Skin Surgery – Is Plastic Surgery a good solution for wobbly arms?

Skin Surgery after weight loss is increasingly needed in Australia. These include body lift surgery, body contouring procedures and ‘redundant skin’ removal. Numerous skin surgery options are available in Melbourne and Berwick surgical facilities. These including arm lift surgery (Brachioplasty), breast lift surgery (Mastopexy), Breast skin reduction (Mammoplasty), panniculectomy or tummy tuck surgery (Abdominoplasty) and Belt Lipectomy/extended abdominoplasty procedures.

Skin surgery aims to reduce ptotic skin after weight loss. It helps reduce draping skin folds and can reveal a firmer-looking contour.

Who gets skin surgery (nip-and-lift procedures)?

  • If you’re researching skin surgery, you likely lost weight through Bariatric Surgery or other means
  • After a lap band or gastric sleeve, you likely ended up with saggy, draping folds of skin and uneven fat distribution across your body (e.g. maldistribution of adipose tissues)
  • In fact, weight loss often results in ptotic skin folds across multiple areas of your body

Body Contouring after Weight Loss

Where do people need skin surgery most?

Skin surgery is often requested for skin fold reduction on the belly, breasts, arms, thighs, neck and face. Multiple, staged skin reduction surgery procedures may be required to return a normal contour. You’ll need patience, a proper nutritional plan and good exercise regimes to undertake these numerous procedures.

Many skin surgery procedures also require extensive use of compression garments for post-op fluid reduction and best results.

Is Plastic Surgery a good solution for wobbly arms?

Arm Skin Surgery Recovery and Costs

At a certain time of life, you may find yourself with wobbly upper arm skin along your triceps.

  • It’s usually not a concern for most people
  • However, upper arm skin laxity can begin to limit what you can comfortably wear
  • It can also impede tasks that require you to lift your arms (including exercising)

This is when you might consider a Bilateral Brachioplasty surgery procedure.

This arm skin contouring surgery is also known as an ARM LIFT or ARM GIRTH REDUCTION procedure.

What’s involved with Arm Skin Surgery and Girth Reduction?

  • This procedure is complex as it involves multiple techniques and bilateral procedures (both arms, both sides of your body)
  • It may involve liposuction as well as surgical skin reduction and tissue contouring
  • This means your arms are REDUCED in girth through removing dermal tissues and reducing underlying fat cells (adipose tissues)
  • It also means recovery can be more extensive than if you had a single surgery procedure

One operation or two?

  • Bilateral Brachioplasty procedures involve at least two unique surgeries, fully customised to suit each arm
  • These can be done separately BUT most patients choose to have a bilateral procedure, meaning TWO operations at the same time
  • These procedures can involve 2 to 4 or more advanced surgical techniques to get a good result
  • skin reduction may be combined with liposuction broad-area sculpting to reduce cells
  • it may also be refined with lipo-sculpting and scar management

What if my arms are different in size?

  • Your left arm and right arm will always have slightly different girths (arm sizes)
  • That’s because all bodies are asymmetrical – no two arms are alike on both sides, even if you’re ambidextrous
  • Some asymmetry can be lessened through surgery
  • However, the main focus on skin surgery for arm girth reduction is to:
  • create a firmer, smoother or tighter appearance of your upper arms
  • reduce skin draping on the triceps
  • Healing and scar formation can take several months
  • You’ll have to accept that you’ll have a long scar
  • This scan may fade in time (allow 18 months for scars to settle)
  • Scar treatments are available, but your scar will still very visible, such as when you raise your hands or arms

Is arm skin reduction worth it?

  • Most patients report they feel much better with firmer-looking arm skin (less self-conscious about the ‘bingo wing’ arm appearance)
  • In patient-to-patient forums, high satisfaction rates are reported with most skin surgery and skin reduction body contouring procedures

What Skin Surgery Techniques are used for droopy-looking Breast Skin?


  • Breasts tend to droop and sag over time, with or without weight loss
  • But after weight loss, the breasts can look like ’empty socks’ – you may even have an elongated breast shape or a misshapen appearance to nipples and breasts, primarily due to lost volume and over-stretched skin
  • The main cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for drooping breast skin (ptosis) is a breast lift
  • Breast lift surgery can be combined with augmentation (to increase size) or reduction (to reduce size)
  • Nipple appearance can also be adjusted

What Skin Surgery Techniques are used for excess skin folds on the abdomen (the skin apron) or skin folds covering the genitals?

  • Many post-weight loss surgery patients require an extended Abdominoplasty or Belt Lipectomy
  • Surgery needs will vary, however, depending on your skin condition and degree of skin folds related to ptosis and over-stretched skin along the torso
  • To find out more, download a surgery guide for excess skin folds.

How do I get an appointment to examine my skin surgery options?

Which surgery techniques – and the best order to undertake multiple skin surgery procedures – can vary from patient to patient.

Remember, too, that all surgery has scars, risks, costs and recovery periods to consider.

Typically, the process of skin surgery involves:

  • Attending a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon (phone 0388491444 to schedule a no-obligation discussion)
  • Discussing the PROS and CONS of different skin reduction and body-contouring surgery options
  • An analysis of your skin concerns (photos may be taken for further discussions)
  • You’ll then get a customised surgery plan and cost quote – plus suggestions for staging multiple procedures if required

What to know about paying for Skin Surgery and Price Quotes in Melbourne or Berwick

  • Surgery price quotes have an expiry date as medical costs in Australia can change rapidly
  • Prices for your skin surgery / plastic surgery will remain valid for a certain length of time (30 to 90 days)
  • Medicare and Insurance coverage, when MBS rebates apply, can also change suddenly – be aware of that possibility

Strict condition criteria, medical exams, imaging and extensive paperwork may also be required to prove eligibility for any potential Medicare rebates for Skin Surgery / body contouring surgery after weight loss

Scheduling Skin Surgery such as a breast lift or arm reduction

  • You’ll need to wait at least 7 days before having surgery (the cooling-off period) if you decide to proceed
  • You may have various assessments of your overall health and Body Mass Index or skin laxity, in your initial consultation and just before your procedure
  • You’ll need to have maintained a steady weight (BMI) for at least 6 months
  • Keep your expectations realistic or you’ll be disappointed – remember, surgery is a serious solution to the problem of excess skin, but it IS serious and should never be taken lightly
  • Stay informed – sign up for our e-newsletter about Plastic Surgery advances.

If proceeding with skin fold surgery (removal of dermal tissues and excess skin) after weight loss:

  • You’ll need another pre-operative discussion in relation to reviewing risks, skin surgery requirements, Melbourne prices (costs), skin surgery recovery time frames, compression garments and other aftercare
  • CLINICAL BEFORE SURGERY PHOTOS will be taken (your AFTER surgery photos will be taken at your follow-up appointments)
  • Once you schedule surgery, you’ll be given specific pre-surgery instructions and post-op care guidelines
  • During surgery, excisions will be made to reduce the skin, and underlying tissues may be reduced or adjusted as required
  • Arm lift incisions, for example, may extend from your elbow area to your armpit area or back and upper torso
  • Liposuction and/or strategic incisions may also be employed to further reduce volume or girth
  • Skin is then readjusted and tightly sutured and you’ll be prepared for your recovery period, including how to wear recommended compression garments
  • Wound care is also discussed
  • You’ll have follow up appointments shortly after surgery and then again at various time points
  • Remember, you’ll be asked to wear compression garments for several weeks or months, depending on your pre-surgery condition and the amount of skin / dermal tissues removed during surgery
  • We provide one compression garment (or one set), but if you want additional garments, you can purchase these separately

Arm Skin Surgery Scars (Brachioplasty SCARS)


An example of a fresh arm lift scar is shown below. This will tend to fade in time.

Notice the dramatic change in girth and ‘wobble reduction’. Clinic image (All Rights Reserved by Cosmetic Surgery for Women & Men).

How long is the recovery period after Skin Reduction Surgery

  • Recovery varies from person to person
  • It also varies depending on how extensive your surgery was in terms of skin fold removal
  • You will, however, need a few weeks away from work and other activities including exercising
  • Allow several weeks of no-driving and no heavy lifting for several months until your incision lines are fully healed (arm surgery and some extended lipectomy procedures)
  • Compression garments must be worn as instructed
  • Recovery Time Frames: Allow at least 12 to 16 weeks or longer for most of your healing to occur
  • As your incision lines heal, your Surgeon will give you direct advice on when you can resume certain activities
  • Order a downloadable PDF booklet that explains your skin surgery options and processes in more detail.

Benefits of Skin Reduction Plastic Surgery

  • Less girth
  • More freedom of movement
  • Less sweat/more comfort (reduced skin-to-skin contact and less skin volume)
  • Easier to wear sleeved shirts or tops or well-fitted clothing
  • Reduction in flapping sounds when moving your arms, legs or abdomen
  • Typically easier to exercise your body (after full recovery)
  • More confidence wearing more fitted fashions or sleeveless clothing and swimwear
  • Reduced skin infections caused by skin laxity or drooping skin (upper arms, torso, breasts)
  • Easier to see results of strengths-based training

That noted all surgery has risks and results can vary significantly from patient to patient.

Costs of Arm Skin Reduction Surgery (Bilateral Brachioplasty)

The average price of ARM SKIN Surgery varies according to what you need adjusting in terms of excess skin and fat reduction.

Average prices for bilateral Brachioplasty surgery in Melbourne range from $17,000 to $23,000 when performed by an expert Plastic Surgeon who operates in Hospital settings.

Costs of Abdomen Skin Reduction Surgery (Belt Lipectomy)

The average price of a belt lipectomy or abdomen SKIN Surgery varies according to what you need adjusting in terms of excess abdominal skin and torso-area contouring.

Average prices in Melbourne for Belt Lipectomy Surgery or other abdomen area skin surgery can range from around $15,000 to $25,000 AUD per operation, sometimes higher. It really depends on what you need.

  • Skin Surgery is often best performed by a recommended Plastic Surgeon with expertise in this area.
  • Choose one who operates in a formal Hospital setting.
  • This may help manage your post-op comfort and help reduce some surgery risks. Overseas skin surgery risks are to be avoided.

Watch the VIDEO of Plastic Surgeon, Dr Rebecca Wyten, discussing Upper Arm Skin Surgery.

Skin Surgery Recovery and Skin Reduction Risks

Risks to Consider when exploring Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss

Like all surgical procedures, skin plastic surgery DOES have some risk. Some are minor and readily treatable, and others are far more serious.

Broadly the risks can be considered as follows:

General Anaesthesia Most healthy patients respond well to general anaesthesia as modern techniques are very safe, but there is always some risk from general anaesthesia. Our team will provide you with the details of your Anaesthetists prior to your surgery to discuss any specific concerns.  By operating in approved hospitals, your Surgeon will be able to offer a sterility-and-safety-minded environment for Surgery.

As well as a fully trained Plastic Surgeon for skin surgery, you will have a trained Surgical Assistant present for your procedure. You will also have a fully trained Anaesthetist attending to you at all times while you under Anaesthesia. You’ll be supported by an additional fully trained Support Staff.

Bleeding (Haematoma) – This may require a visit to the operating theatre to remove the blood clot.

Infection  – Your Surgeon will prescribe you with antibiotics and monitor you closely.

Delayed Wound Healing – Your Surgeon and Nurse coordinator will manage the healing process. This usually occurs within patients who are overweight, smokers or who have an infection.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Fluid build-up (Seroma)

Scarring –  Some scarring after surgery is inevitable. These settle over the months. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Your Surgeon will take great care to minimise scarring and will ensure that scars are as inconspicuous as possible. Please ask your surgeon about any concerns you may have. Stretch marks may not all be removed from most surgery and others may be more visible, it depends on what you’re starting with.

You might be offered Fraxel Laser treatments approximately 8 weeks to 10 weeks post-surgery to help manage and improve scarring for selected skin procedures.

Numbness – This will occur 100% of the time and mostly settles over the months and up to 1-2 years.

Asymmetry –    Your arms are different – so are your breasts. Just have a careful look in the mirror. Part of your Surgeon’s skill lies in trying to minimise any asymmetry between your right and left sides. However, you tend to have a good deal of asymmetry before surgery (for arm surgery, this is especially the case between your dominant hand/arm and your opposite arm).

Some degree of minor asymmetry is quite common after Surgery.

For most patients, the difference is very small. It is often not overly noticeable, possibly even imperceptible unless you really look for it.

Your surgeon can discuss this with you during your consultation.

Scars may also be slightly different on your right side compared to your left side. Be sure to follow all of your Surgeon’s Post-Op instructions and healing and scar minimisation protocols as well.

Pain –  This will be managed appropriately with pain medications and prompt aftercare.

All successful surgical outcomes are the result of realistic expectations of the patient, realistic surgical goals and the knowledge of possible risks and complications. Nothing is ever guaranteed in science and medicine. Risks are minimised through careful patient screening and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post-operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These rarely have long term effect on an excellent final result.

Contact our Clinic to find out if you are a good candidate for upper arm reshaping surgery OR other body reshaping and body lift procedures in Melbourne or Berwick.

Combined Body Contouring after Weight Loss or Pregnancy 

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon, Dr Rebecca Wyten, performs various body contouring plastic surgery and breast reconstruction surgery for women after pregnancy or weight loss.

Some patients want to sequence Belt Lipectomy or Breast Skin Surgery with other body reshaping, body contouring and body lift procedures such as arm skin reduction surgery.

The most popular surgeries chosen for skin reduction include:

Phone 038849144 for information.