Does Brachioplasty Help with Skin Overhang/Wrinkling of Elbows?

When my arm is fully extended my upper arm sags into my elbow, making it look very old and wrinkly. I'm 38, but I feel like when my arm hangs down it looks I don't know at least 50s to 60s. My oldest sister is about 8.5 years older than me and even she doesn't look like this, she's much fuller than I am, I'm very thin so maybe why is so much worse on me. I'm one those people that just doesn't gain weight or hold fat well. I really am embarrassed to try dress up like this in sleeveless top.

Doctor Answers 15

Arm Lift and Elbow Improvement

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The elbows are a little tricky.  For any elbow improvemebt the incision needs to be caried well beyond the crease and into the forearm.  So there is a trade off here.  Scar for Improvement.  The area about the elbow cannot be made too tight because function will be sacrificed and recovery lengthened.  Remember elbows need some extra skin to function normalyl and full range.  A little improvement is possible.  The results are not impressive for elbows.  Have limited expectations and look at photos.

The Management of Loose Elbow Skin

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It's not unusual for women with upper arm skin laxity to request correction of this problem. A variety of treatment options are available to address this excess skin. The procedure will depend upon the patient's anatomic findings and aesthetic goals.

In some cases, this excess skin effects the elbow and forearm areas. This can result in wrinkled skin that overhangs the elbow. When this situation arises, brachioplasties can be modified to address the area around the elbow. This type of procedure needs to be under taken with great care to avoid scar contractures around the elbow.

Although your history is helpful, it's virtually impossible to make a specific recommendation without pictures or a physical examination. For this reason, it's appropriate to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Armlifting and elbows

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Yes,  arm lifting can be useful in treating excess skin/articles tissue around the elbows.

The downside are the scars the scars associated with this procedure- they may spread  or experience pigment change. Scar revision surgery is often necessary/helpful.  Planning of the excision is critical- the resulting scar should be as hidden as possible. Personally, I think this scar is least visible when it ends up on the inferior (bottom) of the arm as opposed to the bicipital groove (between the biceps and triceps muscles).


Only you can determine if the improvement of the contour of the arms is worth the trade-off of the scar  In your case.  This is best done with the help of a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.



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There are a lot of details that you did not give.  Have you lost a lot of weight, have you had any procedures on your arms, to name a few. But if the skinis very loose you  may be a candidate for a brachioplasty or arm lift.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Brachioplasty can help with sagging wrinkled skin on arms...

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Brachioplasty is a procedure where an incision is usually made under the arm down to the elbow on the inner part of the arm for the removal of excess skin.  Many patients need this procedure after major weight loss so they are more comfortable with their appearance.  By removing the excess skin it helps with any sagging or wrinkling a patient may have above the elbow.  The incision usually heals nicely and patients are usually happy with the tradeoff of the thin incision compared to the saggy skin.  You should check with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Yes it will help

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Brachioplasty removes hanging skin and typically involves a long scar down toward the elbow trying to keep the scar as short as possible. It may be necessary however to extend the scar longer around the elbow to maximally improve the contour there.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Arm lift

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The answer is yes; however, the incision may have to be extended past your elbow, this may also result in prolonged swelling of the hands.  The results should be good.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Elbow excess skin

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Elbows are an area that is difficult to treat because the the excess movement of it. I have treated this area with removal of the excess skin but the healing may be prolonged but the results to my patients have been satisfying.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Brachioplasty (arm lift) and the elbows

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Different individuals have different presentations of excess of skin of the arm after weight loss or aging. If the excess is past the elbow then I use an extensive Brachioplasty and take my skin removal past the elbows into the forearm area. I also use liposuction to loosen skin and remove the unwanted fat of those areas. Taking the scar past the elbow can be tricky and must be done with care so the scar does not get in the way of elbow motion.

Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Arm lift

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Arm lifts are great operations to remove the excess skin of the upper arm and axillary region. It is often combined with liposuction of the posterior arm to get the best contour. The incision placement varies by plastic surgeon. I like to put my incision along the inside of the arm as the scar will lie against your body the majority of the time. Some surgeons like to place the incision posteriorly. The reason I do not like this incision is that you (the patient) won;t see, but everyone who stands behind you is asking themselves what happened to you. Arm lifts generally stop at or just beyond the elbow crease. Patients with mild/moderate skin overhang over the elbow region itself will often get satisfactory results from just an arm lift. In patients with severe overhang, a second horizontal incision may be require just above the elbow to remove the overhanging skin. This I will often reserve to do as an office-based procedure at a later date once the arm lift incisions have healed. I hope that helps.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.