Over the years, your skin loses elasticity and tends to stretch as many of us know all too well. This is especially true if you have experienced significant weight shifts or major weight loss during your adult life. The arms are one area where this can lead to a floppy, aged look, most evident when one wears short sleeve or sleeveless tops in the warmer weather. Sometimes, if the upper arms are disproportionately heavy, people may require a larger size blouse and the arms can be a source of embarrassment with activities or even everyday things like waving to a friend. With the growing popularity of bariatric weight loss surgery, more people are seeking skin reduction surgery for their arms, thighs and other areas afterwards.
The arm lift, or brachioplasty to use the medical term, is an operation designed to remove excess skin and fat in the arms. There are several variations on how the brachioplasty operation is performed depending on the severity of the skin redundancy. The incision is placed on the inner surface of the arm to make it less evident. The length of that incision and scar varies depending on where and how much skin needs to be removed.
The thighs are another area of the body which may have excess skin and loss of skin elasticity, especially after significant weight loss. Some people with minimal skin excess high up on the thigh can have a limited crecent shaped incision very high up on the inner thigh. For more severe redundancy and for a more dramatic tightening of the skin, and perhaps a more durable result in the lower part of the thigh, an operation known as a circumferential thigh lift can be done. This uses a “hockey stick” shaped scar that allows for some lift and some circumferential tightening. This results in a scar running along the inside border of the thigh to at or just below the knee in cases of severe excess.
The upper outer buttock area can sometimes have residual bulges of excess sagging skin with a variable amount of fat associated. This problem is most often seen in patients after massive weight loss. A favorable improvement of contour and shape can sometimes be achieved when this is remove with plastic surgery. You can think of this almost like a continuation of a tummy tuck operation onto the back. Sometimes significant improvement in these areas are possible with liposuction alone. The doctor would need to examine you to determine which procedures if any might help your particular situation.
To learn more about these and other body contouring procedures, please contact us at 410-715-9205 or click here to request a consultation with one of our Board Certified plastic surgeons. We would be happy to see you.