A brachioplasty, or an arm lift, is a surgical procedure to reshape the arms.
Loose skin of the arms sometimes known as “bat wings” can occur after significant weight loss or advancing age.
Patients interested in this procedure are looking to produce a more youthful and athletic appearance to the arms.
If the looseness is mild, sometimes liposuction alone can allow for thinning of the arms. As the extra fat is removed and the weight of the fat is lessened, there can be spontaneous tightening of the skin for the patient who still has good skin elasticity.
However, when the skin becomes even more lax the only option is a brachioplasty. Occasionally this can be done with a limited incision in the armpit or axilla. This option is limited to a small percentage of patients who have skin excess near the armpit and no skin excess in the lower arm. For most patients, removal of the skin excess from the armpit or axilla to the elbows is required. The issue which often discourages patients from electing to pursue this procedure is the scar. Unlike procedures done to improve the appearance of the female breast or stomach in which the scars are hidden beneath bathing suits and undergarments, this scar is visible in short sleeves and sleeveless garments.
We use all the resources we have to produce the best quality scar. Because genetics plays a role in the quality of scar, despite these extra efforts, one can never be certain that the scar will be the thin line that everyone would wish. But for those who can’t stand the loose skin in the arms and have the patience to allow for the scar to mature (it may take as much as a year to reach its final appearance) it can be very satisfying.