I used to have triceps, now I have wings of saggy arm flab that won't go away. I've been trying to tone this area for months with no results, and I'm now considering taking more drastic action. I'd prefer a non-surgical option but am open to whatever will work. Please help!
How to get rid of flabby arms?
Doctor Answers (6)
Flabby arm fixes: liposuction, excision or both
Flabby arms may occurs based on a variety of reasons. Frequently, the “flab” is excess skin and maybe some fat. Some patients may exhibit excess fat.
The “fix” for the problem is related to understanding what is the problem’s cause.
For example, if the cause is excess skin, maybe as a result of weight loss or aging, then the treatment is excision. This type of procedure is know as a brachioplasty. Removing the fat when the problem is excess skin will not help the situation.
On the other hand if the problem is excess fat, the procedures aimed at removing the fat, such as liposuction, should be helpful.
The problem may occur when, after removing the excess fat, there remains an excess of skin. Under these circumstances, a combination of liposuction and skin excision may provide the best solution.
Appropriate consultation will help diagnose the problem and therefore the treatment as well.
Flabby arms treatments
How to get rid of flabby arms?
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If you do not have your desired arm results, I would then suggest considering arm surgery.
In my plastic surgery practice, there are four types of arms.
Type 1 patients have a mild amount of arm fat. Typically, these patients are best treated with arm liposuction.
Type 2 patients have a moderate amount of arm skin and fat. This excess arm skin and fat extends from the armpit approximately 4 to 6 inches down the arm. Typically, these patients are best treated with an arm lift with arm liposuction. This type of arm lift is called a modified or mini-arm lift.
Type 3 patients have a moderate amount of arm skin and fat from the armpit to the elbow. Typically, these patients are best treated with arm liposuction and excision of arm skin and fat from the armpit to the elbow.
Type 4 patients have moderate to severe amount of arm skin and fat from the armpit to the wrist. Typically, these patients are best treated with arm and forearm liposuction. At the same surgery, this is followed by excision of upper arms and forearm skin and fat. This is accomplished through an incision from the armpit to the elbow to the wrist.
Surgical Options for Flabby Arms: Full Brachioplasty, Mini Brachioplasty, Liposuction
Flabby upper arm tissue can represent a significant aesthetic deformity that can adversely impact self-esteem and self-image. Without being able to perform a physical examination it’s virtually impossible to make a specific treatment recommendation. When this situation arises, several treatment options exist which can improve upper arm aesthetics. These include liposuction, mini brachioplasty and full brachioplasty. The procedure chosen is dependent upon the patient’s aesthetic goals and specific anatomic findings.
In some cases, liposuction may be a viable alternative. When this procedure is utilized, scarring is minimal and results are usually excellent. Unfortunately, this procedure is only effective when fat is present and skin is relatively tight.
When excess skin is confined to the upper arm in the area of the axilla, a mini brachioplasty may be effective. This procedure utilizes an incision in the upper arm which is transversely oriented and well hidden. The procedure is helpful when patients have minimal excess upper arm skin and is associated with excellent results.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of patients who have had significant weight loss require more extensive procedures. In most cases, this involves a full brachioplasty with an incision that extends from elbow to axilla. This procedure addresses excess skin in the vertical and transverse dimensions. In most cases, results are excellent, but occasionally adverse scarring can be a problem.
When significant excess skin is present laser tightening and other non- surgical treatments aren’t effective. For this reason, patients who have significant arm skin sag should consult a board certified plastic surgeon who can formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
There are many causes for flabby arms. If one has flabby arms, the best indicator of the treatment would be the elasticity of the skin. If the skin has good elasticity, then Lipo suction alone may be the answer. If not, then an arm lift to resect the excess skin is best. However, the best indication for an arm lift, and the most gratifying are those who have lost a lot of weight. The skin is usually flabby and overstretched. It is simple and effective to remove the skin that has been stretched past its capacity. No Liposuction, or other noninvasive modalitiy will help the skin become more firm around the arms. The length and type of the incision will vary depending upon the location and the amount of fat in the arms. The cost will also vary by geographic locale. Most will run anywhere from $3500-$7000. I would advise you to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to have treatment recommendations specific to your concerns.