Flabby arms can create a big insecurity for many people, especially those who have dedicated themselves to losing weight. And while it may be easy for you to pinpoint what part of your body you want to fix, it’s not as easy to know how to fix it.
The first step is to determine the cause of your sagging arm skin. Is it just hanging skin, or is it a pocket of hanging fat? The answer to this question determines whether you need an arm lift (brachioplasty) or liposuction. Here we explain the differences between the two.
An arm lift, technically known as a brachioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that tones and defines the upper arms. If it’s skin rather than fat hanging below your arm, an arm lift is likely the correct procedure for you. This procedure is also ideal for those who have lost a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time through dieting or surgery.
During an arm lift, your surgeon can remove the excess skin and improve the contour of your arm. To do so, he will make an incision on the inside of your arm that runs from your armpit to your elbow. Your surgeon will do his best to hide the incision in your arm’s new contour, but some scarring is inevitable.
Liposuction is one of the most popular body contouring procedures in the country, and it may work for you if you have fat hanging below your arms rather than just skin. This cosmetic procedure removes unwanted fat that didn’t respond to dieting and exercising. Liposuction is a common, low-risk procedure for upper arms that guarantees a more toned and shapelier outline. If you are looking to remove excess fat, liposuction will deflate your arms.
If you notice a little bit of hanging skin after your liposuction procedure, don’t be alarmed. Removing the fat can make the skin a little loose, but your skin should conform to your arm in a few weeks. We’ll give you compression garments to help tighten the skin as well.
You will have liposuction scars up and down your arm after the procedure, but they will be much smaller and less pronounced than an arm lift scar. Liposuction scars are usually all but invisible a few months after the procedure.
An Arm Lift and Liposuction Together
If you’re fighting arm fat as well as sagging skin, combining the two surgeries may be your best plan. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and isn’t as quick to snap back once it is stretched out. If your skin is too inelastic a liposuction alone may not work for you.
To test your skin’s elasticity, pinch part of it, hold it for a few seconds, and then release it. If your skin pops right back into place, your skin is elastic. If it takes a second or two, your skin is inelastic and a liposuction alone likely won’t work for you. In a combination procedure, your surgeon can remove excess fat and skin all at once for an attractively contoured arm —even if your skin refuses to mold itself to your new body after liposuction.