Lost 120 lbs & want arm lift/brachioplasty. Will my scars be white and thick? (Photo)

Lost 120 lbs been maintaining for a year now and want an arm lift / brachioplasty curiouse if my scars will be white and thick like those under my breast from my breast reduction and placement of scar , all my scars I have are white and barely noticeable on my body , looking for an experienced PS with good outcomes in my area or Boston

Doctor Answers 14

Arm lift after weight loss - what will scars look like?

Thank you for your question about your arm lift.

  • Congratulations on losing weight and keeping it off - great achievement.
  • Your photos are helpful - you definitely need an arm lift and will probably be pleased, thick scars or not.
  • But people who get good scars in one area, like the breast crease (which can heal with awful scars), tend to heal well in general.
  • I would expect you to heal with very nice scars - although all scars tend to be thick and red for at least 6 months.
  • Go to the web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find ones specializing in cosmetic surgery who are near your preferred destinations!
  • Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Brachioplasty

Scarring can vary from person to person however, typically brachioplasty scars are more prominent than breast scars. In addition, due to the location of the scars, they are quite apparent even when wearing a T-shirt. Upon consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, your physician can further discuss location of these scars. James Lee

James Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Lost 120lbs, want brachioplasty

Thank you for the question and the pictures.   You appear to be an
excellent candidate for brachioplasty surgery.    I would expect you to get an excellent correction and I think your scars from the surgery will be a very exceptable trade off.   Best of luck

Ivor B. Kaplan, MD
Norfolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Arm scars are hard to predict

Brachioplasty scars are usually worse than breast scars.  However trade off is worth it. Find a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery in your area. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arm lift scar

Great question.  The width and appearance of your scar will depend on how the arm lift is done and how much tension is placed on the arm
lift incision.  Using a scar treatment product like Embrace will also help.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Lost 120 lbs & want arm lift/brachioplasty. Will my scars be white and thick?

Congratulations on your weight loss. The photos demonstrate excess skin and fat of the arms which would be treated well by brachioplasty. I use the incisions which are designed to lie on the back of the arms where they are imperceptible and not along the inner aspect of the arms where they can be easily seen. See a very experienced surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Arm scars

Congratulations on your weight loss and body transformation!  The truth is that we don't totally understand scarring.  We know that suture technique matters, tension matters, and inflammation matters.  We know that personal genetics and race genetics can affect the incidence of hypertrophic and keloid scarring.  But we also know that body site can influence healing and scarring, and as my colleague mentioned, arm incisions are at greater risk for the development of suboptimal scars.  Discuss with your surgeon their plan for incision and scar management, as well as their policy for revision, should the need arise.  Best of luck!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Concern about possible brachioplasty scar

Thank you for your question.  Based on your photos, it appears that you would be a good candidate for a brachioplasty provided that your weight is stable and you're not a smoker.  Scars on the arms are notorious for having a higher risk for being wide.  This is because of the movement of the extremity causing tension on the scar, resulting in spreading of the scar.  In my practice, patients are advised to restrict the movement of their arms and to wear compression garments for the first couple of weeks.  Genetics, nutrition and surgical technique are other factors affecting the scar.  Be sure to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Seeking brachioplasty after 120 pound weight loss.

Congratulations on your weight loss. Losing 120 pounds is an outstanding achievement.
As you have pointed out this has resulted in excess skin of your upper arms. The only way to correct this problem is with a brachioplasty (arm lift).Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is one of the most frequently requested body contouring procedures performed today. The demand for this procedure has increased more than 800% since 1997. This is the greatest percent change of any of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures Much of the increase in popularity is due to the growing number of patients who undergo massive weight loss. In performing this procedure an incision is made on the inside of the arm extending from the elbow into the armpit. Sometimes it is necessary to extend the incision further into the armpit and sometimes past it. Utilizing this incision excess skin is removed and the wound is closed. It is very important to position the scar properly so that it is concealed as much as possible. A well-placed incision should result in a scar that is only visible when the arms are raised. This operation is normally performed as an outpatient. It is very important for the surgeon to discuss the resultant scar thoroughly with the patient preoperatively. Very commonly this scar takes a longer time to undergo the full healing and maturation process. Maturation refers to the process whereby the scar becomes less apparent. Brachioplasty scars commonly take up to 2 years to fully mature. Immediately after the operation compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit. These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively. Elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Many patients wear these for up for up to 2 weeks postoperatively. No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively. Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon. They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown. Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best years improvements have been made in the performance of brachioplasty (arm lift) leaving better scars than had been achieved in the past. This includes more precise incision placement, better closure techniques and use of post operative scar reducing systems. With greater attention to these details the benefits of arm lift surgery can be achieved with more acceptable scarring than in the past.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Lost 120 lbs & want arm lift/brachioplasty. Will my scars be white and thick? (Photo)

The quality of scarring depends to a large extent upon the patient and individual healing characteristics.  The placement of the scar and the overall improvement in the surgery is dependent upon the surgeon.  Select a plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of body contouring each year, has great reviews, and has great before and after pictures.


Kenneth B. Hughes, MD

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 484 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.