Recovery After Arm Lift Surgery – Expert Tips for a Smooth Healing Process

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure that reshapes the upper arms by removing excess skin and fat. It can help improve the contours of the arms and reduce sagging skin caused by age or weight loss. The recovery process after arm lift surgery is important to ensure that the results are long-lasting and successful. Here are some top tips for recovering from arm lift surgery:

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Before undergoing arm lift surgery, it is important to prepare for the recovery period. This includes getting plenty of rest and eating a healthy diet in the weeks leading up to the procedure. It is also important to stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of complications. Additionally, it is best to avoid taking any medications that can increase bleeding such as aspirin or ibuprofen.


Scarring is an unavoidable part of arm lift surgery. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize scarring and ensure optimal results. It is important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your doctor regarding wound care and avoiding activities that may cause further damage or irritation. Additionally, wearing sunscreen on exposed areas can help prevent hyperpigmentation and discoloration of scars.

Recovery Timeline

The recovery timeline after arm lift surgery will vary depending on each individual patient’s experience and healing process. Generally speaking, patients should expect some swelling and bruising for several weeks following their procedure, which can be managed with cold compresses and elevation of the arms above heart level when possible. Most patients are able to return to work within one week after their operation but should avoid strenuous activity or lifting heavy objects for at least four weeks afterwards.

Compression Garment

Wearing a compression garment can help reduce swelling during recovery from arm lift surgery and provide support for newly reshaped arms. Compression garments should be worn as recommended by your doctor during the first few weeks after your operation until swelling has subsided.

Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is essential for proper healing after arm lift surgery. A balanced diet full of nutrient-dense foods will provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to recover quickly and effectively from your procedure. Additionally, staying hydrated with plenty of water throughout your recovery period will help flush out toxins from your body while promoting healing.


Massage therapy may be recommended by your doctor during your recovery period from arm lift surgery in order to reduce swelling and promote circulation in treated areas. Massage therapy can also help speed up healing times while reducing discomfort associated with post-operative soreness or tightness in treated areas. Your doctor may recommend specific massage techniques such as lymphatic drainage massage or manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage for optimal results during recovery from arm lift surgery.

Final Results & Cost

The final results of an arm lift procedure are typically visible within three months after the operation when all swelling has subsided completely; however, it may take up to six months for full results to become apparent due to normal fluctuations in weight or muscle tone over time. The cost of an arm lift procedure will vary depending on factors such as geographic location, surgeon fees, anesthesia costs, facility fees, etc., but typically ranges between $5,000 – $10,000 USD per treatment session without insurance coverage included in most cases

Pre-surgery preparation, scarring, recovery timeline, compression garment, healthy diet, massage, & final results & cost.

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Preparing for arm lift surgery is an important step to ensure the best possible outcome. Before your procedure, your doctor will likely give you a list of instructions to follow. It is important to follow these instructions carefully and ask any questions that you may have prior to your surgery.

Medical History

Your doctor will need to know about any medical conditions or medications that you are taking. You should also inform your doctor of any allergies or sensitivities that you may have. Your doctor may order certain tests prior to the procedure in order to ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery.


It is important to avoid certain medications before your arm lift surgery. Your doctor will advise you on which medications should be avoided prior to the procedure, as some medications can interfere with the healing process or increase the risk of complications during surgery.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, it is important to stop at least two weeks before your arm lift surgery. Smoking can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications during and after surgery.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol should also be avoided before and after your arm lift surgery, as it can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Plan for Recovery

You should also plan ahead for your recovery period by arranging for someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for at least 24 hours after your procedure. Additionally, it is important to arrange for help with daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare while you are recovering from your arm lift surgery.

Important pre-surgery preparation: medical history, avoid certain medications, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, plan for recovery.


Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms to create a smoother and more toned appearance. The procedure can be very effective in improving the contour of the arm, but it does leave noticeable scarring. Understanding what to expect from scarring after an arm lift will help you prepare for your recovery and know what to do to minimize its appearance.

Scar Location

The location of scarring depends on the type of arm lift you receive. With a standard brachioplasty, the incision runs along the inside of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. This type of scar is usually hidden when wearing clothing and can easily be covered with makeup or sunscreen if desired. For more extensive surgeries, an incision may also run down the back of the arm or around the shoulder blade. These scars are more visible and may take longer to fade than those located on the inner side of the arm.

Scar Appearance

Immediately after surgery, your scars will be red and raised above your skin’s surface. Over time they will begin to fade in color and flatten out, becoming less noticeable with each passing month. It is important not to put any pressure on your incisions until fully healed as this can cause them to reopen or become misshapen.

Minimizing Scarring

There are several things you can do before and after surgery to minimize scarring from an arm lift:

  • Follow your surgeon’s pre-operative instructions carefully.
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry during recovery.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on your scars for at least six months.
  • Use sunblock with SPF 30 or higher when exposed to sunlight.
  • Apply silicone gel sheets or other topical treatments as directed by your doctor.
  • Massage your scars regularly using lotion or oil.

Following these tips can help reduce scarring from an arm lift surgery and ensure that you get optimal results from your procedure. If you have any questions about scarring, speak with your doctor for further guidance.

Recovery Timeline

The recovery timeline for arm lift surgery can vary depending on the individual and their unique circumstances. Generally speaking, patients should expect to take at least two weeks off from work and other activities in order to allow the body to heal properly. During this time, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take any prescribed medications as directed.

First Week After Surgery

Immediately following arm lift surgery, you will need to keep your arms elevated above your heart level at all times in order to reduce swelling and promote healing. You should also avoid lifting anything heavier than a few pounds during this time. Pain medications may be prescribed by your doctor and should be taken as directed in order to help manage discomfort. It is also important to keep the surgical site clean and dry in order to prevent infection.

