Many women struggle with 'bingo wings' once they reach middle age. An arm reduction surgery or arm lift to remove the excess fat and loose skin can help to treat this condition.
This procedure reduces the amount of loose skin on the upper arms and is often recommended after somebody has lost a lot of weight.
It's a relatively straightforward operation that takes about two hours. You'll probably be discharged after one night in hospital and you'll be able to return to light activities within a couple of weeks.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
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Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your treatment.
All of our surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.
Our cosmetic consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. A number of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that surgery can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward procedure like this one. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
You will be given a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. The length and pattern of the incision made by your doctor will depend on the location and amount of excess skin to be removed. This will be discussed and agreed with you beforehand.
Usually the cut is made on the inside or back of the arm, so scars will be less visible. If there’s not much excess skin the cut will be small but it could extend from above your elbow to your armpit if there’s a lot to be removed. Liposuction may also be used. Where liposuction is performed in conjunction with any other cosmetic procedure, our policy is that we will remove no more than a maximum of 2000ml of aspirate (fat and fluid) from all areas combined.
The underlying supportive tissues may be tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the wound is stitched and skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
Your wound will be dressed and your arm may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimise swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
After your arm lift, you will be taken to your room where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you're ready to go home.
You will probably experience some pain, swelling and bruising immediately after the operation. This is normal and your symptoms will start to improve over the next few weeks.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days.
When you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first. Arrange at least a week off work and you'll gradually be able to return to normal activity within four to six weeks. Light activity will be comfortable after around two weeks but you shouldn't do anything too active - like go to the gym or take an exercise class - for around six weeks.
You won’t be able to lift anything for a few days and it’s a good idea to wear either loose or sleeveless tops while your wounds heal. Make sure these are clean and easy to reach – not on the top of a wardrobe, for example, as stretching your arms will be painful and may damage your stitches.
You may also be given some light exercises to do after the wound starts to heal.
You will be left with a scar on the back of your arm, which will ease with time. The extent of the scarring will also depend on your skin type, age and the efforts you make to eat healthily and do the right exercises after the operation. Your doctor will advise you on this.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands, such as shopping and cleaning, as you won’t feel up to it at first.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After an arm lift our consultants will typically want to see you after to check how you are doing, we will arrange a follow up appointment before you leave the hospital.
On rare occasions, complications can occur following surgery. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Harpenden Hospital is only able to provide Covid-19 tests to patients undergoing surgery at our hospital. Covid-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service.