Do I need an Arm lift? (photos)

I know that it's hard to tell from pictures alone but I have what I think is loose skin allover my arms after some weight loss. it actually looks a lot worse in person and they are covered in stretch marks. I think that there is still fat in my arms but a lot of it feels like skin to me.

Doctor Answers 9

Do I need an Arm lift?

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 Congratulations on your weight loss. Sorry, but the advice you receive here (without careful evaluation of your upper extremity) is almost meaningless.  Having said that, my initial impression is that arm lifting is likely "overkill" ( not worth the resulting scar…); depending on your physical examination (especially the quality of skin elasticity), liposuction surgery may be the better option.
Best to seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Best wishes

Arm lift versus liposuction?

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Thanks for your question and sharing your photos. The arms look like better candidates for liposuction at this time. However, I respect your statement about how they look worse in real life and so I can say that it is best you see a plastic surgeon and be fully examined to determine the best result. If the elasticity truly is excessive then the arm lift is the best procedure. Best, Dr. Aldo

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Lipo first

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I would consider liposuction first and then see how much the skin will tighten...I think you will have a nice result with liposculpture.  look for a board certified plastic surgeon

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Do I need an Arm lift?

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Thank you for your question.  Just by looking at your photos, I would say try liposuction first.  But if you're saying that you have loose skin with stretch marks, you may need an arm lift.  This is why an in person exam would be required for a complete evaluation.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arm lift or Lipo?

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Thank you for your inquiry and congrats on your weight loss! It is a little tough to tell from the pictures provided but from the explanation, i would say a brachioplasty would be the best option. A Brachioplasty is a procedure to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper arm ( your stretch marks will be removed as much as possible during surgery). A precise clinical assessment will determine the extent of the surgery to be performed. Always be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Best of Luck!

Sagging arm skin fat arms arm lift arm reduction VASER arm liposuction brachioplasty

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Hi Ellie,Thank you for your pictures and question about your arms.  From your history and pictures, it appears you have excess arm skin and fat.  Arm fat can be removed with VASER arm liposuction. However, the only way your arm skin can be removed is with an incision.  Furthermore, you have a history of weight loss and now stretch marks.  These arm stretch marks may indicate that your arms lack the ability to contract after just arm liposuction.  If you just have traditional arm liposuction or even VASER arm liposuction, I believe you will have sagging arm skin. In your case, for optimal results, I would suggest arm liposuction combined with an incision from the armpit to the elbow.  The arm lift or brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia and takes about three hours to complete.  The recovery takes about two weeks.  Post-operatively, arm compression garments are essential for six weeks. Therefore, in your case, “yes”, I would suggest an arm lift.  Thank you for your questions about your arms.  If you have any other questions about an arm lift, arm reduction, brachioplasty, traditional arm liposuction, or VASER arm liposuction, please contact my office.Good luck.  Sincerely,Dr. J. Timothy Katzen       

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Do I need an arm lift?

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It is difficult to make a surgical recommendation without the ability to examine you.  If however her problem is predominantly excess skin and arm lift (brachioplasty) is probably the solution. 
Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is one of the most frequently requested body contouring procedures performed today.  The demand for this procedure has increased more than 800% since 1997.  This is the greatest percent change of any of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures  Much of the increase in popularity is due to the growing number of patients who undergo massive weight loss. Brachioplasty is normally performed as an outpatien. In performing this procedure an incision is made on the inside of the arm extending from the elbow into the armpit.  Sometimes it is necessary to extend the incision further into the armpit and sometimes past it.  Utilizing this incision excess skin is removed and the wound is closed.  It is very important to position the scar properly so that it is concealed as much as possible.  A well-placed incision should result in a scar that is only visible when the arms are raised.  It is very important for the surgeon to discuss the resultant scar thoroughly with the patient preoperatively.  Very commonly this scar takes a longer time to undergo the full healing and maturation process than scars in other parts of the body.  Maturation refers to the process whereby the scar becomes less apparent.  Brachioplasty scars commonly take up to 2 years to fully mature.  Immediately after the operation compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit.  These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively and replaced by elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes.  These can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store.  Most patients wear these for up for up to 4 weeks postoperatively.  No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively.  Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon.  They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown.  Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best results.  In the last several years improvements have been made in the performance of brachioplasty (arm lift) resulting in better results and more acceptable scars.  These improvements includes more precise incision placement, better closure techniques and use of post operative scar reducing systems.  With greater attention to these details the benefits of arm lift surgery can be achieved with more acceptable scarring than in the past.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Need an Arm Lift?

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I agree with you that it is hard to tell from the photos the best path forward for correcting the saggy skin.  Would recommend that you schedule a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine the elasticity of your skin and the best option for you.Kenneth B. Hughes, MD Board Certified Plastic SurgeonLos Angeles, CA

Arm Lift?

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I suggest making a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area.  With only pictures, it is hard to offer a solution to your question.  If the area you are referring to is loose sagging skin, than an arm lift (also referred to as a Brachioplasty), might be a good option for you.  I always remind my patients the tradeoff for an arm lift is the scar left from the incision. Typically running from underarm to elbow, the scars will fade over time, but always be present.  Another less invasive option for you could be liposuction of the upper arms, however this procedure alone does not tighten skin. Striae, or stretch marks, are permanent unless they are surgically excised. After an in-person evaluation, your Plastic Surgeon will offer the suggestions he or she deems most appropriate for you.

Audrey A. Klenke, MD, FACS
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.