Arm reduction is a procedure for removal of excess skin and fat from the inside of the upper arm. This is usually carried out in patients who have saggy skin (sometimes referred to as “bingo wings” or “bat wings”).
What are the causes of excess skin in the inner aspect of the arm?
Most patients who have this problem develop this either as a result of ageing, or due to significant weight loss.
Why do patients seek treatment for this condition?
Most patients are embarrassed by what they call a “batwing” appearance of the arms. This refers to the sagging of skin below and on the inside of the arms when the arms are held up. They are embarrassed to wear clothes which are either sleeveless, or have short sleeves and are inhibited about wearing swimwear.
What does the surgery for this condition involve?
Surgery for this condition usually involves a general anaesthetic. It maybe done as a day procedure or may require a one night stay.
What is the normal postoperative course after this procedure?
There is swelling and bruising of the upper arms and the inner aspect of the elbows, which lasts for a period of one to two weeks. The sutures are trimmed at the end of the first week and patients are encouraged to massage the scars to help them soften and fade.
Most patients are able to carry out light activities after a week and are able to return to work within a fortnight of their surgery.
What are the possible complications of this procedure?
Like all operations this procedure can have complications such as bleeding, haematoma formation (blood clot underneath the skin), infection, a visible scar and asymmetry. A small percentage of patients (normally less than 5%) may require a small revision procedure to improve the scar.