I hate the scar that goes with the full arm lift but I also really hate my arms now. What treatment would you recommend? (photo)

Im 25 Ive lost 50lbs.Ive had a BBL with lipo to 6 areas including the arms and I have an extended tummy tuck without muscle tightening scheduled for August. I really hate my arms sick of hiding in long sleeves and jackets just want to wear tank tops shorts sleeves w/o feeling self conscious but I feel the large scar of the full arm lift will give me a whole other wave of insecurities to deal with and I'll be back to hiding my arms. Will a mini arm lift be beneficial to me or go for the full?

Doctor Answers 8

Treatment Options for Loose Upper Arm Skin

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It's not unusual for patients to develop redundant saggy upper arm tissue after a significant weight loss. When this situation arises, a variety of treatment options are available. The specific choice will depend upon the patient's aesthetic goals and anatomic findings.

Although your pictures are helpful, it's virtually impossible to make a specific recommendation without a physical examination. In the absence of an examination, your pictures suggest a significant amount of excess skin. This excess skin will almost certainly require a brachioplasty with an incision along the inner aspect of the arm. In some cases, an axillary incision will be necessary, as well.

It's important to realize that this type of procedure involves a series of trade-offs between excess saggy arm skin and additional scarring. For this reason, it's tempting for patients to opt for procedures that have less scarring. Under these circumstances, patients may be left with residual skin sag.

If you're considering this type of procedure, it's important to thoroughly discuss these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

I hate the scar that goes with the full arm lift but I also really hate my arms now. What treatment would you recommend?

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I would have to examine you to make this determination.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA............

Arm lift after weight loss

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Thank you for your question. Let me start by saying you are not alone with this dilemma.

In my experience, most patients are glad that they chose the arm lift and do not mind the scars, as compared to the loose skin they had pre operatively.

However, this is a personal choice and I recommend that you continue to have this discussion with your plastic surgeon to decide what is best for your particular case.

Best Regards,

Dr. Stutman

Ross Stutman, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Expectations and Operations

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I never tell a patient that they "need" a certain operation. For me, the key element of plastic surgery is expectations.

   Liposuction is limited downtime and limited, modest skin tightening, even with the laser (smartlipo) which is my preferred technique.
   Adding a "T" scar to the underarm with liposuction provides good skin tightening to the upper arm and decreases the large contour. A drain is required along with the scar.
   The full armlift gives the biggest result, but a drain and longer scar is required. I hide the scar on the inside of the arm, and it is hardly noticeable at all: only visible with arms raised overhead.

In patients who are concerned about scars, it is always "safe" to start with the laser assisted armlift (smartlipo to the arms) and observe the skin tightening that we can obtain. If there is further desire to get more tightening, we can always go back and perform the T or full armlift.


Arm scar

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the scar for arm lift is normal.  it will improve with time, but will always be wide.  unfortunately, this is normal.  liposuction would be another option, but only for ones without much "excess" skin.

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

Armlift (brachioplasty) scar

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If you want the skin tightened from armpit to elbow, then you have to accept the scar, but of course you can also choose no scar and no arm lift. The mini would give you an incomplete lift, then you'd have the scar and the arm skin. Bad choice. Most, but not all, patients find the scar preferable to the skin excess and the scar is barely noticeable (but permanent).

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Arm lift scar

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This is a tough decision - no one wants a visible scar, no one wants flabby skin.
It is a trade-off. You will need to decide if the scar makes the surgery worthwhile.
The key to a good result is having liposuction of the surgical area first and being sure that the incision is placed so it does not show from the front or the back -
and that  skin is not pulled too tight. If you aren't sure you want the risk of a visible scar - then wait.

Arm Lift Scar

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Unfortunately it sounds like there are only two choices: live with a lot of extra skin on your arms, or live with a scar on your arms. The middle ground of liposuction and mini lifts only works if there is very little loose skin, and the loose skin is only next to the armpit. It i not possible to give a full answer without an examination. Consider a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with lots of arm lift experience.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.