Any hope for sagging arms? (Photo)

Do I need a lift or can I just lose weight? I have bad skin elasticity and am really doughy.

Doctor Answers 14

Any hope for sagging arms?

This is a very common problem that we see all the time. The issue is not fat, but poor skin elasticity and removing the fat either by diet or liposuction does not help. The procedure of choice is called a brachioplasty, in other words an arm lift. It's an outpatient operation that has little discomfort and a fairly quick recovery for most patients. 

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Arm lift arm reduction brachioplasty arm liposuction weight loss skin elasticity

Thank you for your question in regards to hanging arm skin and a potential arm lift or brachioplasty.  Due to your history of bad arm skin elasticity, I would suggest a full or longitudinal arm lift.  The full or longitudinal arm lift is performed under general anesthesia. The arm lift procedure takes approximately 3 hours to complete. The arm lift is a single surgery which has two parts, namely arm liposuction and arm skin removal.  During the first part of the full or longitudinal arm lift, arm liposuction is performed to remove arm fat. During the second part of the arm lift procedure, arm skin is removed. An incision is made from the armpit to the elbow. The incision and resulting scar is placed on the inside of your arm. The incision is placed on the inside of your arm to maximize concealment when your arm is by your side.  You will need to take off two weeks from work. After your arm reduction, you will need to wear on compression garments for six weeks.  After your arm lift, I would suggest you apply silicone cream and silicone tape to minimize scarring.

If you have any other questions regarding an arm lift, arm reduction, arm liposuction or brachioplasty, please contact my office.  Sincerely, Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Arm lift

Based on what I see on the picture, looks like that you will benefit from an arm lift, scars are the major downside of this surgery. 

Ali Totonchi, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Arm Procedure

Hi, thank you for the photo.

It appears your elasticity is good. I would recommend liposcultpture for your arms, not a brachioplasty.

this procedure can be done in the office under a local sedation or under general anesthesia . Bruising & swelling are the most common symptoms after surgery. we send you home wearing compression sleeve garment and ask that you keep your arms elevated for the first 1-2 weeks. very small incisions.

Hope this helps.

Brett E. Stompro, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Any hope for sagging arms?

I think that arm lift surgery would be the best recommendation based upon the picture.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Arm lift or weight loss?

Thank you for asking about your arm lift.

  • I doubt that your problem is weight -
  • You seem to have loose skin and weight loss will make it looser.
  • I suggest you discuss an arm lift with a plastic surgeon - you are probably a good candidate for a limited incision procedure.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Hope for sagging upper arms

There absolutely is something you can do for sagging upper arms and you don't need to lose weight or have surgery. At Changes Plastic Surgery in San Diego, we employ the Inmode RFAL system that safely removes fat and shrink wraps the skin all through a tiny port hole.  Arm lifts (brachioplasty) surgically remove the skin and fat but leave you with an incision from underarm to elbow. This procedure is completely incisionless and scarless.  If you are up for a visit to San Diego, we can greatly improve your sagging upper arms without surgery.

Gilbert Lee, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arm lift

Thanks for your question. It appears that the excess skin is mainly located up near the armpit, in which case a limited arm lift (scars limited to the axilla) may be enough. However you have your elbow straight, and this does tighten the lower forearm skin. If when you bend the elbow the laxity of your skin extends further toward your elbow then you would probably also require a scar running longitudinally down the inside of you arm. Liposuction alone may improve your situation, as not only does this remove excess fat, but does cause some limited skin retraction. However I would always recommend loosing weight before such surgery. If it comes off the arms then you don't need the surgery. If it doesn't, then the final surgical result will be better as it will be easier to calculate the amount of excess skin to remove with your weight having already reduced.

Anthony Barabas, MBBS
Cambridge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arm contour

Thanks for your question.  We encourage exercise and a healthy diet for all patients, but as you probably know, you do not get to choose where you put on weight and you do not get to select where it comes off from.  Given the loose skin, I don't think that liposuction could achieve your goals.  As my colleagues have suggested, you may be a candidate for a limited incision brachioplasty to excise skin and soft tissue.  Consider a formal consultation, and good luck!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Limited brachioplasty

You would benefit from limited brachioplasty which will improve the contour of your arms. We would begin with liposuction of your arms and then tighten any redundant skin using a limited incision. Please see example below.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.