Your Options for “Bat Wings”
This time of the year, we’re all dreaming of summer and all the warmth and vacations that come along with it. But for many, the hot season also comes with a powerful dose of self-consciousness. While sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts are essential for staying comfortable during the summers in Hotlanta, they also expose any excess fat or sagging skin plaguing the underside of your upper arms—a problem commonly and unflatteringly referred to as “bat wings.” But with a few more months before tank top season, now is the perfect time to do something about it. Depending on the causes of your issue, your best bet may be liposuction, brachioplasty, or a combination of both.
For some, the only issue with their upper arms is excess fat. While diet and exercise is the ideal way to lower your overall body fat and improve your health, the reality is that your body decides how your fat is distributed, and people who are perfectly healthy and fit can still have unwanted bulges of fat under their arms. If your skin is still rather elastic and will be able to stay firm and sleek on your new contours after the fat is removed (which is more common for younger patients who have had a rather stable weight throughout life), liposuction alone may do the trick. This leaves minimal scarring because the fat is removed using a tiny tube called a cannula, which simultaneously breaks up the unwanted fat and suctions it out of the body. Your incisions will be just large enough to fit the cannula, so they’re usually only a few millimeters long. If it’s a particularly small amount of fat you need to have removed, you could be a candidate for Band Aid Liposuction, a minimally invasive procedure I developed which is performed in-office with gentle numbing to reduce the recovery time, swelling, and cost of liposuction.
Brachioplasty/Arm Lift or Band Aid Brachioplasty
Aging, gravity, and weight fluctuations can all take their toll and result in sagging skin under the upper arm. In this case, an arm lift can be an optimal solution. This procedure focuses on removing this excess skin, and in some cases, removing unwanted fat and tightening the underlying muscle as well, all of which contributes to a slimmer and more toned appearance. The resulting scar will depend on how much excess skin is removed and where it’s located. For instance, if you have a smaller degree of sagging skin and it’s closer to the top of your arm, your incision may be limited to the armpit area. In cases where a more significant amount of skin needs to removed, the incision may extend from the elbow to the top of the arm, though it will be as concealed as possible in a location that isn’t visible in most positions. For patients who only need a more subtle improvement, a Band Aid Arm Lift (also called Band Aid Brachioplasty) may be an option. Like Band Aid Liposuction, this minimally invasive procedure is performed in-office using local anesthesia, offering a quicker recovery.
Diet and exercise are always the best way to lower your overall weight and enhance your health. However, if you’re at a healthy weight and simply have a few specific problem areas (like those ever-frustrating upper arms), cosmetic surgery can be the perfect solution. For an exam and a personalized consultation where you can discuss your specific needs with Dr. LeRoy, call our Atlanta office. Or, for more plastic surgery tips, health news, and special offers, follow Dr. John L. LeRoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
For many plastic surgery patients, one of the first questions or concerns they bring up ... Read more