Skin Reduction Surgery – Is Plastic Surgery the best solution for wobbly arms?

In Australia the need for Skin reduction surgery after weight loss is increasing. These includes body lift surgery, body contouring procedures and ‘redundant skin’ removal.

Numerous options are available in Melbourne and Berwick surgical facilities. These including arm lift surgery (Brachioplasty), breast lift surgery (Mastopexy), Breast reduction (Mammoplasty), panniculectomy or tummy tuck surgery (Abdominoplasty) and Belt Lipectomy/extended abdominoplasty procedures.

Excess Skin reduction surgery aims to reduce ptotic skin after weight loss. Reducing draping skin folds and revealing a firmer-looking contour.

Who needs excess skin surgery?

  • You may have lost weight as a result of lap band or gastric sleeve or Bariatric Surgery
  • Subsequently leaving you 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


Download Our Excess Skin Reduction Guide

Excess Skin Guide Download

Excess skin reduction after weight loss

Where do people need skin reduction the most?

Skin reduction surgery is often requested for skin fold reduction on the belly, breasts, arms, thighs, neck and face. You might require multiple, staged excess skin reduction procedures to return a normal contour. Firstly, you’ll need to be patience, these things take time and proper planning. In addition a proper nutritional plan and good exercise regimes are also required to undertake these numerous procedures.

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

Can Plastic Surgery help my wobbly arms?

An Arm lift or Brachioplasty procedure can help reduce your arm wobble. At a certain time in your life you may have found yourself with wobbly upper arm skin, along with your triceps. While it’s usually not a concern for most people it can be a concern for some. In addition to it effecting your confidence it can impede tasks that require you to lift your arms (including exercising). likewise upper arm skin laxity can begin to limit what you can comfortably wear.

This is when you might consider an arm lift Bilateral Brachioplasty surgery procedure.

Excess skin reduction – Whats involved?

  • 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
  • Removal of dermal tissues and underlying fat cell reduction (adipose tissues) reduce the girth of your arm
  • 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
  • A bilateral procedure(TWO operations at the same time) is a popular choice, however they can be done separately.
  • These procedures can involve 2 to 4 or more advanced surgical techniques to get a good result
  • A combination of skin reduction and liposuction broad-area sculpting may be recommended to reduce cells
  • lipo-sculpting and scar management can be used to refine the results.

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. Asymmetry can be lessened through surgery.

However, the main focus on 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)
  • High satisfaction rates are reported in patient-to-patient forums.

What Excess Skin Reduction 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 with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

Typically, this process 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
  • Any skin concerns will be analysed (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 does body contouring surgery cost in Melbourne?

  • 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

 Medicare rebates for Skin Surgery/body contouring surgery after weight loss

You could be eligible for a medicare rebate. However the below may be required to prove your eligiblity

  • Strict condition criteria
  • medical exams
  • imaging
  • extensive paperwork

Scheduling your plastic surgery appointment

  • 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
  • Surgery is a serious solution to the problem of excess skin, but it IS serious and should never be taken lightly.
  • Keep your expectations realistic or you’ll be disappointed
  • 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:

  • Firstly, you’ll need another pre-operative discussion in relation to reviewing risks, Melbourne prices (costs), skin surgery recovery time frames, compression garments and other aftercare
  • Secondly, CLINICAL BEFORE SURGERY PHOTOS will be taken (your AFTER surgery photos will be taken at your follow-up appointments)
  • After that your surgery is scheduled and you’ll be given specific pre-surgery instructions and post-op care guidelines
  • During your surgery excisions will be made to reduce the skin, and underlying tissues may be reduced.
  • 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
  • Above all compression garments will need to be worn for several weeks or months. However the time will depend on your pre-surgery condition and the amount of skin / dermal tissues removed during surgery.
    • Wearing compression garments is a vital part of your recovery.
    • One compression garment (or one set) will be provided.
    • However you can purchase additional garments separately. (please ask our team)

Excess skin reduction Scars

Arm lift Surgery Scars


Below is an example of a fresh arm lift scar. This will tend to fade in time.

Notice the dramatic change in girth and ‘wobble reduction’.

How long is the recovery period after Plastic 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
  • After your surgery you will need to allow several weeks of rest.
  • As a result of your surgery you will not be able to drive for several weeks.
  • In addition you will not be able to do any heavy lifting for several months.
  • Its important that your incision lines are fully healed and you are cleared by your surgeon before any activity is resumed (arm surgery and some extended lipectomy procedures)
  • you will be given instruction on how to wear your Compression garments.
  • Allow at least 12 to 16 weeks or longer for recovery, most of your healing will occur in this time
  • As your incision lines heal, your Surgeon will give you direct advice on when you can resume certain activities

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 Armlift Surgery

The average price of Arm lift 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 in price when performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who operates in a Hospital setting.


Watch this video of Plastic Surgeon, Dr Rebecca Wyten, discussing Upper Arm lift Surgery and what scars you can expect from this procedure.

Recovery and 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.

Risks that you need to considered are as follows:

General Anaesthesia

Firstly, its important to know that most healthy patients respond well to general anaesthesia as modern techniques are very safe. However 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. Moreover, you will also have a fully trained Anaesthetist attending to you at all times while you’re under Anaesthesia.


Scarring after surgery is inevitable. However the scarring will settle in the months post surgery. That is to say that your scars will 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.

Scars on your right side compared to those on your left may slightly differ. Be sure to follow all of your Surgeon’s Post-Op instructions and healing and scar minimisation protocols as well.  Your surgeon may recommend Fraxel Laser treatments 8 to 10 weeks post-surgery to help manage and improve scarring for selected skin procedures.

Other Risks

In addition to the above, other risks include;

  • 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)
  • Numbness – This will occur 100% of the time and mostly settles over the months and up to 1-2 years.
  • Pain – medications and prompt aftercare will appropriately manage your pain.
  • Asymmetry –    in other words, they wont be exactly the same. Your arms are different – so are your breasts. 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).
    • To sum up some degree of 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.

Realistic expectation

All successful surgical outcomes are the result of realistic expectations of the patient, realistic surgical goals and the knowledge of possible risks and complications. There is no guarantee in science and medicine. By careful patient screening, planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post-operative care, risks are minimised . Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. Therefore with a diligent skilled surgeon 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 combine their surgery with another body reshaping, body contouring or body lift procedure such as arm skin reduction surgery.

The most popular surgeries chosen for skin reduction include: