Arm Lift: Surgery

 Arm Lift = Excess skin removal from the upper arms.

The skin on the upper arms becomes loose and is a very common aesthetic problem.

An arm lift can offer a solution.

Possible causes:

  • Reduced elasticity of the skin
  • Reduced muscle volume
  • Excess skin following weight loss

Arm Lifting is a procedure which is performed under intravenous sedation. The treatment can usually be performed on an outpatient basis. Sometimes an overnight stay at the kliniek is necessary. After the procedure you will usually have to wear an elastic arm bandage for between 3-6 weeks.

The position of the scar is usually vertical on the inside of the upper arm. Sometimes it is necessary to extend the scar to the inside of the armpit.

An arm lift (skin reduction) can also be combined with fat removal: liposculpture of the upper arms

Arm lift - before Arm lift - after

Arm lift


  •  Skin reduction both upper arms
Arm lift + Liposculpture - before Arm lift + Liposculpture - after

Arm lift + Liposculpture


  • Skin reduction both upper arms

  • Excess skin removal


During the consultation the plastic surgeon will discuss all aspects of the treatment with you: which arm lift correction technique is best for you, the expected results, the position and length of the scar and necessary aftercare. The doctor will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the treatment.

Risks and Complications

Thanks to modern sedation techniques complications are rare. General surgical complications which can occur after any operation are: post-operative bleeding, infections, sensory disturbance, thrombosis, a wound which refuses to heal properly or an allergic reaction. Specific complications for arm lifting procedures are: scars which don't heal properly, skin discolouration after bruising and fluid retention. It is important that you stop smoking before the operation to avoid any undesirable complications. 

Anaesthetic: New technique - safe surgery! No need for a general anaesthetic

In the past a procedure to lift the skin of the upper arms was a serious operation. The procedure required a general anaesthetic, sometimes a few days in hospital and often a blood transfusion. The recovery process for such a procedure would have a dramatic and long-term effect on your lifestyle.

A new operating technique means that the arm lift correction has now become considerably safer and much less of an invasive procedure: 

  • First we use a special liquid to anaesthetise the area to be treated (infiltration).
  • This means you feel nothing at all during the operation.
  • Only a light intravenous sedation is then needed to make you sleep.
  • A general anaesthetic, with its unpleasant side-effects is unnecessary.
  • The liquid stems blood loss, which means that the operation is less invasive.
  • A few hours after the operation you are fit and well.
  • You can usually return home the same day. 

Arm lifting (excess skin removal from under the upper arms) can be performed under intravenous sedation. A general anaesthetic is unnecessary. The greatest advantage of intravenous sedation is that it is a far safer technique than a general anaesthetic. During the operation you are asleep and feel nothing at all. A few hours after the procedure you are fit and well, and are spared the often unpleasant side-effects of a general anaesthetic. You can usually return home or to your hotel the same evening after your procedure. 


Before the doctor begins the arm lift procedure, he carefully marks the skin that he will remove. He also carefully marks the position of the incisions, where the scars will be.

After the procedure the incisions are bandaged. You will be given a special arm bandage for which you were measured in advance. Then you will be taken to the recovery room with heart-monitoring equipment. You can usually be taken to your private room an hour later.  

Arm Lift - Scars

  • The surgeon makes a Y-shaped incision on the inside of the upper arm.
  • Sometimes the incision ends in a T-shape in the armpit.
  • The saggy skin is carefully detached from the subcutaneous layers of muscle and fat.
  • The skin is lifted and any excess skin is removed.
  • The subcutaneous tissue is stitched one layer at a time with dissolvable thread.
  • The skin is carefully and skillfully stitched together with non-dissolvable thread.

You need to take into account that after having an arm lift there will be a visible scar: sometimes running from the armpit to the elbow. The scar becomes less noticeable over time, but will always be visible to a certain extent.

For the first 3 months after the procedure the scar will be red and lumpy. Then it will start to look less angry. After 12-18 months the scar is fully mature. Until then it is important that you protect the scar from the sun.

 Aftercare and Recovery:

Following your treatment you will be given special aftercare instructions. It is important that someone comes to pick you up because you are not permitted to drive after an arm lift correction.

You will be given individual advice about wearing the elastic arm bandage day and night for between 3-6 weeks. The compression bandage provides support, prevents swelling, and accelerates the healing process of the scar and the skin.

The first days following an arm lift procedure you will experience some swelling. Wearing the compression bandage is often somewhat unpleasant during this time. But then the swelling subsides and the support provided by the compression bandage is comfortable.

  • The compression bandage dries quickly so you can wash and dry it in 1 hour.
  • The scar must be kept dry until the stitches have been removed.
  • The external stitches are removed between 1 and 3 weeks after the procedure.
  • Then you may shower with lukewarm water, but not yet take a bath.
  • The subcutaneous stitches are dissolvable.
  • After the procedure you will be prescribed a 3 day course of antibiotics.
  • Allow yourself at least 2 weeks to rest after the procedure.
  • After one week you may resume some light daily activities.
  • After 6 weeks you may resume your sporting activities and lifting.


Soon after the procedure the skin will look firmer. When the swelling has subsided you will be able to see the results. This will take about 6 weeks. The end result is only visible when the wound, the subcutaneous tissue and the scar are all completely healed. This will take about a year.

 The results of an arm lift correction are permanent.

Plastic Surgery Arm Lift
Is the treatment suitable for me?

 Your decision to have arm correction surgery must be well-founded. The exact position of the scar and the details of your post-operative recovery must be discussed in advance in detail.

The doctor will examine all the possibilities and advise you on the best solution to achieve a great result in your particular case.

To make an appointment for a no-obligation consultation it is best to contact us by phone.

We try to keep our waiting lists as short as possible. We can usually see you within 6 weeks for arm lift surgery.

TOP destination : Premium Private Health Care in Belgium


All plastic surgeons and dentists are experts in their cosmetic fied and are fully government registered in their medical specialty.

Wellness Kliniek Belgium stands for safe surgery. The hospital disposes of cabinets for aesthetic dental treatments, operating theatre rooms equipped with high-tech equipment for surgery, recovery care and private patient rooms.

Quality of care is assured. Wellness Kliniek Belgium carries the international standards organization quality certificate ISO 9001 / EN 15224 for all its medical and surgical activities. 

Rates are from the best in Europe and are all-care- inclusive, but they do not include any VAT. Since January 1, 2016 the VAT exemption for aesthetic surgery and treatments has changed. As a result of this change, the VAT exemption will be applicable only for treatments that aim at the 'medical care' of patients ( and are as such included in the Belgian INAMI nomenclature). In the absence of such a target,  21 % VAT will be applied. 

Planning your medical trip has never been easier! For people who have to travel a considerable distance, the clinic offers a unique Next-Day-Surgery service: your consultation and operation on consecutive days.

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