More About Your Loose Upper Arms

Woman's elbow isolatedOne of the most irritating areas where the skin loosens and sags as we age is the upper arms. In Michigan, we may be able to cover up our giggly arms during these winter months, but who wants to do that in the spring and summer? Wearing sleeveless blouses and sundresses is a rite of summer in Grand Rapids! But who wants to do so when the undersides of our upper arms are swinging back and forth like a saloon door in Deadwood?

In this month’s first Elite blog of the New Year, we addressed one way our board-certified plastic surgeons can help slim your upper arms with arm liposuction. But that isn’t the right procedure if the patient has lots of loose, sagging skin rather than accumulated fat. For those patients, a surgical arm lift is the way to correct the problem.

An arm lift with the team at Elite will give you back the confidence for that next trip to Mackinaw Island and the Grand Hotel!

What is an arm lift?

It’s not a comparison that anyone wants, but you’ve probably heard the term “bat wings” used to describe the phenomenon of loose upper arm skin. The underside of the upper arms can become downright flappy with advancing age. You can do thousands of triceps exercises and they’ll just keep on flapping on. This is especially true if you’ve gained and lost a fair amount of weight. As we age, the skin simply won’t recover to its former degree of tautness.

Clinically called brachioplasty, an arm lift is the surgical procedure where our Elite plastic surgeons remove unwanted fat and excess skin from the upper arms and the area adjacent to the armpits. The result is upper arms that are firmer and contoured, upper arms that are ready for your new sleeveless golf blouse!

Who should get an arm lift?

An arm lift could be a good procedure for you if you have loose, excess, or sagging skin on your upper arms that doesn’t respond to exercise. Or, if you’ve lost lots of weight, yet the excess skin on your upper arms didn’t go away with the weight, an arm lift can help.

How is an arm lift performed?

An incision is made on either the bottom of your arm or the backside. It runs from the elbow to the armpit. Your Elite surgeon will tighten the underlying muscles and remove loose skin. Usually, he will also add some liposuction to remove excess fat. If you don’t have too much excess skin, he may opt to perform a minimal incision arm lift, which uses only small incisions near the underarm area to tighten the upper arm. With either method, when the procedure is complete, you’ll go home with compression garments around your upper arms to help them adapt to their new tighter contour. This is easy to conceal during the remaining winter months.


Most arm lift patients return to work after one week and can resume normal exercise and activity within a month. Swelling can last, on and off for up to a couple months. Scars will fade over the next 18 months to where they will not be overly noticeable.

Quit covering up your upper arms; get an arm lift with the team at Elite. Call us at (616) 459-1907 to schedule a consultation.

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