Wobby Arm Skin – is Plastic Surgery a good solution?
Arm Skin Surgery Recovery and Costs: The Bilateral Brachiopolasty
At a certain time of life, you may find yourself with wobbly upper arm skin along your triceps.
- Arm girth expansion and drooping skin on the upper arms is part of ageing-related skin changes
- It can also occur after surgery for weight loss (e.g., after having a gastric sleeve or a gastric lap band inserted)
Upper arm skin drooping – sometimes called “bingo wings” or “bat wings” – is NOT a concern for most people.
However, many people with expended arm girth or sagging upper arm skin feel self-conscious in certain types of clothing.
- Upper arm skin laxity can also limit what you can comfortably wear
- And interfere with your comfort during tasks where you need to lift your arms (lifting, getting something down from a cabinet, throwing a toy for the kids or pets, exercising)
This is when you might consider a Bilateral Brachioplasty surgery procedure.
This arm skin contouring surgery is also known as an ARM LIFT or ARM GIRTH REDUCTION procedure.
What’s involved with Arm Skin Surgery and Girth Reduction?
- This procedure is one of the more complex skin reduction surgeries because it involves multiple techniques and bilateral procedures (both arms, two sides of your body)
- It also involves liposuction as well as surgical excisions
- skin reduction and adipose tissue reduction
- tissue contouring
- This means your arms are REDUCED in girth through removing dermal tissues and reducing underlying fat cells (adipose tissues)
- It also means recovery can be more extensive than if you had a single surgery procedure
Reducing the size of your Upper Arms by removing sagging skin
One operation or two?
- Bilateral brachioplasty procedures involve at least two unique surgeries, fully customised to suit each arm
- These can be done separately BUT most patients choose to have a bilateral procedure, meaning TWO operations at the same time
- These procedures can involve 2 to 4 or more advanced surgical techniques to get a good result, such as skin reduction with liposculpting
What will the results look like given my arms are different sizes?
- Each arm has a different girth, as all bodies are asymmetrical and no two arms are alike
- While some asymmetry can be lessened, the main focus is on reducing arm girth to create a firmer, smoother or tighter appearance of your upper arms
- Do not expect identical symmetry but do expect improvement on girth and skin appearance (reduced skin drooping)
- Healing and scar formation can take several months
- You’ll have to accept that you’ll have a long scar which may fade, but which is visible when your hands or arms are in certain positions
Is arm skin reduction worth it?
- Many patients report they feel much better having firmer arm skin (less self-conscious)
- In patient-to-patient forums, most patients report high satisfaction rates with these procedures
- Watch an Arm Surgery Discussion VIDEO about arm scars .
What Upper Arm Surgery Techniques are used in Brachioplasty?
Which Brachioplasty surgery techniques are best really depends on what is best for YOUR specific arm skin concerns.
Typically, the process of arm skin reduction surgery involves:
- A consultation and pre-op session to discuss your surgery requirements, costs, risks and aftercare
- Assessment of your overall health condition, Body Mass Index (Height and Weight) and skin laxity
- Discussion of the arm surgery techniques that will best suit your needs and PROS and CONS of different options
- CLINICAL BEFORE SURGERY PHOTOS will be taken (your AFTER surgery photos will be taken at your follow-up appointments)
- Once you schedule surgery, you’ll be given specific pre-surgery instructions and post-op care guidelines
- During surgery, inner arm area excisions are made to reduce the skin
- These incisions often extend from your elbow area to your armpit area or back and upper torso
- Liposuction and/or strategic incisions may also be employed to further reduce volume or girth, or shape the arms (tightening and contouring)
- Skin is then readjusted and tightly sutured and you’ll be prepared for your recovery period, including how to wear compression garments
- Wound care is also discussed and you’ll have follow up appointments shortly after surgery and then again at various time points
- Remember, you’ll be asked to wear compression garments for several weeks or months, depending on your pre-surgery condition and the amount of skin / dermal tissues removed during surgery
- We provide two compression garments but if you want additional sets, you can purchase these separately
Arm Skin Surgery Scars (Brachioplasty SCARS)
An example of a fresh arm lift scar is shown below. This will tend to fade in time.
Notice the dramatic change in girth and ‘wobble reduction’. Clinic image (All Rights Reserved by Cosmetic Surgery for Women & Men).
Fresh arm skin reduction surgery scar still in early stages of skin healing is shown below. Note that patient results and SCARS vary.
Compare to a well-healing scar after arm skin/arm girth reduction surgery (see image below).
How long is the RECOVERY period after Brachioplasty (Arm Skin Surgery)?
