Are Arm Lifts Permanent?

Age. Weight loss. The old family tree. All of these factors can contribute to sagging upper arms. Though they no doubt give great hugs, sagging upper arms (also known as bat wings!) can make wearing sleeveless dresses, shirts, and swimsuits uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Unfortunately, sagging upper arms don’t respond to diet and exercise. That’s because loose skin and tissue and localized fat deposits can only be corrected through surgery. If you’re considering an arm lift, you might be wondering: are arm lifts permanent? Or are they as fleeting as a Wisconsin summer? Here’s what you can expect after arm lift surgery and how to make your results last as long as possible.

  • The Arm Lift Procedure: What to Expect
  • How Long Will an Arm Lift Last?
  • Achieve Long-Lasting Results with a Healthy Lifestyle

The Arm Lift Procedure: What to Expect

The arm lift procedure, also known as a brachioplasty generally lasts between two and three hours. It’s performed under general anesthetic, so you’ll be asleep through the whole process. 

To begin the surgery, Dr. Bartell makes incisions on the underside of the upper arm, usually from the armpit to the elbow. He will remove any excess fat using liposuction, as well as any excess skin. After tightening the underlying tissues, Dr. Bartell then closes the incision with fine, absorbable stitches. A dressing and drain is placed and the upper arms are wrapped with elastic bandages.

After surgery, you’ll spend a short time in the recovery area before going home. You will need someone to drive you home from the surgery center and stay with you for at least 24 hours.

For further reading: Supporting Your Support Person 

After the procedure, you’ll need to wear bandages for 2-3 weeks for optimal healing. You can return to desk work after 5-7 days. It will take some time for your final results to show. But when your healing is complete, you’ll enjoy sleeker, more toned upper arms that have a more youthful appearance. The vast majority of patients are very pleased with their arm lift results.

How Long Will an Arm Lift Last?

You can expect the results of your arm lift to last many years. Dr. Bartell usually tells patients that cosmetic surgery turns back the clock 7-10 years! And although skin naturally loses elasticity over time, because excess skin and tissue was removed during the procedure, your arms will look tauter down the road than if you hadn’t had an arm lift. 

Achieve Long-Lasting Results with a Healthy Lifestyle

The longevity of your personal results, though, depend on genetics and the natural elasticity of your skin. But it also depends on lifestyle choices. Maintaining a stable weight and moderate exercise routine are essential for making your results last as long as possible. Gaining weight will diminish the results of your procedure.

Eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and only moderate alcohol intake can also help improve your skin’s appearance and the look of your upper arms.

Arm Lifts in Madison, Wisconsin

If you’ve lost a lot of weight or inherited your mom’s bat wings (!), there is help available. Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Thomas Bartell, below-the-neck body recontouring specialist. At your appointment, Dr. Bartell will answer any questions you have and show you real before-and-after photos of his brachioplasty patients so you can get an idea of the kinds of results Dr. Bartell can achieve for you.

Dr. Bartell focuses solely on below-the-neck body recontouring procedures, including arm lifts in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Bartell Body Recontouring Specialist

6418 Normandy Lane, Suite 210
Madison, WI 53719
United States (US)
Fax: (608) 271-0502


Are Arm Lifts Permanent? brought to you by Dr. Thomas Bartell