Heavy Arms? (photo)

I am 5'6 215 pounds. I increased my activity to lose weight (jogging) and changed my diet. I have lost 20 pounds. My arms are large and not proportional. I can't fit my arms in a jacket that fits the rest of me. My upper arm is larger than most men actually. It is pretty embarrassing. Even when I was 170 pounds, I had the same problem. Do you recommend brachioplasty. Signed, Large Arms in Georgia

Doctor Answers 10

Arm lift candidate

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Thank you for your question. With age and/or weight changes, the upper arms can hold a lot of excess fatty tissue and develop skin laxity. An arm lift procedure helps to contour the upper arms by reducing excess skin and fat. The incisions can be hidden in the armpit for those with a moderate degree of laxity or along the vertical length of the upper and inner arm for those with more skin excess. Based on your photos, the latter (traditional arm lift) would be a great procedure.  The results are extremely satisfying. I would recommend that you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail.

Arm lift for heavy arms

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Thank you for your question about an arm lift (brachioplasty).

  • Liposuction alone will give you improvement. The deltoid area must be included.
  • A combined liposuction with brachioplasty will give you your best result.
  • After surgery, you should feel in proportion to your size and jackets will fit better.
  • This is quite a common problem - you are likely to be very happy with the result.
  • Hope this helps. Best wishes. 

Brachioplasty for Large Arms

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     Large arms may benefit from both liposuction and upper arm lift or brachioplasty.  Once weight loss goals have been achieved, extended arm lift will produce the best possible result.

Arm lipo or lift?

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Thanks for sharing and the photos. I would say that you are borderline for lift versus liposuction. In other words, liposuction will give you some improvement - like reducing the volume of the arms, but there maybe some looseness in the skin remaining.  The arm lift will reduce the size and give you tighter arms with an incision. A better situation is for you to continue losing weight, then when the arm is more deflated, then have a lift. This will result in a smaller volume and a tighter arm, if you can accomplish the volume loss on your own. These are all options to consider when discussing your arms with a board certified plastic surgeon. Thanks and good luck, Aldo.

Armlift With Adjunctive Liposuction

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Thank you very much for your question and sharing your photo.  Unfortunately the concern that you have raised regarding your upper arms in one that plagues many women.  Congratulations on your weight loss success so far. I would encourage you to continue in your journey as it will improve your outcome as well as your health.

With respect to your arms, you are in a unique situation where liposuction alone or an armlift alone are not the solution to your problem.  If liposuction is performed, you re likely to have some skin laxity and contour irregularities but your arm would be smaller.  If that would be ok then liposuction is the answer.  An armlift alone is unlikely to be successful because the weight of the arm would prevent much skin removal and case residual skin laxity and leave you with a scar.  In my practice, there are a significant number of patients that benefit from a combination of liposuction and armlift.  This procedure uses targeted liposuction to reduce the fat in the arm along with skin removal.  You do have a scar, but your arms would be significantly smaller and in better proportion to your body.   Thank you for your inquiry.

Heavy Arms?

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Yes you are a candidate for brachioplasty. Seek in person opinions from boarded PSs in your area or city. 

Good Candidate for Brachioplasty (Armlifting)?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

Congratulations on your weight loss plus far; when you have achieved a long-term stable weight, it is very likely that you will benefit from arm lifting surgery. When the time is right seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons; ask to see lots of examples of that work. Learn about the potential risk/complications associated with procedure and ask lots of questions about scarring…

 Best wishes.

Good candidate for arm lift surgery (brachioplasty)

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From your photograph it appears that you would be a good candidate for a brachioplasty with liposuction of the upper arms.  If you draw a line between the biceps and the triceps and more than 50% of the arm is below this line then a brachioplasty is appropriate.   If you are planning on losing another 30 pounds or so with diet and exercise it would be best for your to lose this weight first before considering the surgery.

Brachioplasty Or Arm Lift Candidate

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I think that patients obtain their best results with brachioplasty when the primary problem is excess skin.  However, if you arms actually looked the same when you weighed 45 pounds less, you probably are a candidate if you can accept potential scar which can be noticeable.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Heavy Arms

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Thank you for your question and for the attached photograph. it appears from the photo and from your comments that you would be a good candidate for a full brachioplasty. I would hold off until you have reached your desired weight, as that will assure you a best chance a nice outcome.

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.