Many patients who have experienced a significant weight loss are left with stretched, loose, hanging skin in their arms (bat wings). An increase in skin laxity also occurs as a result of the aging process due to environmental and genetic factors. Nonetheless, as a result of excess hanging arm skin, patients find themselves uncomfortable with their appearance and limited in their choice of clothing and activities. If you desire to wear short sleeves with comfort and exercise without friction under your arms, then an arm lift may be the beginning to an improved appearance, greater self-confidence, and a more fulfilled life.
An arm lift is performed through incisions placed in the under arm and biceps groove (if needed). The excess skin is removed to improve the contour and firm the skin of the entire area extending to the elbow. The procedure length will vary (average 2-3 hours) based on your body habitus and the extent of lift required. It is usually performed as a day surgery in an accredited facility, although it may require an overnight stay depending on your overall health.
Can I combine an arm lift with other plastic surgery procedures?
Many patients who have lost a significant amount of weight also chose to have a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or a breast lift to rid themselves of excess loose skin and improve their body contour. Although it is usually possible to combine this procedure with other plastic surgery procedures, it will ultimately depend on your overall health and body habitus.
What should I anticipate about the recovery?
Temporary bruising, swelling, and soreness are to be expected and should improve after a week. A spandex elastic garment will be provided to you to assist in minimizing the swelling and helping the healing. Your return to work will vary based on the area of the extent of skin removed. You are encouraged to return to light activity after a few days. Plan to refrain from driving or working for a minimum of 7-10 days. However, it is recommended that you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 4 weeks.
What other tips do I need to know about?
The appropriate procedure chosen will depend on the location of excess skin and your desires. Dr. Oksar will be glad to provide you with a complimentary consultation and assist you in determining the procedure that fits your needs.