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Flabby Upper Arms? All About Upper Arm Lift and Arm Liposuction Surgery

Posted on: May 10th, 2019
arm lift reduction bat wings

All About Upper Arm Reduction “Upper Arm Lift” Plastic Surgery

Brachioplasty Arm Lift Surgery including Liposuction and Skin reduction for reducing ‘bingo wings’ or sagging arm skin

“Got Wings?”This is the advertising campaign used by the Red Bull energy drinks company. However, some people have what’s commonly called “bat wings,” “bingo wings” or in Australia – by the unflattering term “tuck-shop arms.”  Fortunately, upper arm lift surgery by Dr Geoff Barnett of Melbourne, can help you get your arm skin to a more comfortable level.  In our blog “all about upper arm lift surgery” we discuss Bilateral Brachioplasty procedures.

Download Our Guide to Arm Lifts

What is a bilateral Brachioplasty? Medical Definitions in plain language

A bilateral Brachioplasty is upper arm skin & arm circumference REDUCTION surgery.  Bilateral means the surgery is performed on both arms.  Some people with a problem only on one side of their body might choose a Unilateral Brachioplasty but most patients have a bilateral procedure, meaning the redundant (excess) skin folds and unwanted arm-fat  is reduced on BOTH arms. The incision is usually but not always made on the inside of the arm between the armpit and elbow to help reduce visibility of the arm surgery scar when the hands are by the sides.

UPPER ARM SURGERY to reduce flappy arm skin is one of the Body Lift/Body Contouring and Skin Reduction surgeries available to men and women who have excess skin folds due to overcoming obesity, or simply genetics, ageing and body mass index changes (weight fluctuations) that resulted in stretched skin that expands larger than the underlying support structures and hence, results in a sagging, drooping upper arm condition many in Australia call ‘bingo wings’ or ‘tuck shop arms’.

Bingo Wing Arms and Arm Reduction “Arm Lift/Brachioplasty Surgery”

  • Flabbiness, a large circumference of the upper arms, and loose upper arm skin near the triceps area is a VERY common skin condition. It often occurs in people who have either lost body weight, had a reduction in skin elasticity or muscle firmness due to ageing, menopause or skin atrophy, and people who have higher fat-to-muscle ratios in their upper arms.
  • This leaves women and men with flappy ‘upper arm’ wings that may prohibit what they can wear, or how comfortable they feel in public.
  • It is particularly common in formerly obese individuals who have lost weight and are left with skin folds requiring skin reduction surgery.
  • No amount of exercise will reduce skin, although having a high muscle-to-fat ratio can sometimes help.
  • Redundant, loose skin and areas of arm fat that are exercise-resistant need a surgical solution if you’re wanting thinner, firmer looking upper arms after weight loss or loose skin concners.

What are bat wings or arm wings? Why do so many women and men have them in later life?

Arm wings are flabby, saggy upper arm skin that typically result from a combination of factors such as those listed below.

  • Sagging skin on the arms or body may relate to skin laxity problems or skin stretching from weight changes or yo-yo-dieting.
  • Hormonal changes, weight changes and genetics all play a part.
  • The person’s weight and height (which are used in calculating a BMI) also play a part.
  • Many individuals over the age of 40 or 50 find they have some excess skin on their upper arm area.
  • Females are often more impacted by this condition than are males and are more likely to seek Plastic Surgery to adjust and reduce their upper arm volume for comfort, exercise freedoms and skin chaffing reduction.

Brachioplasty is a popular Plastic Surgery procedure performed to reduce the arm size and girth.

  • Is it difficult to fit into some sleeves shirts?
  • Are you embarrassed when you want to wear something sleeveless in summer?
  • Are you uncomfortable with the flapping sound of upper arm skin that droops and sags from the triceps area?

Some individuals DO end up with quite a bit of excess, redundant skin that is saggy or flabby and interferes with clothing choices.  They try exercise but nothing seems to make a major difference. So what’s the surgical solution?

  • Brachioplasty surgery is one potential solution for some patients who are bothered by the appearance and girth of their upper arms.
  • It does leave a scar, quite a lengthy one compared so some other procedures (but most serious body contouring procedures do leave rather long scars, other than breast augmentation on its own, which leaves a smaller scar of less than 3 to 4 cm for many patients)
  • The upper arm surgery scar, however, is typically strategically placed to be less visible (or even not visible) when the arms are by the sides.
  • The surgery also uses UPPER ARM liposuction as well as surgical excision (this can vary depending on the patient).

