arm lift

What is an arm lift?

Due to ageing, or weight loss, the skin of the upper arms can become looser and start to hang. With an arm lift, the excess skin of the upper arm is removed. The skin is pulled tight, and the upper arm is nice and slim.

After the procedure, you can enjoy wearing sleeveless clothing again, but do realise that an arm lift will leave visible scars on the upper arm.

What are the advantages of an arm lift?

  • Slimmer and tighter arms
  • A reward after having lost weight
  • Visible results after two weeks
  • You can go back to work after one week.

How is an arm lift done?

An arm lift is a major operation. Think carefully about your expectations before you decide to go for this surgical procedure. And discuss your expectations with one of our plastic surgeons.

The operation will be done under general anaesthetic and will take about two hours. Skin and any possible fatty tissue are removed from the underside of the upper arm by making an incision between the armpit and the elbow.

The location and length of the incision is dependent on the amount of skin that needs to be removed. Once the surgeon has removed the excess skin and fat, the skin will be closed.

After suturing, both arms will be wrapped up in bandages, or you will receive a special sleeve. After the surgery, you should wear the bandages/sleeves for at least a week; day and night. After the first week, you will be expected back at the practice for your first check-up.

The bandages and sutures will be removed during the first check-up.

When am I a suitable candidate for an arm lift?

You are a good candidate for an arm lift when you have lost a lot of weight – for example after a gastric reduction or gastric band operation. In some cases, we suggest an additional procedure, such as liposuction – the doctor will discuss this with you during a consultation.

arm lift


After your first consultation with your plastic surgeon, you will meet with our consultant. The purpose of this talk is to bring you up to date and inform you about everything to do with your arm lift.

We will discuss everything related to the treatment. We will also discuss what bothers you the most about your arms and what you would like to do about them. We will discuss the various methods and operating techniques and decide which one is best for you. You will get a clear idea of the results you can expect, the possible risks of this surgery and the aftercare. You will always receive honest advice and be informed clearly about the treatment and the period that follows.
During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will check to see if you are a suitable candidate for an arm lift. The surgeon will ask you questions regarding your health, medical history and any medication you may be using. Should you use blood thinners, then you should stop using them at least one week before the treatment.
You can make the right choice after this first consultation. We understand that this is a lot of information to process during this first consultation. However, please don’t hesitate to contact us again afterwards should you need to go through things once again.

What can I expect after an arm lift?

The treated area will be painful after the operation, and you will experience pressure and a pulling sensation.  It is normal to have painful bruising, swollen skin and to feel sore. This normally disappears by itself after two to six weeks. Should you have any concerns, please contact us.

The arm lift shows beautiful results rather quickly after the operation. But the final results won’t be visible until after three months. This is due to the swelling which will have subsided by then. You will have quite a long scar. Your scars can be red or swollen; this will go away by itself after a couple of weeks.

After the operation, we advise you to do the following:

  • For the first 24 hours after the operation, you should be accompanied by another adult.
  • You may not drive for the first 48 hours after the operation because of the side effects of the general anaesthetic.
  • You may not drink alcohol for the first week after the operation because of the side effects of the general anaesthetic.
  • You should take it easy.
  • You may do sports after six weeks.
  • Do not go swimming or visit the sauna for the first six weeks.
  • Both smoking and alcohol have a negative effect on the healing and recovery process – try to abstain from this for a while.