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Does an Arm Lift Leave Scars?

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Many patients who wish to contour their arms are deterred by the relatively large and visible scars that are often left behind from an arm lift surgery (brachioplasty). Although the scars usually fade in 9-12 months, most patients prefer to achieve an arm lift with the less invasive BodyTite procedure, which does not leave behind any noticeable scars.

While both brachioplasty and BodyTite serve the same cosmetic purpose, the best treatment for you depends in large part on the amount of skin laxity in your upper arms. In general, BodyTite is an ideal cosmetic procedure for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity, while a brachioplasty is more suitable for patients with moderate to severe skin laxity. Our surgeons can advise the best procedure for you during a consultation.

In this article, we’ll explain how surgeons at the CREO Clinic use the BodyTite treatment to perform a scarless arm lift.

What Is An Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a procedure that removes the excess skin and fat in the area between the armpit and the elbow, commonly known as ‘bingo wings.’ The saggy skin in this area often develops as a result of the ageing process or following significant weight loss. An arm lift aims to contour the arm by removing the bingo wings and tightening the remaining skin to produce a more toned look.

A surgical arm lift is often combined with liposuction surgery in order to both remove the excess fat and tighten the skin. There are broadly three approaches to a brachioplasty surgery:

  • A mini arm lift involves a vertical incision along the underarm. It is ideal for patients that have mild skin laxity. 
  • An upper arm lift involves a horizontal incision that can extend from the elbow to the underarm. It is ideal for patients that have mild to moderate skin laxity. 
  • An extended arm lift involves an incision that can run from beyond the elbow to the side of the chest. It is ideal for patients that have severe skin laxity in the whole arm, usually as a result of drastic weight loss.

What is a Non-surgical Arm Lift? 

BodyTite is a non-surgical alternative to brachioplasty that removes excess fat and tightens the skin in the arm using radiofrequency (RF) energy. During a non-surgical arm lift procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision when inserting the handpiece of the BodyTite device beneath the skin to melt and remove the excess fat cells. As a result, the patient isn’t left with a noticeable scar.

Surgical vs. Non-surgical Arm Lift

As outlined below, there are advantages and disadvantages to both a surgical and non-surgical approach to an arm lift:

BodyTiteBrachioplasty
ResultsRemoves a small amount of excess fat and tightens excess skin using radiofrequency energySurgically removes a significant amount of excess skin and fat in the arm to provide a more prominent contouring effect
AnaestheticLocalSedation/General
Recovery3-7 days4 weeks
ScarringMinimalVisible
SuitabilityMild to moderate skin laxityMild to severe skin laxity
LongevityPermanent fat removal; long-term skin tighteningPermanent
Price£3,900£8,900

What is BodyTite?

BodyTite is a minimally invasive technology by Inmode that provides the dual benefits of fat removal and skin tightening for arm lift surgery. The BodyTite device is applied to targeted areas of the body in order to contour and sculpt the area. It is ideal for patients that want to achieve a sculpted look by getting rid of any excess fat and saggy skin in certain areas of the body, such as the ‘bingo wings’ on the upper arm.

Benefits of Non-surgical Arm Lift

Apart from the absence of scars, there are several other reasons why patients prefer the non-surgical approach to an arm lift using the BodyTite technology: 

  • BodyTite is a minimally invasive procedure. Therefore, it is less traumatic, entails less downtime, and is more convenient for the patient. 
  • BodyTite permanently removes excess fat cells and delivers long-term skin tightening results. 
  • BodyTite is a less expensive arm lift alternative to brachioplasty. 
  • BodyTite is performed under local anaesthesia, whereas a brachioplasty is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia.

BodyTite Procedure

The BodyTite device contains a handpiece that uses RF energy to melt and remove excess fat cells from the targeted area. At the same time, the external electrode of the device utilises RF energy to tighten the skin from the outside. The RF energy stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which in turn tightens the skin, with results becoming fully visible in 2-4 months.

BodyTite Cost

The exact cost of a BodyTite arm lift treatment varies depending on the size of the area being treated. In general, treating both upper arms usually costs £3,900, with any additional areas costing an extra £1950. Please visit our blog on BodyTite Cost for a full breakdown of the costs associated with the procedure.

BodyTite Recovery

BodyTite has a downtime of around 3-7 days. Immediately after your arm lift procedure, you may notice swelling, redness, bruising, and soreness in the treated area. These side effects will gradually dissipate over the next few days as your body heals. Furthermore, our cosmetic surgeon advises you to wear your compression garment for at least one week and refrain from intense exercise for up to 3 weeks after the procedure.

Is a Scarless Arm Lift Worth It?

The presence of excess fat and skin on the upper arm is an aesthetic concern that many patients wish to eliminate to achieve the appearance of toned arms. Therefore, many patients consider an arm lift to be a worthwhile cosmetic solution. 

For patients that have moderate to extreme skin laxity and are unconcerned by a visible scar, an arm lift surgery may be the best option. However, for most patients who have mild to moderate skin laxity, a BodyTite treatment may be a more worthwhile option, mainly because it is a scarless approach.

If you’re interested in getting an arm lift, please schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon through the CREO Clinic to discuss both the surgical and non-surgical options available to you.

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