What Would be Best - An Arm Lift or Tuck?

I'm 28 years old. I've suffered with bat wings my whole life. I can never wear anything sleeveless and am extremely paranoid about my arms. I've come to the decision that surgery is the only option for me. Based on my photos is it the best option and will the scarring be worse than the bat wings? I'm desperate for help!

Doctor Answers 18

Arm Lift, Tuck, or Liposuction for Arm Fat? Best Is?

    The tuck with a little incision and lift in the axilla is nearly worthless.    The direst arm lift works.   I would suggest you do liposuctio-limited arm lift.  You can do both at the same time as a combimed procedure.  This will work and your scar will be fairly short.  Good Luck.    Get an ABPS-FACS surgeon for safety and results.

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Arm lift or brachioplasty

Liposuction alone will not address the loser skin in the upper inner arm.   A shorter incision arm lift would resolve the lose skin and the scar could be relatively well hidden in or near the armpit.  Liposuction with vaser ultrasound or laser but I don't think you will be pleased unless the lose skin is also removed.  Best Wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Arm lift and tuck atlanta

Arm lift can improve your self confidence and ability to wear the clothes you want to wear. As a young person, the scar should look better than the bat wings as long as an experienced board certified Plastic surgeon performs the surgery. Liposuction with limited incision arm lift should do the trick for you. Again, see a board certified Plastic surgeon.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Surgery for your problem should produce nice results.

Improving your arm contour will be best done with a combination of liposuction and skin excision. The arm lift incision does not need to extend far down the inner aspect of your arm. With your darker skin you should discuss the placement of the scar and realize that the scar will always be visible when you lift your arm up. Although arm lifts that limit the scar to your arm pit are not ideal for very loose arms, you would be a good candidate for this approach. Understanding what degree of improvement and what amount of scarring you will be happy with can result in a customized solution for you.

Dr Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Best option for upper arm "bat wings."

You are young and appear to have reasonably good skin tone. However, the area of upper arm fullness and excess fat may be more than liposuction (including ultrasonic or SmartLipo) alone could handle and still give you a good result--you wouldn't want to end up with a wrinkled, deflated "bat wing!" So, the exact amount of tissue to be removed and skin tone need to be assessed by your plastic surgeon in person before a recommendation can be given, or an informed decision made.

That being said, you are probably right, an arm lift may well be necessary. I assume you differentiate a "tuck" from a "lift" by incision approach, and would describe a "tuck" as any effort to tighten this area by working in the armpit area only, and limiting the incision(s) and scar(s) to the armpit. IMHO, for you  this won't work. Period.

However, a standard "arm lift" or brachioplasty most commonly utilizes an incision from within the armpit to the elbow, leaving a scar that can in some cases be visible and unsightly (and keeping you in sleeves). It appears that this is not necessary in your case, since the excess tissues are confined to about 1/3 of your upper arm length. A limited-incision brachioplasty could be designed for your exact anatomy, and would utilize a shorter incision and leave a shorter permanent scar that would allow normal short sleeve blouses (even if the short scar was less-than-perfect), or sleeveless if the scar heals as you and your surgeon hope! Find an experienced, fully-trained and certified plastic surgeon and arrange a consultation. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Arm lift for bat wings

Thank you for your question regarding an arm lift.

You have excess upper arm skin and fat. The arm fat and skin need to be surgically removed. Liposuction alone would leave you with hanging upper arms skin. I would suggest an incision be made from the armpit and extended towards the middle of your upper arm. Through this incision, your upper arm skin and fat can be surgically removed. To conceal the arm lift scar, I would place the incision between the biceps and the triceps.

Good luck with your quest for skinnier arms.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

You Would Benefit From An Upper Arm Brachioplasty

                  It’s not uncommon for patients with excess upper arm skin to request surgical correction of this problem. The treatment of this problem varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors.

                  Your pictures suggest that you would benefit from an upper arm brachioplasty, but without a physical examination it’s virtually impossible to know with certainty. Your pictures suggest that the results from lesser procedures such as liposuction probably wouldn’t meet your aesthetic goals.

                  Every surgical procedure involves a series of tradeoffs. In the case of brachioplasty the trade involves excess loose skin verses the potential for excess scarring. This can be an extremely difficult decision that must be made by the patient. There’s no right or wrong answer and for this reason, the decision comes down to personal preference. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Arm lift or tuck

I would definitely visit with a board-certified plastic surgeon to review your options in person.
Based on your photos, you may be able to achieve what you would like with a short scar arm lift. This would allow the incision to be centered and hidden in your armpit region. If you are open to a slightly longer scar, then this car can be extended towards the elbow from the armpit. The longer this scar is extended, the more skin tightening you will receive.  Based on the photos, I do not believe you need to extend this scar all the way to your elbow. You might deal to keep all your scars hidden within a T-shirt distribution.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Arm contouring options

It is hard to give you a recommendation without direct examination.  If you do have hanging skin, brachioplasty (arm lift) will give you a good contour.  However, it will have scar.  Depending on your need, the scar can be elbow to armpit or confined around the armpit.  If you have a mild laxity, liposuction/laser may help.  It will be best to be examined by a board-certified plastic surgeon.  Best wishes.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Surgical Options

Fortunately for you, you are very young and your skin may be able to retract well if you combine liposuction and a limited brachioplasty (arm lift with a minor incision in the armpit). I would have to examine you in person to determine the best plan of action for you, but from your pictures you have provided, I believe that may be a suitable option to address your upper- arm bat wings.

I have included a link below that may be of interest to you. Best of luck.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 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.