Arm lifts are aimed at reducing the hanging fold of skin in the upper arm after an individual undergoes a significant weight loss. The excess of skin is occasionally referred to as a ‘bat-wing’ deformity. Occasionally it is present to some degree in the middle years of life even when the patient has not had a significant weight loss. The skin has simply become lax. The patients’ main concern is of having to always wear long sleeves to hide the cosmetic deformity.
Minor cases of bat wing deformity may be corrected using liposuction particularly when the skin has good tone, but it is my experience in of over 30 years practice that this is somewhat rare. Most patients require an arm lift (‘brachioplasty’) to correct the bat wing deformity.
The surgery is performed as a day case usually under general anesthesia. The incisions are planned to lie along the inside of the upper arm from the armpit almost to the elbow. Many patients are concerned about the potential scar. However, there are few complaints postoperatively, since it quickly matures becoming pale and inconspicuous. Furthermore, most are delighted that they can once more wear short sleeve garments.