I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal? (photos)

I have lost 100 pounds over the last 3 years, doing it with diet and some exercise, but I still have 80 pounds until I hit my goal. I recently moved to Palm Bay, Florida and I can't stand my arms in bathing suits and I would like to go sleeveless now. I am 63 years old and arm exercise is doing nothing to help. I was 385 and now I am 279. Would it make that much difference if I waited? My weight loss is so slow now and my arms are such an embarrassment. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Weight loss before brachioplasty

If you were just considering losing 10 to 15 pounds, then it would probably be reasonable to proceed with your surgery. If you will truly meet your goal of losing 80 pounds, I would recommend waiting to have surgery. Once corrected, your arms should have everlasting improvement. This could easily be compromised with such significant weight loss.


Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

congratulations on your successful weight loss.  80 lbs is still a significant amount of weight to lose and may change your surgical outcome if you do surgery prior to the weight loss.  I'm curious as to how you came up with your goal weight.  Best if your goal weight was set with a nutritionist or MD.  You may also want to see a board certified plastic surgeon in the meantime to examine you.  Your arms may reach a point when it would be safe to undergo a brachioplasty prior to an 80 lb wt loss.  

Timing is about expectations...

Great job in your journey. You should feel very proud of your achievement.

To answer your question:

If you have your surgery and continue loosing weight, it might be possible that the saggy tissue might happen again. This might represent another surgery in the future.

If you feel that your arms will stay the same or that you won't be loosing much more weight, then surgery should be the right answer for you now.

Once again congratulations. Wishing you best of luck.

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

Great work on the weight loss. I recommend my patients to be at their goal weight when they are considering any lifting procedures. If you decided to have the procedure done now and you end up loosing 80 lbs later you would end up where you started. You should see a physician about helping with the weight loss. This way you achieve your results a bit faster and end up having your arm lift sooner. 

Hope this helps. 

Weight loss and arm lift

I tell my patients when you are happy with your current weight in lifestyle, and exercise activity, you may consider body contouring procedures.  The goal is to keep your weight stable, because weight gain or loss can change your surgical outcomes.  
Obviously, you need to be in good health before considering body contouring procedures.  Make an in-person consultation with a PS when you are ready to begin the discussion and see if you are a good candidate for the procedure.  

Rolando Morales Jr, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose. Do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

Ideally patients should be within 10 pounds of their ideal body weight before undergoing body contouring surgery. Sometimes however certain parts of the body gain and loose fat differently than other parts of the body. If a physical examination of your arms indicated that you have very little residual excess fat would be reasonable to proceed with a bilateral arm lift. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Weight loss and surgery

Congratulations on all of your hard work!  When considering surgery such as this, you will get the most reliable results when you have the procedure after you are near your goal weight and you are no longer noticing changes to the area being treated.  You could consider having the procedure done now to take up much of the excess tissue, and then have a revisional surgery once you have reached your goal weight.  Under either circumstance I encourage you to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to evaluate your situation and advise you based on your medical history and surgical goals.  Good luck!

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

Thank you for your question and photographs, and congratulations on your massive weight loss!  It is always wise to pursue an elective aesthetic procedure after you've reached your goal weight as it leads to the best long term results.  It is possible to have the surgery now if your arms are causing you such discomfort and embarrassment, but you would need to be willing to accept some additional skin laxity if you were to lose another 80 pounds or so.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

Way to go and keep it up.... Best to seek only in person opinions from private practice boarded Plastic Surgeons in Florida. I might consider a 2 stage operation for you, but need to see in person. 

I need to have arm lift surgery but I still have weight to lose, do I have to wait until I hit my goal?

Congratulations on your massive weight loss! This requires commitment and dedication. It is my opinion that you would benefit at this time from bilateral brachioplasty ( arm lift). Most all of the excess skin and fat that exists on your upper arms at the present time- can be removed with surgery. The incision site will extend from your elbow to your axilla in the groove of your biceps muscle.

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.