Arm Lift / Reduction

About Brachioplasty

An arm lift (Brachioplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat deposits from the underside of the upper arm. It can reduce arm circumference and tighten loose and flabby skin for a firmer, smaller appearance.

You may be considering this procedure for various reasons. Skin under the arms can become loose and wobbly as a result of significant weight loss, or the natural ageing process, when skin becomes less elastic.

Whatever your reason, an arm lift can help to tighten loose skin and reshape the arms for a smoother, firmer appearance which can help you feel more confident in certain clothes. However, it is important that you are realistic about what you expect from this surgery and understand that results can vary significantly from patient to patient for a number of reasons.

Your Procedure

Small incisions are made in the armpit and elbow so excess fat can be removed using a technique called ultrasonic assisted lipoplasty. Excess skin is then removed to reduce the circumference of the arm and give a tighter, firmer appearance.

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and normally takes 1 to 2 hours. Your total stay in hospital should be one night.

After Your Procedure

  • Some pain or discomfort at your wound and/or drain site can be expected. This will eventually settle and can be managed with oral pain medication.
  • You are encouraged to walk about and be active.
  • To help with the prevention of blood clots forming in your legs, you will have been measured for TED stockings and compression sleeves (SCDs) prior to your operation. These are worn to the operating theatre and post-operatively. You are able to stop wearing the SCDs once you are comfortably mobile. The TED stockings are to be worn until you are discharged from hospital.
  • An appointment to see your surgeon in two or three weeks time for a review of your wound will be made and the details will be given to you before you leave the hospital.

At Home

  • You may notice slight redness, swelling and bruising around the wound, this is normal.
  • Any pain should be managed with oral pain medication.
  • A small amount of discharge from your wound is normal.
  • You will have dressings over your wound site. These should be left on until the two to three week post-operative review. These dressings are waterproof, so there is no need to cover them to have a shower. However, if the dressings lift before the post-op review, please contact one of the clinic nurses.
  • You will also have bandages/tubigrip on your arms. These will need to be removed for showering.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, over exertion, strenuous exercise and any unnecessary strain on your wound for six weeks after surgery.
  • Make sure you remain mobile at home, going for short walks, etc.
  • Avoid driving for at least two weeks after surgery, and if necessary, only drive short distances until six weeks after surgery.
  • Post-operative lethargy is often experienced and can last for a month or more after your operation.
  • You should eat a nutritious diet high in vitamin C and drink plenty of water to help promote wound healing.
  • A post-op review with the clinic nurse will generally be carried out three weeks after your surgery, at which time your dressings will be removed.

Things To Look Out For

Surgery is not without its risks and we encourage all patients to be mindful of the warning signs that a complication may be developing. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your recovery, please contact us immediately: 

  • Signs of infection such as: high temperature, heavy discharge from your wound site, an increase in redness or heat around your wound site, or a dramatic increase in pain that is not relieved by oral pain medication.
  • Increased swelling around your wound.
  • Nausea or vomiting which does not settle.

Outside of clinic hours, please contact your GP or closest emergency department.