Arm lift surgery, also known as a brachioplasty is an operation which remodels the skin in the arm area. It’s normally performed on people with either excess skin or excess fatty tissue in their inner arm areas.

Before the operation

The operation is performed under general anaesthesia, requiring 2-3 days of hospitalization. Prior to the operation full pre-op checks are required, including blood tests. In patients older than 35 years old a CT scan of lungs and hearth is also required. Patient should have an empty stomach – 8 hours before the operation patient must not eat, drink or smoke. Patient must not be suffering from any other illness such as urine infection, colds or skin infections.


In this procedure the excess skin of your arm is removed by an excision extending downwards towards your elbow

The advantage of this procedure is that it is very effective at reducing the amount of skin all the way down to your elbow

The disadvantage is that you will be left with scarring extending down the inner aspect of your arm

Your surgeon will aim to conceal this scar in the inner aspect of your arm as it lies against your body so that it is not overtly visible from either the front or back, however, it will be visible if you raise your arm

Generally, the scar in your inner arm area tends to settle well with time but may remain red and slightly painful for up to a year following surgery (this does vary between individuals)

Possible complications

Post-operative bleeding

Swelling, discoloration, and tightness of skin for 10-14 days

Infection of the wound, Haematomas

After the operation

Following an arm lift procedure, it is important to gently compress the arm to reduce swelling and bruising. Often a small drainage tube will be inserted following the operation to remove any excess fluid from the region. This drainage tube will usually be removed after 1 day. It is important to wear your compression garment to support the area for 6 weeks and to keep your hands and elbows moving. Your wounds will be checked 1 week post surgery. At this appointment, the ends of your absorbable sutures will be trimmed and brown micropore tape reapplied to the incision to support it. It is advised to avoid any strenuous activities which can cause stretching to the incisions for the first 2 weeks after your surgery.