Some people call them "bat wings." Others refer to them as "lunch lady arms." Most take the straightforward path and just call them "jiggly arms."
Regardless of what you call the saggy skin that hangs from your upper arms, there's a good chance it bothers you a lot. Not only does it limit your fashion choices and look unattractive, but it's uncomfortable. The loose skin can be heavy and cause pain when you move.
Why does it occur?
The skin on your upper arms sags for a couple of reasons. Aging, hormonal changes and massive weight loss are the most common factors. After losing significant weight, the skin that's left behind is often stretched out since there's no fat left to fill the area.
The problem is widespread in the United States. The number of arm lift surgeries, which are officially called brachioplasties, has increased exponentially in recent decades. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of arm lifts performed since the mid-1990s has increased nearly 930 percent.
Is Surgery the Only Option?
Strength training and exercising can sometimes improve the appearance of saggy skin on arms. In many causes though, the skin is stretched and simply can't respond to exercises.
Liposuction can help reshape arms, but the skin must be firm. In cases where patients have experienced a significant weight loss, the skin is usually too lax for liposuction to be highly effective. In some younger patients with good skin tone, liposuction can achieve better results than non-invasive procedures like radiofrequency treatments.
Given that other options generally don't yield good results, many people turn to arm lift surgery to improve the appearance of saggy arms.
How is an arm lift performed?
An arm lift is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. The excess skin is cut away and some liposuction may be done to improve the resulting contour. There are a variety of ways to make the incisions. In some cases, the scar can be hidden in the armpit; in others, some visible scarring may occur lower down the arm. However, the scar fade significantly over time.
What is recovery like?
As with any surgical procedure, some discomfort is associated with an arm lift. Most patients control pain with a simple over-the-counter analgesic medication. Missed time from work is minimal for most patients.
Am I a candidate?
Candidates for arm lift surgery must be in good overall health. If you're on a weight-loss journey, you should weight until you've maintained your desired weight for a year before considering any type of skin lift surgery.
If you'd like to find out if arm lift surgery is right for you, please schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our cosmetic surgeons. Call 650-562-6762 or use this form to request an appointment.