The recovery period after an arm lift generally is one to two weeks. During the first week after surgery, you must avoid strenuous activity, including bending and lifting. The incision locations must be protected from impact, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. The swelling will be mild to moderate, and peaks at two to three days. You may return to work in a week, and resume exercise after two weeks.
More strenuous activities and contact sports can be resumed after a month. This procedure will leave scars. For a mini arm tuck, the scar is a small, crescent-shaped line hidden in the armpit. The scar for a standard arm tuck, however, is a permanent scar extending the length of the upper arm, from the armpit to the elbow. If the scar is placed on the inner side of the arm, it will be hidden when the arms are in a normal pose.
The severity of the scar is difficult to predict, but will be worsened if recovery instructions are not followed. In any event, patients must be aware that visible scars will be the tradeoff for their smaller and firmer upper arms.