After Massive Weight Loss My Arms Need Help, am I an Arm Lift Candidate? (photo)

Hi, my skin was damaged after gaining and loosing about 140lb 10 years. I have stretch marks down my upper arms and the skin is loose, causing it to ripple when I flex my arms. Please let me know if you think an arm lift would help improve the appearnace of my upper arms, specifically: would it remove the loose skin present and any of the stretch marks? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 9

Your Pictures Suggest You'd Benefit From Brachioplasty

                  It’s not unusual for massive weight loss patients to develop saggy upper arm skin. This can adversely impact self-esteem and self-image, and for this reason, these patients frequently seek correction of the problem. The vast majority of patients with this condition require an arm lift procedure.

                  This procedure removes excess skin and fat through an incision which is often placed on the inner aspect of the arm. The incision removes excess skin in both the vertical and transverse dimensions.

                  Your pictures suggest that you would be a good candidate for this procedure. The procedure has the potential to dramatically improve arm contour and is associated with high satisfaction rates. Unfortunately the procedure can be associated with severe scarring. It’s important that the patient understands this trade off before proceeding with surgery.

                  If you’re considering this procedure, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in this area is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that will address your concerns. 

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Arm Lift

Yes, if you are physically fit for an operation than yes yes yes you are totally ready for an arm lift to get the arm look you want and deserve

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Candidate for an arm lift?

Thanks for the question.  It's impossible to say for certain without a physical exam, but based on your photos it does appear that you would be a candidate for an arm lift surgery.  It is a great surgery under the right circumstance, however, it does leave a permanent scar.  If you have enough loose skin the scar is usually worth it but that is a personal decision that you will have to make for yourself.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Arm lifting helps you look as thin as your weight loss has made you

Your photographs sugest that you have extra loose skin as happens with the deflation effect of large weight loss.  Removing the sagging skin will help unveil nicely toned, underlying muscles that may otherwise go unnoticed.  Sometimes tightening stretch marks make them less noticeable-unfortunately there are no other good longterm solutions for stretch marks.  Good luck!

Vaishali B. Doolabh, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Arm Lift Benefits After Massive Weight Loss

The skin changes you describe and show in your photo are common after large shifts in body weight.  The skin's elastic fibers are stretched beyond their capacity and break like an uncoiled spring.  This results in stretch marks and skin that wil not spring back after volume removal. An arm lift is the only procedure that eliminates the "bat wing" pattern of skin.  With well designed incisions the scars can be placed along the back side of the arm, the border of the triceps for minimal visibility.  Arm lifts have a high satisfaction rate for those with extreme excess of skin. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Armlift is the procedure of choice for loose arm skin

Your skin looks unusually good considering that your weight has changed 140lb.  What I see in your pictures is skin that looks very thin and 'empty' when you pull on it, however it is difficult to see what it would look like without you pulling on it except in pic #3 where you actually look really good.

Thus, consider what would look better on your.  The existing skin or a line scar running the length of your arm.  If I was to go by picture #3 alone, I would advise you against the procedure.  However, a without a proper examination of the laxity and quality of your skin I can't tell you for sure that either way is the correct way to go.


Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 469 reviews

After massive weight loss, am I a good arm lift or brachioplasty candidate?

Congratulations on your weight loss!! Yes, I think you would be an excellent candidate for an armlift or "brachioplasty".  Based on the history and photos you provided, I would suggest a "longitudinal brachioplasty".  This surgery removes upper arm skin and fat.  Typically, one line is drawn from the armpit to the elbow and another line is drawn at the six o'clock position of the upper arm.  These 2 lines are joined at the armpit and the elbow resulting in an ellipse.  The skin and fat between this ellipse is then removed.  The result is a linear scar which goes from the armpit to the elbow.  The final scar is usually well hidden when your arms are held by your sides.  This surgery takes about 2 hours under general anesthesia.  You should plan to take 2 weeks off work.  Congratulations  and I wish you success on your weight loss journey.  Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

Arm Lifting Candidate?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

You should be very proud of your significant weight loss;  unfortunately, patients who have lost this much weight tend to have “loose skin”  that is a constant reminder of where they have been.

I think you may be an excellent candidate for arm lifting surgery. Arm lifting is an great procedure to improve the contour of the arms and remove  redundant skin and adipose tissue;  the downside is a relatively high rate of unsatisfactory scarring and the need for revisionary surgery.

It may behoove you to visit with well experienced  board certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Candidacy

From your photos you do appear to be a good candidate for a brachioplasty or arm lift.  You actually have less excess skin than I would predict with a weight loss of your magnitude.  You should be aware, however, that the scars from this surgery can be problematic.  Discuss the procedure with a BC plastic surgeon.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.