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As we age, the skin in the upper arms changes that can lead to sagging and drooping. Also, losing a lot of weight can lead to sagging upper arms.

While exercise can help you lose weight and weight lifting can tone the muscles, neither can address the excess, sagging skin in the upper arms.

You might consider an arm lift to remove the extra skin and tissue from the upper arms, and the procedure also can boost your self-confidence.

While San Antonio liposuction can remove some fat from the upper arms, it won’t address sagging skin, so an arm lift may be necessary for ideal results.

Arm Lift Procedure

Your arm lift procedure begins with IV or general anesthesia for your comfort. Then your surgeon will perform the following:


The pattern and length of the incision depend on how much skin will be removed and where. Most incisions are on the inside of the patient’s arm or the back of their arm, and they usually extend from the armpit to above the elbow.

Your surgeon may also use liposuction to remove fat before the extra skin is removed. After the skin is removed, the underlying tissues are tightened and held in place with internal sutures.

Closing Incisions

The incisions are closed with stitches or absorbable sutures that are taken out after about two weeks.

The results from your arm lift will be noticeable the first day, but there will be swelling and bruising that takes at least two or three months to resolve.

Arm Lift Risks

When you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, arm lift surgery is safe and effective. But every surgery has risks. Your surgeon will talk to you about these and other potential arm lift surgery risks:


You will have permanent incision scars but are usually in areas that people can’t easily see. It’s possible your scars could be raised and red after they heal, but this doesn’t usually happen.


After surgery, one arm could be bigger than the other; this sometimes happens as the arms heal.

Your plastic surgeon will try to make your arms as symmetrical as possible, but perfect symmetry is achievable.

Skin Sensation Changes

During the procedure, changing the position of arm tissue can affect some of the nerves. So, you may have some temporary numbness, but this should resolve over time.

Problems With Stitches

Your surgeon will use stitches to secure the new shape of your arms. But the stitches may work to the skin’s surface and need to be taken out. This can lead to skin inflammation, and occasionally, additional surgery may be required.

Also, like any surgery, having an arm lift has risks of bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia.

You also shouldn’t have an arm lift if you need to lose a lot of weight, change your weight often, or smoke.

Arm Lift Recovery

Your incisions will be covered with elastic bandages after the procedure to reduce swelling. You also may have drains in place to remove extra blood and fluid, but these are removed after a few days.

You’ll probably have someone from the plastic surgery office check your incisions after a few days and will remove your bandages. However, some surgeons have their arm lift patients wear compression sleeves for three or four weeks to reduce swelling.

In the first few days after surgery, you should:

  • Avoid putting your arms over your head for at least three weeks.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity that could stretch the incisions. You should take it easy for at least four to eight weeks.
  • Take pain medication if you need it.

Arm Lift Ideal Candidates

The best candidates for an arm lift:

  • Can take a few weeks off for recovery: Going back to work or working out too soon can affect the incisions and results.
  • Are near their goal weight: Weight fluctuations can lead to more sagging skin and hamper your results.
  • Are in good health: Chronic health problems need to be controlled for ideal surgical outcomes.
  • Have realistic expectations: Arm lift surgery is effective but leaves scars. It’s helpful to review before and after pictures of your surgeon’s past patients so you know what to expect.

An arm lift will remove loose skin and make your arms more sculpted and toned. The results will last for years as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, so it’s a good choice for many people.

Also, many patients decide to have other procedures with their arm lift, such as San Antonio breast augmentation, San Antonio tummy tuck, or a San Antonio thigh lift.

Request An Arm Lift Consultation

Interested in an arm lift in San Antonio? Dr. Scott J Farber or Dr. Amita Shah of Hill Country Plastic Surgery can help. They will consult with you about an arm lift and determine if this procedure will work for you.


Arm Lift Overview. (2019). Accessed at

About Arm Lift. (n.d.). Accessed at

Arm Lift Procedure. (n.d.). Accessed at

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