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Recovering from Arm Lift Surgery: Top Tips for a Quick and Smooth Recovery

Posted on: November 9, 2023

Recovery After Arm Lift Surgery

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper arms in order to create a more toned, contoured appearance. It can be used to treat sagging or drooping skin caused by aging or significant weight loss. Recovery after arm lift surgery is typically quick and relatively painless, but it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely in order to ensure the best possible outcome.

Preparing for Arm Lift Surgery

Before undergoing arm lift surgery, it’s important to prepare both physically and mentally. You should be in good overall health prior to the procedure, so make sure to discuss any medical conditions with your surgeon beforehand. Additionally, you may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements prior to the procedure, so make sure to talk with your doctor about this as well.

It’s also important to understand the risks associated with arm lift surgery. While serious complications are rare, they can occur and could include infection, scarring, blood clots, and nerve damage. Make sure you discuss these risks with your surgeon before proceeding with the procedure.

Swelling and Bruising

Following arm lift surgery, it’s normal for the area around your incision site to swell and bruise. This swelling can last anywhere from several days up to two weeks after the procedure. To reduce swelling and bruising, you should wear a compression garment for at least two weeks following the surgery. You should also avoid strenuous activity during this time in order to give your body time to heal properly.


Your surgeon may place drains near your incision site in order to help reduce swelling and prevent fluid buildup beneath your skin. The drains will stay in place until all of the fluid has been drained away completely. During this time, you should keep an eye on the drainage levels and report any changes in drainage amount or color back to your surgeon immediately.

Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

To reduce discomfort while sleeping after arm lift surgery, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach if possible. Instead, try sleeping on your back with extra pillows propping up your arms or side sleeping with extra pillows placed between your arms and chest for support. This will help reduce discomfort while allowing you time for proper healing after surgery.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions

It’s important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions after arm lift surgery in order for the healing process to go smoothly and quickly without any complications such as infection or excessive bleeding or swelling. This includes taking all prescribed medications as directed; avoiding strenuous activities; keeping the incision site clean; attending all post-operative appointments; and refraining from smoking or drinking alcohol during recovery period..

Unsatisfactory Results

In some cases, patients may experience unsatisfactory results after arm lift surgery due to poor wound healing or other factors such as scarring or asymmetry of the arms. If this occurs, it’s important that you contact your surgeon immediately so that they can assess the situation and determine what needs to be done in order to correct any issues. In some cases, additional surgeries may be necessary in order achieve desired results.

Final Thoughts

Recovery after arm lift surgery is usually fairly quick and straightforward, but it is important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions carefully throughout this process. By doing so, you can ensure a successful outcome with minimal risk of complications.

Preparing for Arm Lift Surgery

arm lifts, also known as brachioplasty, are a surgical procedure that reshape the upper arms by removing excess skin and fat. The procedure is typically done to reduce sagging skin in the upper arms due to aging or significant weight loss. Before undergoing an arm lift surgery, it is important to be prepared and understand the risks and potential complications of the procedure.

Consultation with Your Surgeon

The first step in preparing for arm lift surgery is to consult with your surgeon. During this consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your medical history and discuss any health concerns you may have. They will also assess the condition of your skin and determine if an arm lift is suitable for you. It is important to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have before undergoing the procedure.

Pre-Surgical Tests

Your surgeon may require you to undergo certain tests prior to surgery, such as blood tests, urine tests, or an electrocardiogram (ECG). These tests help ensure that your body can handle the stress of surgery and anesthesia safely.


Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery. This includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, vitamin E supplements, and herbal supplements such as ginseng or St John’s wort. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking medications before surgery.

Dietary Changes

Your doctor may also recommend making changes to your diet before undergoing arm lift surgery. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help promote healing after surgery. Additionally, drinking plenty of water can help keep your body hydrated and aid in recovery after the procedure.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, it is important to quit at least two weeks before surgery in order to reduce the risk of complications during recovery. Quitting smoking can also improve wound healing after surgery and reduce scarring.

Preparing for arm lift surgery requires careful planning and attention to detail in order to ensure a safe and successful outcome from the procedure. It is important to consult with your surgeon about any health concerns or questions you may have prior to undergoing arm lift surgery so that you can be fully informed about what is involved in the process.

Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are a normal part of the recovery process following arm lift surgery. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may experience more or less swelling and bruising. Generally, it is most noticeable in the first few days after surgery and should start to subside within two weeks.

It is important to understand that swelling can cause discomfort and even pain during recovery. To help reduce swelling, you should keep your arms elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery. You should also ice the area regularly for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation. Additionally, wearing compression garments can help with healing and minimize swelling.


Bruising is another common side effect of arm lift surgery. It usually appears within one or two days after surgery and can last anywhere from one to three weeks. The amount of bruising you experience will depend on how extensive your procedure was. To reduce bruising, you should avoid taking any medications that could thin your blood such as ibuprofen or aspirin for at least two weeks before and after your surgery. Additionally, you should avoid strenuous activity for several weeks following your procedure so that you don’t aggravate any existing bruises or cause new ones to form.

