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The Arm Lift Procedure: What to Expect

Loose or sagging skin on the arms can often make wearing short sleeves or tank tops uncomfortable. This situation may arise due to significant weight loss, aging, or genetics. An arm lift, or brachioplasty surgery, offers a solution by removing excess skin and fat, leading to a more toned and contoured appearance of the arms. Understanding the process involved in this cosmetic surgery can help you set realistic expectations and prepare for the procedure.

Preparation for Brachioplasty

Before your arm lift procedure, a detailed consultation with your surgeon is essential. A consultation with Dr. Eko typically involves outlining your aesthetic goals and conducting a thorough review of your medical history to determine the best approach for your brachioplasty. It is imperative to strictly adhere to the preparation instructions provided. These may include dietary guidelines, hydration tips, and adjustments to your current medications to optimize your health for the surgery.

Additionally, you should stop smoking and avoid certain medications or supplements that can increase bleeding risks. Preparing your body and mind for surgery plays a critical role in the smooth execution of the procedure and your recovery process. Ensuring you understand and follow these preparatory steps is key to achieving the best possible outcome from your arm lift surgery.

Anesthesia and Incision Types

Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the procedure. The type of incision made will depend on the amount of excess skin and its location. Common incision types include:

  • Inner arm incision – Runs along the inside of the arm; often used for those with a moderate amount of excess skin.
  • Back of the arm incision – Positioned on the arm’s back, it may be recommended based on your skin’s condition and personal preference.
  • Minimal incision – Near the armpit, suitable for patients with less skin excess.

The chosen incision type is strategically placed to minimize visible scarring post-surgery.

During Surgery

An arm lift procedure, performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Eko, involves several key steps:

  • Precise Incisions: Strategic incisions are made to remove excess fat, potentially utilizing liposuction for optimal results.
  • Skin Redefinition: Dr. Eko meticulously trims away surplus skin and tightens the underlying supportive tissues to achieve a toned appearance.
  • Sculpted Results: The refined arm contours are carefully redraped with your skin, ensuring a smoother, more defined look.
  • Secure Closure: Incisions are then securely closed with sutures.


Post-surgery, your arms will be wrapped in elastic bandages to minimize swelling and support your new arm contours. Drains may be temporarily placed to remove excess fluid. It’s normal to experience some discomfort, which can be managed with prescribed medication. 

Recovery time varies, but most patients can return to light activities within a week. Follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor healing. Full recovery and the final results can be appreciated after several weeks, following your surgeon’s care instructions closely to ensure optimal healing.

Schedule a Consultation

Have you decided to get an arm lift procedure to get the arm contour you want? If you live in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and the nearby areas of California, visit Eko Plastic Surgery today. Dr. Frederick Eko leads the practice and is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in body and breast procedures. Contact us to book your appointment.