoperative care.

The recovery time of an individual depends on the scale of the surgery. The patient must carefully listen to the doctor’s instructions and avoid strenuous activities during the first few weeks. You can resume work and some activities within two weeks of the surgery and can return to normal activities within six weeks. However, you must alert the doctor about excessive pain, fever, bleeding, or mobility issues in the initial recovery phase. It may take some months for complete recovery and for swelling to subside fully. 


  1. Who is a perfect candidate for an arm lift surgery? 
  2. Non-smokers
  3. People who do not experience constant weight fluctuation
  4. People who do not have unrealistic expectations of body change after surgery
  5. People with loose skin


  1. Does the surgery leave a scar? 

A standard arm lift surgery requires a long incision from the elbow to the armpit. While the scar might fade with time, it could still be noticeable. A 2020 Taylor and Francis Group study found that 25% of people who underwent surgery after massive weight loss experienced poor scarring. 

However, the scars fade well for healthy patients and non-smokers. It is advised to avoid direct sun exposure and apply sunscreen or wear long sleeves as it helps in the fading of the scars. 


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