My Arms Sag After Weight Loss?

I went through a purification in 2006. Since then when I hold my arms down I have sagging lines. I would like to tighten that up and also the skin under my arm sags. I am older but pride myself on keeping my body in shape and this is not a look I like. I live in Florida in the winter and that is where I would get treatment. I do not have a photo of my arms.

Doctor Answers 10

Sagging arms after weight loss and arm lift

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The best indication for an arm lift, and the most gratifying are those who have lost a lot of weight.  The skin is usually flabby and overstretched.  It is simple and effective to remove the skin that has been stretched past its capacity.  No Liposuction, or other noninvasive modalitiy will help the skin become more firm around the arms.  The length and type of the incision will vary depending upon the location and the amount of fat in the arms.  The cost will also vary by geographic locale.  Most will run anywhere from $3500-$7000.  I would advise you to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to have treatment recommendations specific to your concerns.

Arm treatment

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It is impossible for anyone to give you any recommendations without a physical exam to assess the amount and quality of your excess skin and fat.   Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.

Arm Lift after Weight Loss

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   Arm lift after weight loss is a very common request.   The incision can be tailored to your needs, removing only the areas of laxity.

Armlift Effective at Treating Skin Laxity

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Thank you for your question.  The armlift procedure is very effective at removing and tightening loose skin of the upper arms.  In someone of normal wieght, this procedure is very effective with a reasonably short recovery and acceptable risks.  Unfortunately it comes at the price of a scar on the inside of the arm.  This scar usually fades very with in about 6-12 months as long as the placement is appropriate.  The low-anterior or medial incisions work better than the posterior incision.  Good luck with your decision.

Arm Lift after Weight Loss

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-Without seeing any photos of your arms, it isn't possible to comment directly on your particular situation, but I have seen the arm lift (brachioplasty) operation help many patients improve the contour of their arms after weight loss.


- In fact, the appearance after an arm lift can be quite dramatic depending on the amount of loose skin that one is left with after losing a lot of weight.  Typically, after all of the swelling subsides, patients are very happy with the results.  


- The operation involves making an incision from the armpit region (axilla) and extending it onto the upper arm, and usually ending the incision just above the elbow.  I always aim to keep the scar on the lower aspect of the arm so that it is hidden as much as possible from view. 


Best of luck!


Candidate for an arm lift?

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Thanks for your question.  There is no way to really answer it specifically without photos or a physical exam.  Arm lift will leave a permanent scar and unless you have significant excess skin it's not always a great procedure.  Venus Freeze might be something that you can investigate for minor skin tightening.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Arm Surgery after Weight Loss?

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Congratulations on your significant weight loss. Most patients who have had significant weight loss benefit from arm lifting as opposed to liposuction surgery.

Assuming you have reached a long-term stable weight, you may be an excellent candidate for arm contouring surgery: this is the best operation that will treat the “sagging arms”;  the downside of course is the long scar ( that can be problematic and require revisionary surgery).  In my opinion one of the keys to this operation is to plan the excision such that the resulting scar  falls along the lower border of the arm ( and therefore is not visible from the front or back views).

I hope this helps.

What is a brachioplasty?

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A brachioplasty is an arm lift or an arm reduction. It usually involves the upper arm but can occasionally be needed below the elbow as well. The condition requiring a brachioplasty is known in the plastic surgery community as a 'batwing deformity' because when the arms are held out to the side, the appearance is that of, well, a bat in flight.

Batwing deformities most commonly follow large weight losses, but they can simply be aging phenomena as well. Unfortunately they respond to neither dieting (the cause, if anything) nor exercise.

The surgery consists of liposuction alone if the skin tone is good - the younger patient perhaps - but this is unusual. More commonly, skin is excised along the inside of the upper arm leaving a visible but inconspicuous scar.

Be careful on your choice of surgeon. Make sure he or she is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, preferably with experience in 'body contouring' following massive weight loss.

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Rolling Hills Estates Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

My Arms Sag After Weight Loss?

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There are three methods of correcting excess arm skin.  Liposuction can be used for moderate fat and good elasticity of skin.  An incision only in the axilla (with and without liposuction) is good for excess skin close to the axilla.  Lastly is the traditional incision along the axis of the arm (from axilla to elbow).  This can be placed mid arm, posterior arm, or i prefer the midposterior postion.  The best method depends on the amount and location of excess skin and fat. Best option will be decided by you and your plastic surgeon.  good luck

Arms Sag After Weight Loss

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Hard to give worthwhile advice without at least photos. Extra skin in the arms typically needs an operation to excise the excess tissue. Once the elasticity is gone, it is gone, and there really are no other ways to tighten the skin.

Depending upon the quantity of excess skin, the operation would involve an incision in the axilla if the excess is modest, or, more usually, vertically along the access of the arm. 

Best bet now is 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 your 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.