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ARM REDUCTION

Many patients have extra skin hanging from the back of their arms as a consequence of weight loss or increasing skin laxity due to advancing age. This extra skin can be unsightly and embarrassing and is sometimes unkindly referred to as “batwings” or “bingo-wings” and can interfere with physical activities. Surgery is available to excise the loose skin and restore the shape of the upper arm to a more normal appearance.

The Surgery

The operation is performed under general anaesthesia. Surgery usually involves some liposuction of the arm followed by excision of the excess skin leaving a scar that runs from near the elbow to the armpit. The skin is closed with dissolvable stitches and dressings applied. Usually these scars settle down very well and they are hidden on the inside of the arm.

Aftercare and follow-up

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.

Possible complications

Like all operations this procedure can have complications such as bleeding, haematoma formation (blood clot underneath the skin), infection, a visible scar and asymmetry (difference between left and right). A small percentage of patients (normally less than 5%) may require a small revision procedure to improve the scar.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

FACTS AT A GLANCE

SURGERY TIME
2-2½ hours

HOSPITAL STAY
1 night

ANAESTHETIC ASSESSMENT
Possibly

PRE ADMISSION TESTS
Possibly

REASONABLY MOBILE
2-3 days with reduced arm activity

WASHING
Shower after 1 day

DRIVING
2-3 weeks

SPORT & EXERCISE
4-6 weeks, contact sport 8 weeks

SEXUAL ACTIVITY
4 weeks

FULL RECOVERY
4-6 weeks

TIME OFF WORK
2-3 weeks

GARMENTS
No