Body Surgery

Arm Lifting

Why have an Armlift?

The skin of the upper arm often looses tone, or is flabby as a normal consequence of the ageing process or following weight loss. The skin sags, creating a loose bag of skin that hangs from the lower side of the arm when the arm is extended. This is commonly known as bingo wings or bat wings. The cause of bat wings is ageing and gravity, loss of supporting fat and tissue or loss of muscle tone, in either case, the effect is sagging upper arm skin.

What is involved?

Arm reduction surgery removes the excess skin and fat from the arm. Some Surgeons adopt the technique of minimal incision using asymmetric ellipse. The incisions are placed in the most inconspicuous location. The surgery involves removing excess tissue to reduce the circumference of the upper arm. Liposculpture is some times used combined with skin and fat removal. An arm lift is one of the more extensive cosmetic procedures and requires a two night stay in hospital. However, the end result can be dramatic with an overall improvement in your body contours. After an arm lift you will probably need to convalesce for at least 14 days. If your job is quite strenuous involving lifting, I may advise a longer period.

Armlift Aftercare

After surgery

After surgery is completed, you will have small tubes positioned at either side of the incision (these are necessary to expel excess fluid and will taken out before you go home). A dressing is then placed over the incision. Drink plenty of water in the first 24hrs to replace fluid lost during the procedure. An Arm Lift requires a two-night stay at the hospital so your immediate recovery can be closely monitored by members of our medical team.

Your recovery

Recovery depends greatly on the extent of the procedure. Expect to feel sore and swollen for several weeks. You will need to wear a pressure garment for 6 weeks. Strenuous activity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks, but you must keep active to ensure good circulation. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks,some patients may experience swelling longer.

Post-op appointments

Post-operative follow-up is of paramount importance. Each patient undergoing Liposculpture surgery will be given post operative appointments for wound management and suture removal. Post-operative instructions are vital and we consider it very important that you adhere to them. Failing to follow these guidelines and attend your appointments can adversely affect the outcome of surgery and put your safety at risk. Following Liposculpturethe patient is asked to return on specified appointments. Occasionally it may be necessary to return more regularly than those stated.

Armlift Risks & Conditions


Most patients will experience pain following surgery, this certainly depends on the pain threshold of the patient. Painkillers are given after the surgery to control the discomfort, a further supply is dispensed at the time of your discharge. It has been reported that pain may appear during this period and can become permanent, although this is a rare occurrence.


Excessive swelling can separate the skin edges or even slough the skin. This is sometimes due to the wound being closed too tightly. Late swelling can be a collection of fluid (Edema).Patients should expect the arm skin and tissue to feel tight, swelling may drain down into hands / fingers. It is important to observe the swelling and color / feeling to hands. If the hand and fingers go black or the tissue feels cold, you should immediately seek medical advice and remove the garment.


Bruising can be excessive, draining down the arm.


Slow bleeding may collect under the skin forming a haematoma or seroma.


Can occur with any surgery. Most infections occur within the first few days or weeks following surgery. Personal hygiene is vital, effective hand washing greatly reduces transferring organisms from shared objects. Refrain from disturbing your dressing until I have reviewed you at your first out patients appointment.

Altered Sensation/Numbness

Damage to superficial nerves in the fat of the upper arm may cause numbnessor altered sensation, including painful sensations ie. Shooting pains / burning sensation/ pins and needles.


This is the most common complication following brachioplasty. If the scar is placed on the front or back surface of the arm it may be more visible. Excessive swelling can produce stretched scars or even hypertrophic thick scars. Some patients genetically predisposing to keloid scarring. Scars will undergo a natural maturation process involving a series of colour and texture changes over a period usually varying from 6 months to 2 years. No surgeon can guarantee the final outcome.

Contour Deformities

Some patients may experience small puckers or folds in the incision line, some develop dog ears ( excess skin formation at the end of incision site )Many of these deformities flatten out over time and with gentle massage. Occasionally revision surgery is required to remove the dog ear.

Delayed Healing

In a small percentage of patients complications of delayed healing can occur. All wounds heal at different rates, smokers are more likely to suffer from delayed healing. The wound initially appears to be healing well, but then the wound becomes red and a small hole appears. This is not a disaster, and with wound management it will heal spontaneously with regular dressings. However delayed healing can produce a wider heavier and some times stretched scar.


Expect some itching, this is normal following any surgery, the small sensory nerves which have been damaged, produce itching during the healing / growing stage.