How Long Should I Wait to Consult My Surgeon About the Loose Skin Post-Op Arm Lift?

I had an armlift nearly 3 weeks ago and have been wearing a compression garment. I know its early days but my arms are really loose still and still have a lot of wobble for a better word. How long should I wait. Everyone said its probably swelling but I cant see that myself. I dont think they took enough. I am so disappointed, and upset about it, how long should I wait before contacting my surgeon.

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling In The Immediate Post-operative Period

It's not unusual for patients to have questions about their operative procedure following surgery. When this situation arises, it's important that patients have good communication with their plastic surgeon. It's important that their questions be answered promptly. This will ultimately lower anxiety and make this a better overall experience.

It's important to realize that swelling is normal following brachioplasty. Wound healing is a dynamic process which can last for 12 to 18 months following surgery. During this time, swelling slowly resolves and scars gradually soften and lose their redness.

Although there is the possibility that you might need revisional surgery to remove additional tissue, it's still far too early to know. Under these circumstances, it's important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon and make sure all your questions are answered.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Arm lift arm reduction brachioplasty arm liposuction arm scar revision massive weight loss

Congratulations on undergoing an arm lift or brachioplasty.  It is still way too early to make any decisions. I would visit with your plastic surgeon and let him know of your concerns. I would visit your plastic surgeon on a monthly basis. I would wear compression garments for 2 to 3 months. Compression garments will help to minimize arm edema after an arm lift.  If after six months you still are unsatisfied with your results, I would then suggest a revision arm lift.  During this arm lift revision, I would suggest aggressive liposuction then skin excision.  
When I perform an arm lift, I always perform arm liposuction.  This is then followed during the same surgery with  skin and fat excision. Please check with your plastic surgeon to determine if arm liposuction was performed during your arm lift.
Good luck and congratulations on undergoing an arm lift.

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Revision Arm Lifting?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

I would suggest keeping your regular follow-up with your plastic surgeon. I would also suggest waiting at least 6 months before undergoing revisionary surgery. In the meantime continue your diet and exercise program.

Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews


Your problem is fat in the arms. If your surgeon took more skin he/she would not have been able to close the skin.

You need to loose that fat to get a good result. Loosing the weight is either by liposuction or massive weight loss, then repeat the brachioplasty. Looking at your incision , the Z plasty your doctor did well with what he had to work with.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Loose skin after arm lift

It is still early In the healing process so undoubtedly you still have some swelling. Continue to wear your compression sleeve as directed by your surgeon. Sometimes it is not possible to tighten the arm skin as much as you would like . If after you have healed, there is additional skin that can be removed to improve the result you may be a candidate for a revision . Try to be patient and call your doctor or go in so that he or she can address your concerns, and guide you through your recovery.

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.