Second Week After Surgery

During the second week after arm lift surgery, you may begin light physical activity such as walking or stretching but should still avoid any strenuous exercise until cleared by your doctor. Swelling and bruising may still be present during this time, but should start to subside as the body heals. Your doctor may recommend wearing a compression garment during this time in order to minimize swelling and help support the healing tissues.

Third Week After Surgery

By the third week after surgery, most of the swelling should have subsided and you may be able to begin more strenuous activities such as jogging or weightlifting if approved by your doctor. You can also start wearing clothes that fit comfortably over the surgical area without irritation or discomfort. At this point, you should continue taking any prescribed medications as needed for pain relief and follow up with your doctor for regular checkups throughout your recovery period.

Fourth Week After Surgery

By four weeks after arm lift surgery, most of the healing process should be complete and you can resume normal activities such as work or exercise without restrictions. However, it is still important to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of restful sleep, avoiding direct sunlight on the treated area, and wearing sunscreen when outdoors for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, it is recommended that you wear a compression garment for up to six months post-surgery in order to maintain optimal results from your procedure.

Compression Garment

Compression garments are an essential part of the recovery process after arm lift surgery. They are designed to provide support and minimize swelling, while promoting proper healing. The garment should be worn for at least 6 weeks following the procedure, and should be replaced with a new one every two or three days.

Types of Compression Garments

Compression garments come in a variety of styles and sizes, so it is important to find one that fits properly. A compression bra can be used for smaller areas such as the upper arms, while a full body suit may be necessary for larger areas such as the abdomen or thighs. It is also important to choose a garment that is made from breathable material, such as cotton or spandex, to prevent skin irritation.

Benefits of Compression Garments

The most important benefit of wearing a compression garment is reducing swelling and bruising after surgery. This helps ensure that the incisions heal properly and reduces the risk of infection. Additionally, compression garments help support the skin while it adjusts to its new shape and provides extra comfort during recovery.

Caring for Your Compression Garment

It is important to take proper care of your compression garment in order to get the most out of it. After each use, make sure to wash it in cold water with mild detergent and hang it up to dry completely before wearing again. Additionally, make sure not to wear any jewelry or other objects that could damage the fabric or cause discomfort when wearing your garment.

Healthy Diet

It is important to maintain a healthy diet during recovery from arm lift surgery. Eating nutrient-rich foods can help speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation. The most important nutrients for post-surgery healing are protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


Protein is essential for repairing damaged tissues and rebuilding muscle. It also helps to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Good sources of protein include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.


Fiber helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly and can help reduce constipation that may be caused by pain medications taken after surgery. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for healing wounds and boosting the immune system. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K as well as B-complex vitamins. They are also a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure that you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for proper healing.


Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals which can slow down the healing process after surgery. Foods high in antioxidants include berries (blueberries, strawberries), green tea, dark chocolate (with 70% or more cocoa), tomatoes (cooked), spinach (cooked) and artichokes (cooked).

By following a healthy diet during recovery from arm lift surgery you can ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to heal properly. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals as well as antioxidants will help to speed up the healing process so you can get back on your feet sooner!


Massage is an important part of the recovery process after arm lift surgery. In addition to helping reduce swelling and pain, massage can also help improve circulation and reduce scarring. It is important to note that massage should be done gently and carefully to avoid further injury or damage to the skin or underlying tissues.

Types of Massage

The two most common types of massage used for arm lift recovery are Swedish and deep tissue massage. Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, and circular movements to promote relaxation and improve circulation. Deep tissue massage is more intense, using pressure applied directly to the muscles in order to reach deeper layers of muscle tissue. This type of massage can help reduce pain and stiffness in the area being massaged.

When to Start Massage

Most surgeons recommend waiting at least one month before starting any type of massage therapy after arm lift surgery. During this time it is important for your body to heal properly before any additional stress is placed on it. After one month has passed, you can begin light massage sessions with your doctor’s approval.

Benefits of Massage

Massage can help reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation in the area where you had your surgery. It can also help break up scar tissue which may have formed as a result of the surgery, helping to reduce its appearance over time. Additionally, massage can help improve circulation in the area which can help speed up healing time as well as provide relief from any lingering discomfort or pain you may be experiencing. Finally, regular massage sessions can help improve your overall sense of wellbeing by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels which could otherwise impede your recovery process.

Massage helps reduce pain, swelling, inflammation, scarring, and improves circulation, relaxation, and wellbeing.

Final Results and Cost

The final results of an arm lift surgery are usually visible after several weeks, as the swelling from the procedure subsides. The patient should expect to see a more toned and contoured arm, with smoother skin that has less visible sagging or drooping. Depending on the amount of excess skin removed during the procedure, patients may also experience an improvement in their clothing fit.

The cost of an arm lift can vary depending on the extent of work needed, as well as the location and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. Generally, arm lift procedures range between $3,000 and $7,000 US This cost includes anesthesia fees, hospital costs, and surgeon’s fees. Insurance may cover some or all of these expenses if it is deemed medically necessary.

In addition to this initial expense, there may be additional costs associated with recovery such as medications and physical therapy sessions. Patients should discuss these potential costs with their surgeon prior to undergoing surgery so they can plan accordingly for any additional expenses that may arise.

Finally, patients should keep in mind that although most arm lifts produce satisfactory results with minimal complications, there is always a risk involved when undergoing any type of surgery. It is important to weigh the risks against the benefits before deciding whether or not to proceed with an arm lift procedure.

Arm lift surgery produces toned, contoured arms with smoother skin and improved clothing fit. Costs range from $3,000-$7,000 USD and may include additional expenses. Risks should be considered.


How can we help?