What to Expect during Your Arm Lift Recovery By Constance M. Barone, M.D. on November 28, 2016

Slim ArmsArm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, can eliminate excess skin and fat in the upper arms to give you more tone and definition. One of the many questions patients have is how long the arm lift recovery will take. Dr. Constance Barone addresses these questions at her San Antonio, TX office during patient consultations and throughout the surgical process.

One of the most important factors to keep in mind is that recovery times will vary. Your total recovery time will depend on the extent of your individual procedure, as well as how your body heals. Following Dr. Barone’s post-operative instructions is the best way to ensure a timely recovery.

Arm Lift Recovery Timeline

Patients can expect the following timeline after arm lift surgery.


Dr. Barone may place drains at your incision sites to eliminate excess fluid. You must empty and clean these as instructed to avoid infection. You must also carefully clean and change your bandages as directed. You will need to avoid showering for the first 24 to 48 hours. You may experience pain and swelling during this time. Dr. Barone will provide you with pain medication to ease your discomfort.

While you should limit your activity for a few weeks post-surgery, light activities such as walking are beneficial. Walking and other recommended activities help improve blood flow to prevent clots and promote overall healing.

Weeks One and Two

You should expect to take at least two weeks off from work. Some patients may need just one week while others may require up to three weeks. It is best to plan for two and then make adjustments as needed depending on your progress. You should expect to avoid driving for one to two weeks, or until you stop taking pain medication. You will return to our office for your first follow-up appointment the week after your surgery. At this time, Dr. Barone will remove your stitches and examine your incisions. You should continue walking and other light activities, but limit your arm movements so you avoid re-opening your incisions.

Weeks Four to Six

Four weeks post-surgery, you will return for another follow-up appointment. Dr. Barone will again evaluate your arms and incisions to make note of your healing progress. At this point, patients can typically begin incorporating more intense physical activity back into their routines. You should continue to avoid strenuous exercises, such as strength training, for a full six weeks. Typically after six weeks, you can resume all your normal activities.

Long-term Recovery

Everyone’s bodies heal at different paces, so it is important to have patience with yourself. It may take up to a full year before your scars begin to fade and you truly see the results of your arm lift. You will continue to meet with Dr. Barone for periodic follow-ups. She can address any concerns you may have about your healing or scarring. To maintain your results long term, we recommend doing your best to avoid significant weight fluctuations.

Schedule Your Arm Lift Consultation Today

If you are unhappy with your arms due to a saggy or flabby appearance, contact our plastic surgery office today.

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Dr. Constance Barone

Dr. Constance Barone

Dr. Constance Barone in San Antonio, TX, and her team pride themselves in delivering safe, compassionate care tailored to your individual needs. She has been voted one of the Top Plastic Surgeons in America and her professional affiliations include:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

To schedule a consultation and learn more about how Dr. Barone can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, contact our office online, or call (210) 614-0400.

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