Arm lift or Arm tuck

Raise your arms and if you could see an excess saggy skin extending from your axilla to your elbow is an indication for an arm tuck. This can be noticeable and needs correction. The upper arm surgery also referred to as brachioplasty medically is a cosmetic procedure aimed at surgically improving the appearance of your upper arms. Upper arms are prone for sagging due to many factors like rapid weight loss, aging and genetics. Hence brachioplasty has become one of the most rapidly growing operations in plastic surgery. It improves contour and tightens the underlying tissue that support the fat and skin in these regions.

Patients closest to their desired or ideal body weight are suitable to undergo the procedure.

Indications for an arm lift:

  • If you have significant excess skin in your upper arms following bariatric surgery, dieting or exercise induced weight loss.
  • If you have loose skin / cellulite in the upper arms
  • If you have extreme skin laxity and sagginess of the upper arms
  • If excess skin in arms restricts activities and cause rashes or infections

This is usually carried out under general anaesthetic. Whether the surgery will involve only liposuction or a skin excision will be decided by the surgeon during your initial consultation and examination. Although minimal amounts of fat can be removed along with your excess skin, an arm lift is not intended to remove significant fat deposits. Keep in mind that you should be stabilized at or near your ideal weight before having an arm lift surgery.

What to expect:

  • Feeling drowsy following waking up from anaesthesia.
  • Sore throat.
  • Discomfort will be maximal in the first 3 days, which will improve thereafter.
  • You may experience temporary pain and numbness, tightness and some discomfort for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Sutures may be present for 5 to 7 days post surgery.
  • You might experience swelling even for a few weeks after suture removal.
  • The scar may remain red and raised for 3 to 4 months.


Incision and the scars post- surgery plays an important role in brachioplasty. Incision type depends on the amount of excess skin to be removed and its location which will be decided and explained to the patients during the initial consultations. An incision can be placed in either one of the below locations:

  • Inside of the arm.
  • Back of the arm.
  • From the underarm to just above the elbows.

The scar varies according to the incision. Sometimes there may be a partial incision for minimal sagginess. These incisions are closed in multiple layers.

Recovery & Downtime:

  • Most patients can return to nonstrenuous work after a couple of weeks.
  • Exercise should not be resumed until at least four to six weeks have passed and only after your surgeons opinion.
  • As with all surgery, it is important to understand that these guidelines can vary widely based on the patient’s personal health and habits, the techniques used, and other possible factors related to the surgery.
  • Stay nicotine free for three weeks POST surgery, as nicotine can adversely affect your ability to heal.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure to scars the first year.