A mature scar is seen on the inside of the arm in this patient education/Arm Lift Surgery – Bilateral Brachioplasty – photograph.

arm reduction upper arm lift surgery

Disclaimer/Reminder: All invasive surgery carries risks and results can vary from patient to patient.

The benefits of Arm Reduction or Upper Arm Lift Surgery (Bilateral Brachioplasty)

Surgery benefits are primarily in the areas of quality of life that surround:

  • comfort
  • skin health/fewer areas of chaffing or excess sweating
  • self-confidence
  • convenience during summer
  • clothing choices
  • exercise
  • sounds (less flapping)
  • easier overhead stretching or lifting without saggy upper arm skin getting in the way

For people with extreme degrees of excess skin folds on their upper arm area (between the armpit and the elbow), Upper Arm Lift Surgery – medically known as a bilateral Brachioplasty – may significantly enhance quality of life and improve comfort and clothing choices.

Send an enquiry or phone us on (03) 8849 1467 today to ask about scheduling a no-obligation appointment with Dr Barnett or send an enquiry form – be sure to ask for your Guide to Arm Lift Surgery.


The patient complaints in relation to having flabby, saggy upper arm skin or bat wings that LEADS patients to explore their Brachioplasty surgery options include:

PRACTICAL LIMITATIONS RELATED TO ARM GIRTH: CLOTHING

  • You may find most fashions with sleeves either highly uncomfortable or impossible to wear (have you had to force your arm through the sleeves of your favourite outfits?)
  • Comfortable clothing becomes difficult to find (perhaps the armholes of an outfit won’t accept the size of your upper arms due to excess skin folds)
  • You may be very hesitant to go sleeveless, even in summer – often due to self-consciousness about your arms (fearing other’s reactions or hurtful comments)

COMFORT AND LARGE, FLABBY UPPER ARM SKIN

  • Excess skin may flap when moving or exercising (a disconcerting sound for some people)
  • Concerned about raising arms, especially over the head (saggy skin becomes more obvious)
  • Arm bulk and sagging skin folds around the upper arm may also interfere you’re your comfort levels when you are working, gardening, cooking or working

SOCIAL IMPACT OF FLABBY UPPER ARMS

  • Insensitive comments: Grandchildren – and occasionally even strangers – may make hurtful comments about your upper arm appearance
  • Perceptions: Patients have reported feeling mistakenly judged as being “lazy” because of their arm size when that’s nowhere near the truth (studies affirm that our appearances impact other’s perceptions of our personality and that people can make snap judgments that are entirely incorrect)
  • Reactions and Covering Up: You may start to feel self-conscious about your arms in social situations, and you might work hard to hide your arms 

ALL ABOUT AN UPPER ARM LIFT (BILATERAL BRACHIOPLASTY SURGERY – by Dr Geoff Barnett, Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for Body Contouring and Arm Reduction Surgery

Brachioplasty Surgery is known as a procedure to reduce ‘bat wings’ or ‘bingo wings,’ and is often referred to as Upper Arm Reduction Surgery. 

  • A Brachioplasty procedure is a surgical reduction of skin and subcutaneous tissue (fatty tissue) from your upper arm area.
  • The treated area for an arm lift/Brachioplasty procedure usually extends from below your armpit to a variable distance towards the elbow.
  • Most Brachioplasty procedures also involve liposuction of the arm area prior to removing redundant (excess) skin.
  • The incision line is strategically placed to best minimise visibility of the scar when arms are by your side.
  • This may not be possible for all patients, however, a good Brachioplasty Surgeon knows where to place the incision line for best overall results and optimal scar healing management.
  • Incision line scars can take 12 to 18 months to reach maturity (some patients scars mature earlier).
  • There are also healing aids and scar management treatments, such as Healite II and some lasers (Fraxel and DermaPen), that can minimise or flatten scars.

Send an enquiry or phone us on (03) 8849 1467 today to ask about scheduling a no-obligation appointment with Dr Barnett or send an enquiry form – be sure to ask for your free downloadable PDF Guide to Arm Lift Surgery.  We also have other body contouring guides for you to choose from which will greatly assist your awareness of procedure information.

Disclaimer/Reminder: All invasive surgery carries risks and results can vary from patient to patient.

Download Our Guide to Arm Lifts

Dr Barnett is an expert in body contouring surgery after weight loss including: