Ask The Expert: Arm Flab and How You Can Control It

"Arm jiggle" is a common aesthetic concern that is caused primarily by lax skin and excess fat. You'll find that the problem tends to get worse with age, since the elasticity of your skin weakens and stubborn fat accumulates more easily. Massive weight loss can be another big factor.

If you cringe at the thought of tank tops and bathing suits now that summer's just about here, don't - there are treatments specifically designed for jiggly upper arms that recontour them to be sleeker and more toned.

One big factor to consider is whether or not there is extra skin. Liposuction alone is a good option if you have mainly excess fat, but good skin tone (elasticity). Cost: $4,000 to $6,000.

If there is extra loose skin causing the jiggle, however, then some form of an Arm Lift (technically known as Brachioplasty) is likely necessary. The surgery removes excess skin and fat, and repositions tissue (to a certain extent) to tone your upper arms. It's the perfect choice for "bat wings." Cost: $8,000 to $11,000.

An arm lift may also be combined with liposuction. Liposuction during your arm lift removes excess fat, so it won't be hiding your muscles anymore.

There's just one caveat: depending on the extent of correction desired, an incision might be made along a portion of the length of the upper inner arm. The scar that remains may be visible when you lift your arms. While this hasn't dissuaded most patients from going forward with the procedure, you should be aware of this since scarring can be problematic for some patients. However, if you follow your surgeon's care instructions closely, the scar should heal nicely and be barely visible.


Dr Jerome Edelstein, MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon, Edelstein Cosmetic Plastic Surgery of Toronto