Non Surgical Skin Tightening for Arms?

I had Gastric bypass surgery about 8 years ago and lost 100lbs. Since then, I’ve experienced “loose skin”…EVERYWHERE!! I hate it!! I’m just as self conscious in clothes as I was 100 pounds ago. I’d like a complete body lift but that is definitely NOT in my budget. I’ve been considering mesotherapy or some other non surgical alternative on my arms because I’d like to at least feel comfortable in short sleeves (since the lower half of my body is a DEFINITE case of “nip/tuck”). I’m looking to tighten the skin, I’m sure I could afford to rid my arms of some fat, but primarily it’s the loose skin I’d like to focus on. Any recommendations? Experiences? Comments?

Doctor Answers 38

What's wrong with surgery - it works!

Many patients have an unreasonable aversion to surgery in these cases whereas the truth is that it is the most successful method of treatment.  Financial issues aside - skin tightening tecniques are very effective for these problems.  You will be dissapointed with non surgical "experimental" treatments.


Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Unfortunately, surgery is your only option

After massive weight loss, the degree of excess skin and loss of elasticity can only be improved with excisional surgery. There really is no other way to make any real change.

The best plan would be to keep your weight down, meet with an excellent plastic surgeon and plan a long term program for total body improvement stage by stage and budget for it. You can direct the plan according to which areas bother you most and get these done first.

Massive weight loss leaves a lot of skin excess

Following the massive weight loss, what is remaining is skin and not fat. The only option left is to remove that skin surgicaly. Minimal skin excess could be handled by some non surgical techniques like radio frequency.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Surgery for arm skin excess

Minimally invasive skin tightening simply doesn't, unfortunately, offer the amount of tightening massive weight loss patients need.

Of the different types of arm lifts, there are lifts performed in the armpit crease and lifts that extend down the arm.

For more severe problems, the lift with an incision extending down the arm provides the best solution (since it decreases the circumference).

The trade-off is a scar and nice arms vs. no scar but excess skin in the arms, so patients should talk to their plastic surgeon about each of these options. The incisions on the arms do take a while to heal, but patients who are carefully selected are almost uniformly happy with the results.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Is an Arm Lift /Brachioplasty Necessary...

I understand your concern , but ultimately your best option will be  An arm lift, or brachioplasty, tis procedure is recommend it to 
  • Reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward
  • Tightens and smoothes the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
  • Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
Fluctuations in weight, growing older, and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.
Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat. Hope this helps .

Orlando Llorente, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Treatment After Massive Weight Loss

Many times after people lose a considerable amount of weight they are disappointed to discover they did not achieve their ideal figure that they envisioned due excess, sagging skin. After the skin has been excessively stretched it loses its elasticity, which makes it difficult if not impossible for sagging skin to return back to its original shape or size without surgery. In addition to the aesthetic concerns, loose skin can lead to rashes, infections and other health issues under the folds of the skin.

There are many non-surgical procedures that claim to reduce or eliminate sagging skin under the arms and other areas body. These non-surgical procedures usually involve a variety of different non-invasive fat reduction procedures and laser treatments. However, these treatments do not achieve optimal results for this type of cosmetic concern. To adequately address excess fat and skin in this region brachioplasty, usually produces the best results. The length of the incision will vary depending upon the location and the amount of fat being removed from the arms. Your best approach would be to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to create a long term plan to address all of your cosmetic concerns. This would allow you to break your surgery into stages and budget appropriately. Also, keep in mind that many plastic surgery offices offer some type of financial program that help patients with the cost aspect of surgery.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Skin treatment after massive weight loss

after weight loss, excess of skin is a major issue.

depending on the skin quality, some of them recover well without major skin excess and others not.

if major skin excess is the problem. unfortunately, the surgery is the most efficient and cost effective procedure.

Jacques Haddad, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Brachioplasty surgery after 100 lb weight loss

Unfortunately, there are no effective nonsurgical options to address loose arm skin after significant weight loss. Brachioplasty (arm lift) surgery is the best treatment to effectively remove excess arm skin and restore contour of the arm and armpit. Usually after 100 lb weight loss, an extended brachioplasty is required resulting in a scar that spans from the armpit to the elbow.

Loose arm skin after Weight loss

Please do not waste your money on mesotherapy or noninvasive skin tightening. The majority of the money spent for this could go towards a brachioplasty.  This surgery is now becoming one of the most popular surgeries in the United States. It is extremely effective when combined with SAFE liposuction and skin excision to obtain dramatic results.  

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Non surgical arm lift procedures

Congratulations on your weight loss! As you have noted the skin and soft tissues do not often shrink to conform to your new healthier body. There are not any nonsurgical options for tightening the skin after massive weight loss that will provide significant benefits. I suggest you have a consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon and develop a plan to improve your areas of concern. Most surgeons will provide some sort of financing to help with the costs. Although the fees may be significant you will have life long improvement in your contour and higher self esteem.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 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.