Arm lift: do I need to wear my compression garment or can I use compression bandage instead?

I have had an arm lift about 2 weeks ago and I'm currently using a compression garment which covers my arms only, however it's rubbing on my armpit scars so I have bought some compression bandages instead and this has stopped the rubbing is this OK? Or does it literally have to be the compression garment that I have to wear for this procedure

Doctor Answers 9

Arm Lift/ Brachioplasty/Skin Tightening/ Body Contouring/ High Definition Procedures

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Compression garments after arm lift surgery.

It is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon. Your surgeon knows exactly what type of procedure you had and has the ability to examine you and make more precise recommendations. In our practice,immediately after the operation, compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit. These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively and replaced by elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Most patients wear these for up for up to 4 weeks postoperatively. No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively. Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon. They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown. Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best results. In the last several years improvements have been made in the performance of brachioplasty (arm lift) resulting in better results and more acceptable scars. These improvements includes more precise incision placement, better closure techniques and use of post operative scar reducing systems. With greater attention to these details the benefits of arm lift surgery can be achieved with more acceptable scarring than in the past.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Arm lift arm reduction arm liposuction brachioplasty excess arm skin arm fat arm compression garment arm compression bandage

Hi Lilhead,Thank you for your question about arm lift compression garments.  Until the entire arm lift incision has healed, I would use compression bandages.  This may take two to four weeks after you arm lift.  Once the arm lift incision has healed, I have my patients wear an arm lift compression garment.  If the garment rubs in the arm pit, place a pad to protect the incision. After an arm lift,  I have my patients wear an arm compression garment for six to eight weeks.  Arm garments help to flatten the arm lift scar, reduce swelling, and accelerate healing.  Thank you for your question regarding arm lift compression garments and arm lift compression bandages. If you have any further questions regarding arm compression garments, please call my office.Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Arm lift - can I use wraps instead of the garment

Thank you for asking about your arm lift.
  • Great question - never wear a garment that is uncomfortable!
  • I have not used garments for armlifts for 20 years because of the discomfort.
  • You will do just as well with a compression wrap - 
  • Just let your surgeon know what you are doing so s/he stays up-to-date.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Compression garments for arms

It is important that adequate compression be achieved to minimize recovery time and promote good scarring. The exact garment is less important. I would take both garments in to have your plastic surgeon evaluate - perhaps the first garment can be modified to avoid the armpit. Best of luck, Dr. Meghan Nadeau, Seattle, WA

Meghan Nadeau, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Arm lift: do I need to wear my compression garment or can I use compression bandage instead?

Thank you for your question.  The main thing here regardless of which is used is that compression needs to be effective.  Be sure to ask you surgeon about which to use.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Compression Garment

Hello, please make sure to check with your surgeon before changing your post-op care instructions.  I usually see better results with the arm compression garment.  For the armpit area where the garment is rubbing on your incision, you can place gauze there as a barrier.  This helps reduce chafing and scar irritation.

A.K. Bhattacharya, MD, FACS
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews


I agree with my colleague that the type of compression is less important that the effectiveness of the compression.  Consequently, many surgeons believe that garments and wraps can be interchangeable, so long as they are providing smooth, even, support.  Certainly, it is desirable to avoid irritating the incisions.  The problem with arm wraps, however, is they are often difficult to apply, and it can be hard to provide even compression.  I would recommend discussing your garment choice with your surgeon, in order to get the best guidance.  Best wishes for an easy recovery!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Any form of compression works

Hi, I just added a link that might be helpful

Hi.  Difficult to answer with certainty since the extent of your lift and scars are unknown.  However, as long as you are controlling the swelling, any garment or wrap should be sufficient. You are correct in that irritation on the scar should be avoided. Check with your plastic surgeon as well.  Good luck,

Vaishali B. Doolabh, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 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.