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How long do arms swell after brachioplasty or arm lift surgery?

Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure option if you want to sculpt your body for a firmer, smoother upper arm area. This arm lift plastic surgery procedure can help correct sagging and loose skin due to significant weight loss or aging. Brachioplasty can incorporate liposuction which primarily removes excess adipose fatty tissue in the body that usually creates a batwing which is a dreadful appearance. Brachioplasty can also help bring back a more contoured and firmer shape to your upper arms; hence, giving you the sheer confidence without being hesitant about wearing a bathing suit or sleeveless shirt. However, it is noteworthy that when you undergo Brachioplasty, you will experience downtime in the recovery process. Learn more how long do arms swell after you undergo Brachioplasty.

What should I expect after a brachioplasty or arm lift surgery?

Patients who have undergone Brachioplasty recover at their own pace; hence, there is no definite period when you will be fully recovered from the plastic surgery procedure. However, patients should plan to take about one or two weeks off from work and get rid of normal activities. In the post-operative procedure, it is completely usual to experience post-surgical bruising, swelling, tightness, and soreness. As for the swelling, you should expect that it will be present in the target area for up to six months; however, it will continue to subside as healing gradually progresses. The definite period of the duration of wearing a compression garment after arm lift surgery varies from one patient to another. You may be asked to wear compression garments for about three to six weeks to help control bruising, swelling, and other side effects. This will also allow your arms to properly recover. Moreover, you will be encouraged to use pillows to keep your arms elevated, increase your blood circulation, and help reduce possible swelling during the day and at night.

How can I sleep after an arm lift surgery?

Suited for most people undergoing Brachioplasty, the most ideal position for sleeping following the surgery is to sleep on your back in a reclining position for the first two weeks while keeping your arms fully elevated with the aid of some pillows. This way, it will ensure the drainage of fluids from your upper extremities which lessens the risk of inflammation in the surrounding soft tissue in the incision area. To maintain an elevated position, it is ideal to have a reclining chair as it is considered the preferred place to sleep for the initial few weeks after you undergo Brachioplasty. However, if you do not have a recliner at home, you can also sleep on a sofa or use a 45-degree wedge on a bed while keeping your arms fully elevated with the aid of some pillows and bending the elbows slightly.

How long should I take off from work?

Following the arm lift surgery procedure, you are required to take adequate time to recover for your body to heal properly. This entails proper rest and adequate sleep in an elevated position so that your body can fully recover. Getting enough quality sleep after an arm lift plastic surgery procedure is a vital part of the healing process. With this, you are required to schedule one or two weeks off-duty to fully recover from arm lift surgery. Sometimes, it is hard for you to find a comfortable and beneficial recovery procedure that is ideal for you. The process of how you sleep following an arm lift surgery is vital both for your recovery and the results of the plastic surgery procedure per se.

Arm lift recovery tips

Brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, is the ideal plastic surgery procedure body you need when you want to get rid of your drooping skin primarily due to excessive weight loss or aging. An upper arm lift is a body sculpting procedure that targets loose and excess skin in your upper arm area. You can also opt to add liposuction to remove some excess adipose fatty deposits for your holistic arm sculpting results. During the recovery process, you may need to wear a compression garment to keep swelling down, alongside post-surgical bandages. It is essential to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the first few days to help you with assistance during your recovery period. Patients should also do the following:
  • Strictly follow post-operative and detailed instructions given by the plastic surgeon. There will be bandages around your arm on post - surgery. You may have to wear a compression garment which helps keep any swelling down. Because of the anesthesia and post-operative pain medication, it is also essential to have someone drive you home and help take care of you during the first few days of your arm surgery recovery process. There are other instructions that will be given by your plastic surgeon; hence, you need to strictly follow them for your benefit.
  • Use enough pillows to maintain proper arm positions and elevated position when you sleep both day and night.
  • Consume many fluids following the plastic surgery procedure to help speed up the recovery process. Staying well-hydrated for months after surgery will help you speed up your recovery time following the procedure.
  • Get rid of any strenuous activities or any physical activities that may include lifting or bearing weights over your head.
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable that preferably have buttons or zip-up; get rid of tight clothes.
  • Strictly monitor your diet. Eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet to help speed up your recovery process. It is also vital to maintain a stable weight.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes during the recovery period as it slows down your recovery process and can result in a thick scar. A surgical scar is an unavoidable part of any surgery but it will gradually fade over time.

Does brachioplasty or arm lift surgery leave scars?

Just like most plastic surgical procedures, Brachioplasty or arm lift procedures will require you to undergo incisions to get rid of excess fats and skin from the target area. The incisions that will be done by the board-certified plastic surgeon will gradually fade and eventually heal to normal skin. You will expect at least 12 months following the plastic surgery procedure for the scares to fade. It is imperative for men and women who have undergone Brachioplasty to get rid of direct sun exposure. Dr. Carlos Spera--a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami highly recommends you to apply sunscreen to protect your incision sites. This greatly helps you avoid scar tissue from discoloration. Moreover, patients who will undergo an arm lift procedure must be aware that the scarring may be lengthy in size and that it will gradually heal. It can take you at least a few months or even a year before the scar is less noticeable and more skin tone in color. While most patients who undergo the plastic surgery procedure will see some initial results following the arm lift surgery, swelling will obstruct the full outcome for about six weeks. But, patients can begin to enjoy the results of the procedure once most of the major swelling subsides.


An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Spera will ensure every patient leaves his office loving how they look. With years of renowned experience in plastic surgery and thousands of satisfied customers served, Dr. Carlos Spera, a renowned board-certified plastic surgeon, and his experienced team offer Brachioplasty body contouring procedures to achieve your aesthetic goals. If you are considering Brachioplasty, learn about arm lift recovery tips, the procedure process, and what you can expect with post-operative swelling, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Carlos Spera today and let our experienced team help you.

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