Normal drainage after arm lift surgery, gauze pads to keep incisions dry, contact surgeon if signs of infection present.


After arm lift surgery, it is normal for the incisions to have a small amount of drainage. This is typically clear or slightly pinkish in color and should not be alarming. The drainage may last for several days, but it should start to decrease over time. It is important to keep an eye on the drainage and contact your surgeon if it increases or changes in color.

Your surgeon will likely provide you with gauze pads to place over the incisions and secure them with tape. You should change these pads regularly to prevent infection and ensure that the incisions are kept dry. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before changing the pads and dispose of them properly afterwards.

Signs of Infection

If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, pus-like discharge, or fever, contact your surgeon immediately. These can be signs of a serious infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics as soon as possible. Your surgeon may also advise you to take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce inflammation and discomfort during recovery.

Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

It is important to avoid sleeping on your stomach after arm lift surgery. This is because the area where the incision was made needs time to heal and sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on the wound and cause it to open up or become infected. Instead, you should sleep on your back with the arms elevated above your head. If you find this uncomfortable, you can place a pillow under your arms to help support them. You should also use extra pillows to prop up your head and shoulders so that you are not putting too much pressure on any one area of your body.

You may also find it helpful to wear a compression garment at night while you sleep. This will help reduce swelling and provide some additional support for the arm area while you rest. Additionally, it is important to keep the wound clean and dry while it heals. Make sure to change dressings regularly and apply antibiotic ointment as directed by your doctor.

Tips for Comfort While Sleeping

To make sleeping more comfortable after an arm lift, consider these tips:

  • Sleep in a reclining chair or sofa at an angle rather than lying flat.
  • Place several pillows around yourself for support.
  • Use a neck pillow or body pillow for extra comfort.
  • Elevate your legs with a footrest or ottoman.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing while sleeping.

Finally, it is important to listen to your body and get enough rest during recovery from an arm lift. Get plenty of sleep each night and take naps if needed during the day. This will help ensure that you have a successful recovery with minimal complications.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions

It is very important to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully after arm lift surgery. Depending on the type of procedure you have had, there may be specific instructions for care and activity that should be followed. In general, it is important to rest as much as possible in the first few days after surgery. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities for up to six weeks following surgery.


You will likely be prescribed medications to help with pain and swelling following arm lift surgery. Be sure to take these medications as instructed by your doctor. If you experience any side effects, such as nausea or dizziness, contact your doctor right away.

Dressings and Bandages

Your surgeon may place dressings or bandages over the incisions after surgery. These should remain in place until your surgeon tells you otherwise. It is important to keep them clean and dry at all times, and to replace them if they become wet or soiled.

Follow-Up Appointments

It is important to attend all of your follow-up appointments with your surgeon after arm lift surgery. During these appointments, your surgeon will check the progress of your healing and provide additional instructions for care and activity level.

By following your surgeon’s instructions carefully after arm lift surgery, you can ensure a successful recovery and optimal results from the procedure.

Unsatisfactory Results

Unfortunately, some patients may experience unsatisfactory results from arm lift surgery. This could be due to a number of reasons such as an infection, a reaction to anesthesia, or simply the patient not following the surgeon’s instructions properly. If you are unhappy with the results of your arm lift, it is important that you speak to your surgeon as soon as possible so they can try to remedy the situation.


The first thing to consider if you are unhappy with your results is whether or not there has been an infection. Infection is one of the most common causes of unsatisfactory results and can occur if bacteria enters the wound during or after surgery. It is important to monitor your wound closely for any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your surgeon immediately and they will be able to advise on how best to treat it.

Reaction to Anesthesia

Another potential cause of unsatisfactory results is a reaction to anesthesia. Some patients may have an adverse reaction to certain types of anesthesia which can lead to complications during or after surgery. If you notice any changes in your breathing or heart rate during surgery, inform your surgeon immediately so they can take action and minimize any risks associated with anesthesia use.

Not Following Instructions

Finally, it is also important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery in order to ensure optimal results. This includes avoiding strenuous activity, taking medications as prescribed, and attending all follow-up appointments. Failing to do so could result in unsatisfactory results which may require additional corrective procedures in order to achieve desired outcomes.

If you are unhappy with the results of your arm lift surgery, speak with your surgeon as soon as possible in order to find out what went wrong and how best it can be remedied. With proper care and attention, most issues can be resolved quickly and easily without compromising on quality results.

Final Thoughts

Arm lift surgery is a great way to improve the appearance of your arms and create an overall more toned look. However, it is important to understand the recovery process and take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and successful outcome. It is essential that you follow your surgeon’s instructions for aftercare, which may include avoiding strenuous activities, sleeping on your back, and monitoring your arm for drainage or signs of infection.

It is also important to be aware that there is always a risk of unsatisfactory results when undergoing any type of surgery. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your arm lift surgery, speak with your surgeon about possible revision surgeries.

Overall, arm lift surgery can provide excellent results with proper care and attention during recovery. Be sure to discuss all potential risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding if this procedure is right for you.