Most patients who request treatment of the arms are unhappy with excess fat and loose skin on the upper-inner or posterior arms, termed “bat wings” by many patients. Treatment of the upper-inner arms is dependent on the patient’s individual anatomy, but generally requires two components:

  1. Removal of fat from the posterior and lateral arms.
  2. Tightening of the skin.

In the past, liposuction alone has yielded disappointing results except in very young patients with thick skin, which is still elastic and tends to conform to the smaller circumference of the arm. As patients age, the skin becomes looser and less elastic, and liposuction alone leads to the presence of stretched out, loose skin, which just doesn’t go away with time.

New Developments in Brachioplasty

Laser skin tightening in conjunction with liposuction can significantly improve the appearance of loose skin on the upper-inner arm and may be an option for patients who would not be candidates for traditional liposuction alone. “Precision Tx” liposuction, with use of an optical laser fiber may be used, not only to melt the fat, but also perform tightening of the overlying skin and eliminate the need for skin excision.

Arm Lift Surgery with Loose Skin

For the patients who do have loose skin, which is beyond the capabilities of the laser to perform tightening, (such as after massive weight loss), surgical removal of the excess skin can significantly improve the appearance of the upper arm. This is usually done with an L-shaped incision in the armpit that extends along the upper medial arm. The scar is thin and not visible with the arm in a normal position. Brachioplasty or “arm-lift” can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with other body contour interventions, such as breast-lift or lateral body-lift. Brachioplasty can be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the degree of correction involved. Depending on patients desires, plastic surgeons offer different techniques in the Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Morgantown areas.