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I've lost weight and cannot get arms firm. Would I be a good candidate for arm lift? (photos)

Hello, I've lost a bit of weight and no matter what I do, I can't seem to get my arms firm.I was considering arm lift. Would I be a good candidate for arm lift?

Doctor Answers 11

Candidate For An Armlift

Dear Ms. Jerez,

Thank you for the photos and the history.  Judging from your pictures, an armlift procedure(brachioplasty) would be the best treatment to achieve your desired goals.  Unfortunately when the tissues become stretched beyond a certain point, even with weight loss there is no ability for the skin to shrink even if the remaining fatty tissue is removed.  There is no laser or energy-based system that can achieve the skin reduction you need and therefore surgery is your best choice.  The incision can be hidden in the inner arm and will fade but not disappear over time.  Please consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experieince with management of the large volume weight loss patient who can provide you with the direction you need to make the right choice for you.   Hope this helps.

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Candidate for Armlift

    Pictures are helpful, and you do appear to be a good candidate for armlift.  An exam would be necessary for confirmation.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of body contouring procedures each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


A brachioplasty is essentially an upper arm lift. In this procedure, the excess hanging skin and fat in the upper arm is removed. Its the procedure used to correct the common "bat wing" of skin that manifests in patients who have lost a significant amount of weight.  Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Arm Lift

  • From your photos it does appear that you would be a good candidate to undergo an arm lift (brachioplasty). 
  • This operation will remove the excess skin and improve the contour and appearance of your arms.
  • The trade off for the better contour is a scar on the inner arm, but most patients are not bothered by the appearance of this scar once it has matured completely.
  • Definitely meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to find out more, and to see some before and after photos so you know what kind of results you might expect.
  • Best of luck to you!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Arm lift after weight loss

Thank you for your question about an arm lift after losing weight.

  • Your photos show that you would be a good candidate for an arm lift,
  • Your skin is loose, now the weight is gone,
  • You need a standard arm lift,
  • Congratulations on losing the weight
  • After the arm lift, starting at 6 weeks, rebuild the muscle with trapezius muscle exercises.

Hopes this helps. Best wishes!

Would I be a good candidate for arm lift?

As good as they come.

Congratulations on the weight loss. Unfortunately for many the skin doesn't shrink back as much as they would have liked, and the option for improvement is removal of the excess with an arm lift. 

Your arms look quite slender, and removing the excess should give a nice outcome. 

Thank you for your question, and for the attached photos. All the best. 


Arm Lift Candidate after Weight Loss?

Congratulations on your considerable weight loss; you should be very proud of this accomplishment.

 Based on your history and photograph, I think you may be an excellent candidate for arm lifting surgery. At some point, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients in your situation. You may find the attached link helpful to you as you do your “homework”.  Also, some general thoughts regarding arm  lifting may be helpful to you:

Arm lifting surgery can be an excellent operation for the right patient. Understandably, one of the main concerns/downsides of the arm lift surgery is a resulting scar. Careful planning of the operation is critical  in executing the operation and determining the final position of the resulting scar.  In my opinion, a scar that ends up along the very lower border of the upper arm is the best tolerated scar,  since it is hard to see from the front or back when a patient's arms are by his/her side.

 I hope this helps.

Excellent Armlift Candidate

You are an excellent candidate for an armlift with adjunctive liposuction using a low-anterior incision. Consider consultation with a surgeon experienced in body contouring after weight loss.  All the best!

Arm lift or brachioplasty surgery

An arm lift would remove the excess skin and fat from your upper arm. It does leave significant scar. Most energy based systems for skin tightening (such as Exilis) do not give the same results that you would be looking for. However, sometimes a liposucton (leaving minimal scar) or a brachioplasty with just an upper scar in the axillary region is an adequate operation depending on your desired outcomes. With a smaller surgery (i.e. less scar) you could always have some some skin tightening with a non invasive machine afterwards giving you a good result with less scar. Either way, you must find an experienced board certified surgeon who is accomplished in body contouring surgery and will listen to your desires. Good luck!

Options for upper arm surgery after massive weight loss

An upper arm lift is appropriate in men or women who have lost a good deal of weight.  We commonly see this condition in patients who were at one time overweight and either through diet or exercise have lost a significant amount.  There are alternatives to an arm lift surgery, know as a brachioplasty and we generally divide potential surgical candidates into several categories.  The general dividing line between requiring only liposuction vs. a surgical skin and fat excision is the intermuscular septum or the dividing line between the biceps and triceps.  If greater than 50% of the arm is below this line then a surgical brachioplasty is required.  In some patients the skin is tighter and more elastic and liposuction is a good alternative.  We have new tools available to help tighten the skin especially in the marginal patient.  We have incorporated the use of SmartLipo to contour the upper arm and give it a more athletic appearance.  So once the fat is removed then the skin can be tightened by applying laser energy and heat to the under surface of the skin.  In your particular situation with more skin below the dividing line only a surgical brachioplasty will give you a satisfactory result.  The trade off is the surgical incision.  In the past the incision was placed directly in this intermuscular septal line but currently we prefer to place the incision more on the inferior portion of the arm.  It seems to heal better in this location and is somewhat less noticeable in clothing.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.