Fatty Arms, What is the Answer?


For reasons not totally known, women accumulate fat and usually loose skin in their arms even if they're naturally thin. And those with lots of sun damage have loose skin and wrinkly arms as well. Weight gain, of course, contributes to this, as well as hormonal changes. Most women seem to hate this problem, but take heart: It is treatable.

According to the amount of fat that needs to be removed, the procedure can vary from a simple liposuction (usually with a local anesthetic) if there is no excess loose skin to the surgical option called a brachioplasty if there is loose skin. A liposuction is a much less invasive procedure that leaves one or two small puncture mark scars that are barely visible. A brachioplasty, on the other hand, is a more invasive very effective procedure when indicated, but leaves a scar from the axilla (arm pit) to the elbow. This is mostly indicated when there is a large amount of fat and skin to be removed. A liposuction alone does not significantly tighten skin.

A new micro-invasive procedure called a ThermiTight (a radio frequency procedure that accurately delivers and monitors heat to the tissues) can be used alone or also combined with a liposuction, according to how much fat needs to be removed. The ThermiTight tightens the skin and reduces small volumes of fat as well. ThermiTight with or without a liposuction can be quite effective. Only one treatment is required.

The newest of the ThermiAesthetic (radio frequency procedures using the "Science of Heat") procedures is the ThermiSmooth250. This technology diminishes fat and tightens excess skin and is completely non-surgical. Generally 3 to 4 treatments are necessary. There is no pain and no recovery time needed.

A brachioplasty requires a general anesthetic. Both a liposuction and a ThermiTight require tumescent local anesthesia (infiltration with normal saline with a local anesthetic medication) and oral sedatives, if requested by the patient. Patients actually say that the ThermiSmooth250 feels good, like a hot stone massage, requiring no anesthesia.

Article by
Savannah Plastic Surgeon