Aging, extreme weight loss, and pregnancy can cause excess skin to form on various parts of our bodies, most prominently in the abdomen and thighs. Often overlooked is the excess skin on the undersides of the upper arms that creates what are popularly referred to as “bat wings.” Once the skin loses its elasticity, no amount of exercise will help in toning up the upper arms.

Thankfully, aesthetic plastic surgery procedures can help rectify the issue. If your arms are sagging because the skin has lost its elasticity and excess fat has appeared, you may need an arm lift. An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, involves the removal of excess sagging skin and then tightening and smoothing out the skin and underlying tissue to give the arms better definition and a firmer, more toned shape. It is often performed along with liposuction to remove excess subcutaneous fat.

The Arm Lift Procedure

Depending on the extent of sagging skin and excess fat, there are three methods of performing an arm lift procedure. In the case of sagging arms caused by aging or moderate weight loss, the mini arm lift is often a suitable procedure. It involves minimal removal of subcutaneous fat and loose skin. It is also called the limited-incision brachioplasty. In this procedure, a small incision is made, through which excess fat is removed and loose skin is tightened. The incision is easily hidden, since it is in the armpit.

A more extensive procedure is the full arm lift, also known as the standard brachioplasty, which is suitable for patients who have had considerable weight loss after bariatric surgery. It involves an incision made on the underside of the arm, from the armpit to the elbow. The longer incisions allow the surgeon to tighten and smooth out more skin than with the mini arm lift.

The most extensive procedure is the extended brachioplasty, where incisions are made from the armpit to the elbow and then from the armpit down to chest. Patients with massive weight loss may require this option.

Recovery and Results

Brachioplasty surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. There will be post-surgical swelling and discomfort, for which medication can be prescribed by the surgeon. Bandages and a compression garment will be applied, which will help reduce swelling as well as aid in achieving the new structure of the arms.

Stitches and bandages are usually removed within two weeks. Regular activities can be resumed within a week, but any rigorous activity involving the arms should be left until at least four weeks after the surgery. Swelling and bruising should subside within three to four weeks.

The results of the arm lift procedure will be visible after the bruising and swelling have subsided, with full results showing between six and twelve months after surgery.

Give Yourself the Sculpted Arms You Deserve

With an arm lift, you can get the upper arms you’ve been dreaming of. Contact our office to arrange your consultation. Dr. Carl Lentz, a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience, will be happy to answer any questions you may have.