“Bat wings” are how people describe loose, baggy skin on the upper arm.
They’re most common on those who undergo radical weight loss because of bariatric surgery or other procedures.
“But you can actually see it in anyone,” Dr. Jeffrey Popp said.
The surgery done to fix “bat wings” is called a brachioplasty.
The procedure primarily involves removal of excess skin but can also include fat removal.
“If there’s fat, it’s removed by liposuction,” Dr. Popp said. “And then the skin is measured to see how much needs to be resected.”
Pretty quick fix
A brachioplasty is usually done in one session. Dr. Popp said he does about a dozen annually.
Although recovery can involve inserting drains, most patients recuperate without them. But everyone must wear compression bands, which he said are like long socks for your arms.
“Your sutures or staples come out within a week but it takes six to eight weeks to get back into action,” he said.
Major down side
Dr. Popp said brachioplasty is an effective procedure but has a big down side.
“There’s a scar from your armpit to your elbow and it can be pretty nasty looking. That would stop a lot of people from doing it,” he said.
Not every patient will get the scar, Dr. Popp said, but enough do that you should plan on it.
“I can use lasers or inject steroids, but you can still have very visible and long scars.”
Those who were formerly overweight, who had massive weight loss, are not as concerned about possible scarring, Dr. Popp said.
“Their primary concern is how their clothes fit.”
Have questions about arm lifts? Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Popp at 402-391-4558.