After massive weight loss, my cosmetic surgery patients in Dallas have a variety of concerns related to loose, sagging skin. This is certainly apparent on the arms. Hanging skin on the upper arms is sometimes referred to as “bat wings.” My patients are thrilled when they discover that treatment for this common problem is actually quite simple – a procedure called brachioplasty (arm lift).
The Brachioplasty Procedure
During the brachioplasty procedure, an incision is made between the armpit and the elbow. The incision is used to remove excess skin and fat from around the arm. I minimize the visibility of post-surgical scars by placing the incision toward the inward-facing side of the arm, where it will be generally well hidden.
Surgery usually takes about 2 hours and can be performed as an outpatient procedure, as opposed to in a hospital. Patients should avoid exercise for several weeks, and should wear a compression garment for a period after surgery. However, complications are minimal, and most men and women are thrilled with their results.
“Mini” Arm Lift, Mini Results
Some patients come to me asking about a “mini brachioplasty” option. As I explain to them, the “mini” procedure uses a shorter incision. However, this procedure has some undesirable results. First, the degree of improvement possible is relatively minimal. Second, mobility can be impaired, even after recovery is complete. Therefore, I do not offer this option to my patients. The standard procedure provides more dramatic results with full mobility.