Elbow tuck for skinny arms: how big will the scars be? Can I have local anesthesia? Am I a candidate? (photos)

I am a 31yo female, residing in the Northern NJ/Manhattan area, and I have always had toned and somewhat skinny arms. At the same time, for as long as I can remember, I have also had excess skin on both of my elbows. Liposuction is not an option as there is no fat in there, so I am considering an elbow tuck. It would be great to learn some views on this and if removing an inch-to-two inches of excess skin per arm will be worth the scars. Doctors’ professional opinions are greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 6

Elbow tuck

Thank you for asking about your elbow lift.

  • I have been doing elbow lifts for years -
  • So far, no patient has been upset with the scars.
  • The removal of skin should leave you enough skin to fully bend your arms, of course.
  • The scar - if it sits in the natural line of the elbow crease - does not appear to be noticeable as it looks like the crease.

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

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Elbow tuck for skinny arms: how big will the scars be? Can I have local anesthesia? Am I a candidate?

This could be considered and can be performed under local anesthesia.  The scar would be about the length of the wrinkles at the fold.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Elbow crease skin excess

The procedure is possible, but may leave a visible scar in the area. You need enough skin to flex your elbow completely so you have to be conservative. I do not tun that other skin tightening modalities mentioned will really help.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Can I get an elbow tuck for excess skin?

This is not a common procedure but it can be done. You wouldn't need much removed to see a difference and the scar could be made small. The visibility would be an issue but if you are a good heeler, it shouldn't be a big problem. 

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Elbow tuck...

Thank you for this question. I think surgery is too aggressive for this small amount of elbow skin and the risks of scarring too cumbersome. I would ask you to consider Thermi for skin tightening and Sculptra injection to build up collagen. Best, Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 201 reviews


I would not recommend skin excision around the elbows- scars will be unsightly. True, you do not have fat, but may still benefit from Smart Lipo or Thermi Tight RF for skin tightening of the entire posterior arm and elbow. Some laxity is needed to be able to bend at the elbow.

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these procedures is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations.

Harry T. Haramis, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 19 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.