Non Surgical Skin Tightening for Arms?

I had Gastric bypass surgery about 8 years ago and lost 100lbs. Since then, I’ve experienced “loose skin”…EVERYWHERE!! I hate it!! I’m just as self conscious in clothes as I was 100 pounds ago. I’d like a complete body lift but that is definitely NOT in my budget. I’ve been considering mesotherapy or some other non surgical alternative on my arms because I’d like to at least feel comfortable in short sleeves (since the lower half of my body is a DEFINITE case of “nip/tuck”). I’m looking to tighten the skin, I’m sure I could afford to rid my arms of some fat, but primarily it’s the loose skin I’d like to focus on. Any recommendations? Experiences? Comments?

Doctor Answers 36

What's wrong with surgery - it works!

Many patients have an unreasonable aversion to surgery in these cases whereas the truth is that it is the most successful method of treatment.  Financial issues aside - skin tightening tecniques are very effective for these problems.  You will be dissapointed with non surgical "experimental" treatments.


Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Unfortunately, surgery is your only option

After massive weight loss, the degree of excess skin and loss of elasticity can only be improved with excisional surgery. There really is no other way to make any real change.

The best plan would be to keep your weight down, meet with an excellent plastic surgeon and plan a long term program for total body improvement stage by stage and budget for it. You can direct the plan according to which areas bother you most and get these done first.

Massive weight loss leaves a lot of skin excess

Following the massive weight loss, what is remaining is skin and not fat. The only option left is to remove that skin surgicaly. Minimal skin excess could be handled by some non surgical techniques like radio frequency.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Surgery for arm skin excess

Minimally invasive skin tightening simply doesn't, unfortunately, offer the amount of tightening massive weight loss patients need.

Of the different types of arm lifts, there are lifts performed in the armpit crease and lifts that extend down the arm.

For more severe problems, the lift with an incision extending down the arm provides the best solution (since it decreases the circumference).

The trade-off is a scar and nice arms vs. no scar but excess skin in the arms, so patients should talk to their plastic surgeon about each of these options. The incisions on the arms do take a while to heal, but patients who are carefully selected are almost uniformly happy with the results.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Skin treatment after massive weight loss

after weight loss, excess of skin is a major issue.

depending on the skin quality, some of them recover well without major skin excess and others not.

if major skin excess is the problem. unfortunately, the surgery is the most efficient and cost effective procedure.

Jacques Haddad, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Brachioplasty surgery after 100 lb weight loss

Unfortunately, there are no effective nonsurgical options to address loose arm skin after significant weight loss. Brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery is the best treatment to effectively remove excess arm skin and restore contour of the arm and armpit. Usually after 100 lb weight loss, an extended brachioplasty is required resulting in a scar that spans from the armpit to the elbow.

Loose arm skin after Weight loss

Please do not waste your money on mesotherapy or noninvasive skin tightening. The majority of the money spent for this could go towards a brachioplasty.  This surgery is now becoming one of the most popular surgeries in the United States. It is extremely effective when combined with SAFE liposuction and skin excision to obtain dramatic results.  

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Non surgical arm lift procedures

Congratulations on your weight loss! As you have noted the skin and soft tissues do not often shrink to conform to your new healthier body. There are not any nonsurgical options for tightening the skin after massive weight loss that will provide significant benefits. I suggest you have a consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon and develop a plan to improve your areas of concern. Most surgeons will provide some sort of financing to help with the costs. Although the fees may be significant you will have life long improvement in your contour and higher self esteem.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Arm lifts after weight loss

After losing 100 lbs, you will require skin removal from your arms for optimal results.  It is unlikely non-surgical treatments will help.  You should consult with an expert in arm lift surgery.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Non surgical skin tightening for Arms?

After the massive weight loss that you have experienced, the loose skin on your arms is expected.  The elastic properties of the skin are diminished.  The best (and only realistic) method for tightening the arms involves arm lift surgery.  This is a great procedure for contouring your arms and recovery is quick.  You can buy and wear blouses without having the arms too tight.  I recommend discussing this with your plastic surgeon

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 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.