What Is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a surgical cosmetic procedure designed to improve the appearance of the arms of someone who is experiencing sagging, excess skin or unwanted fat in the upper arm area. It is performed under anesthesia and is a permanent solution to those problems that do not require maintenance other than living a healthy lifestyle. 

Why Do We Need Arm Lifts?

Some pockets of fat are resistant to diet and exercise, but even if we were to be able to remove unwanted fat in the arms, it is likely that the excess amount of skin would still pose an aesthetic concern for most people.

Unfortunately, there is no other option, surgical or nonsurgical, that can come close to producing the same caliber of results that an arm lift does. This lack of options is why arm lifts are such a breakthrough for people who are dealing with this condition. 

Am I a Candidate for an Arm Lift?

Most people are candidates for an arm lift, but the best candidates are those who: 

  • – Do not smoke or use nicotine
  • – Do not consume excessive alcohol 
  • – Maintain healthy a weight
  • – Have an active lifestyle
  • – Are free from certain preexisting conditions
  • – Have healthy expectation

How Should I Prepare for an Arm Lift?

Before having your arm lift performed, you may need to have some preliminary testing done to ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery. This can include lab testing, simple medical evaluations and a review of your medical history. You may also be asked to adjust certain medications or stop them entirely if they pose a risk during your procedure. This will only be done if it is safe to do so. 

You should always stop smoking as soon as possible before having your procedure performed. Nicotine can create additional surgical risks and damage your body’s natural ability to heal, leading to poor wound healing and more obvious scars. 

We always recommend that our patients set up a recovery station wherever they will be doing their surgical recovery. Near the bed you will be resting in, make sure to stock plenty of water, snacks, electronics, chargers, books, magazines, medications, etc. This will prevent you from overexerting yourself in the early stages of your recovery. 

What Should I Expect from the Arm Lift Procedure?

A standard arm lift can be broken into four separate parts: anesthesia, incisions, correction and closure. Here is a breakdown of each of those steps:


The first step in surgery like an arm lift is to administer anesthesia to the patient. Typically, either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used. While this will be decided on early in the consultation process, both options will ensure that you are comfortable and safe during the procedure. 


There are three incisions that can be used, depending on your specific needs and aesthetic goals. The three options are an inner arm incision, back of arm incision, and minimal incision, which is only made underneath the armpit.  


Through these incision patterns, your surgeon will be able to remove excess skin, tissue and fat in order to create a more streamlined contour. This will remove the appearance of sagginess or overly large arms and provide you with your ideal arm shape. 


After all of your correction has been made, your incisions will be closed with sutures or stitches. You may also have some drainage tubes attached to help prevent fluid build-up. 

What Should I Expect During Arm Lift Recovery?

Comparatively, arm lifts have a shorter recovery period than other cosmetic surgeries like body lifts or facelifts. Usually, most patients will experience a full recovery within about two to three weeks. In the first few days, the swelling, soreness, bruising and discomfort will be the most intense. Many people are able to manage these side effects with over-the-counter medication, but prescriptions are available from your surgeon when necessary. 

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from an Arm Lift?

Your results are permanent, and you can expect to have a significantly improved arm contour that will fit more harmoniously with your aesthetic goals. Future weight fluctuation can create additional aesthetic issues, however, so it is best to make sure to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle as much as possible. 

Can I Combine My Arm Lift with Other Procedures?

Arms lifts are often a part of a larger treatment plan. Many people who are having an arm lift done will also look to address similar sagging and excess fat elsewhere with procedures like a body lift, thigh lift or tummy tuck. Many mothers come to our office post-pregnancy and nursing to reverse the changes that were done to their bodies. These surgeries are known as Mommy Makeovers, and an arm lift is a very popular inclusion in that series of treatments. 

By combining multiple surgeries, you are not only saving yourself time in recovery and on the operating table, but you can likely also save a fair amount of cash by only having to pay for factors like anesthesia and facilities once. 

How Much Does an Arm Lift Cost?

If you would like an exact estimate, you can schedule a consultation with our office so that one of our medical staff can review your condition thoroughly and let you know exactly what price you will be looking at. 

We always recommend avoiding “budget” practices that claim to get the same results at a fraction of the cost. Typically, those practices do not have an abundance of training and their patients often end up at our office anyway for revision surgery. 

Stunning Arm Lift Results at South Shore Plastic Surgery

If you are ready to learn more about how an arm lift can help you achieve that look you’ve always desired, give our New Jersey office a call at (856) 784-2639. You can also fill out our online contact form if you would prefer a member of our team to reach out to you at a more convenient time. We are looking forward to being your partner throughout this journey!