- Recovery varies from person to person and how your surgery is performed (bilateral vs one arm only, liposuction or skin excision only)
- You will, however, need a few weeks away from work and other activities involving arm use
- Allow several weeks of no-driving and no heavy lifting for several months until your incision lines are fully healed
- Compression garments must be worn as instructed, and allow about 12 to 16 weeks for most of the healing to occur
- As your incision lines heal, your Surgeon will give you direct advice on when you can resume certain activities
- For more on ARM reduction surgery, get a downloadable PDF booklet that explains the process in more detail.
Benefits of Arm Reduction & Skin Reduction Plastic Surgery
- Smaller arm girth allows for more freedom of movement
- Less sweat/more comfort (reduced skin-to-skin contact and less skin volume)
- Easier to wear sleeved shirts or tops
- Reduction in flapping sounds when moving your arms
- Typically easier to exercise your upper body and arms (after fully recovering from surgery)
- More confidence wearing sleeveless clothing or swim wear
- Reduced skin infections caused by skin laxity or drooping arm skin (upper arms)
- Easier to see results of upper arm strengths training (tricep and bicep strengthening)
That noted, all surgery has risks and results can vary significantly from patient to patient.
Costs of Arm Skin Reduction Surgery (Bilateral Brachioplasty)
The average price of ARM SKIN Surgery varies according to what you need adjusted in terms of excess skin and fat reduction.
Average prices for bilateral brachioplasty surgery in Melbourne range from $17,000 to $23,000 when performed by an expert Plastic Surgeon who operates in Hospital settings.
Upper Arm Reduction Surgery Recovery and Risks
Risks to Consider when exploring Arm Lift (Bilateral Brachioplasty) Surgery
Like all surgical procedures, Brachioplasty, whether on its own, or in combination with Liposculpture or Liposuction, does have some risk.
Broadly the risks can be considered as follows:
General Anaesthesia – Most healthy patients respond well to general anaesthesia as modern techniques are very safe, but there is always some risk from general anaesthesia. Our team will provide you with the details of your Anaesthetists prior to your surgery to discuss any specific concerns. By operating in approved hospitals, your Surgeon will be able to offer a safe, supported environment for Surgery. As well as a fully trained Plastic Surgeon, you will have a trained Surgical Assistant present for your procedure. You will also have a fully trained Anaesthetist attending to you at all times while you under Anaesthesia. You’ll be supported by additional fully trained Support Staff.
Bleeding (Haematoma) – This may require a visit to the operating theatre to remove the blood clot.
Infection – Your Surgeon will prescribe you with antibiotics and monitor you closely.
Delayed Wound Healing – Your Surgeon and Nurse coordinator will manage the healing process. This usually occurs within patients who are overweight, smokers or who have an infection.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Fluid build-up (Seroma)
Scarring – Some scarring after surgery is inevitable. These settle over the months. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Your Surgeon will take great care to minimise scarring and will ensure that scars are as inconspicuous as possible. Please ask your surgeon about any concerns you may have. Stretch marks may not all be removed from surgery and new ones may be created. You will be offered three Fraxel Laser treatments with our Dermal Clinician, starting approximately 8 weeks to 10 weeks post-surgery to help manage and improve scarring.
Numbness – This will occur 100% of the time and mostly settles over the months and up to 1-2 years.
Asymmetry – Your arms are different – just have a careful look in the mirror. Part of your Surgeon’s skill lies in trying to minimise any asymmetry between your right and left arms. However, you tend to have a good deal of asymmetry before surgery (especially between your dominant hand/arm and you opposite arm). So some degree of minor asymmetry is quite common after Surgery as well. For most patient, the difference is very small. It is often imperceptible, unless you really look for it. Your surgeon can discuss this with you during your consultation.
Scars may be also be slightly different on your right side compared to you left side. Be sure to follow all of your Surgeon’s Post-Op instructions and healing and scar minimisation protocols as well.
Pain – This will be managed appropriately with pain medications and prompt aftercare.
All successful surgery outcomes are the result of realistic expectations of the patient, realistic surgical goals and the knowledge of possible risks and complications. Nothing is ever guaranteed in science and medicine. Risks are minimised through careful patient screening and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post-operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These rarely have long term effect on an excellent final result.
Contact our Clinic to find out if you are a good candidate for upper arm reshaping surgery OR other body reshaping and body lift procedures in Melbourne or Berwick.
Combined Body Contouring after Weight Loss or Pregnancy
Dr Geoff Barnett body contouring and breast reconstruction surgery for women after pregnancy and for women and men after weight loss.
Some patients want to sequence Upper Arm Surgery with other body reshaping, body contouring & body lift procedures. The most popular surgeries chosen after having Upper Arm (Brachioplasty) Surgery include Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty, Belt Lipectomy, Breast Reduction, Breast Lift Surgery or a Breast Lift with Augmentation using fat transfer or implants.
Phone 038849144 for information.