When it comes to body image, some negative terms exist to describe less-than-desirable areas. Fat pockets on the outer thighs are often referred to as “saddle bags”, a roll of fat around the middle is a “spare tire” and sagging skin in the neck and jowl area is a “turkey waddle.” Though no one wants to admit they have these areas on the body, the natural aging process produces such effects – many of which can be treated with cosmetic surgery.
One of the newer terms gaining popularity is “bat wings”, or the area on the upper arm where skin begins to fold, wrinkle, and hang in an unattractive manner. Though bat wings can land on anyone, they are most commonly seen in those who have lost a significant amount of weight but have lost skin elasticity.
What Cosmetic Procedure Treats Bat Wings?
Plastic surgeons can dramatically reduce the bat wing effect with an upper arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty. During a brachioplasty, the surgeon removes excess sagging skin that is drooping of the upper arms and reduces pockets of fat in the area. He then tightens and smoothes underlying muscles and tissues to achieve a sleeker look.
What Can I Expect during an Arm Lift Procedure?
An arm lift starts with the administration of anesthesia in a general or IV form depending on your unique situation. Once you are sedated, Dr. Yegiyants makes an incision on the back or underside of the arm. The length of incision as well as its position depends on how much skin and fat will be removed during the procedure and how many underlying muscles and tissues need manipulation.
Excess skin and fat will be removed via traditional surgical methods. Liposuction is sometimes used if there are large amounts of tissue deposits or skin to be removed. Any remaining tissue and muscle will be re-sculpted by the surgeon to eliminate the bat wings and give patients toned and slim arms. The incisions will then be closed with absorbable sutures or stitches before bandages are applied. After a suitable amount of rest, you will then be discharged to go home with a friend or family member to finish recovery. You will not be able to drive yourself home from your procedure due to the use of anesthesia.
The Recovery Process After an Arm Lift
After your arm lift, you will be sent home with your arms bandaged to protect the incisions. In some cases, a tube will be placed in the arms to drain blood and fluid or a compression garment will be fitted to help reduce swelling. Bruising, inflammation, and discomfort in the incision areas is common but should subside within the first couple of weeks post-surgery.
Patients should also take care to keep their arm raised and stay away from heavy lifting for a few weeks after a procedure to help the healing process and rest whenever possible. Most patients will return to work within a week and resume their normal schedules. Patients should avoid vigorous activity until the healing process is complete – usually in four to six weeks.
Other Techniques to Eliminate Bat Wings
While an arm lift is one of the most common and effective ways to eliminate bat wings, some patients opt for other treatments like non-invasive CoolSculpting®®. With CoolSculpting®, cold energy is applied to fatty areas to destroy fat cells and reduce stubborn pockets of fat. However, CoolScultping does not address issues with extra skin.
Another treatment option, BodyTite®, involves the use of a small probe to emit radio frequency waves underneath the skin as well as liposuction. This treatment promotes the growth of collagen, helping tighten the skin and reduce the impact of bat wings in addition to reducing pockets of fat. For those who want a minimally invasive option to treat their bat wings, BodyTite is an excellent option.
If you have loose, sagging skin on your upper arms or pockets of stubborn fat that give you the appearance of bat wings, you do have options. Dr. Sara Yegiyants has helped hundreds of patients smooth and tighten their arms through an arm lift, CoolSculpting®™ or BodyTite treatment.
Learn more about achieving your aesthetic goals with Dr. Sara Yegiyants. Call our office at 805-682-1731 or use our short contact form.