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When Weight Loss Is the Cause, Not the Cure

When Weight Loss Is the Cause, Not the Cure

Many people who have made the all-important decision to lose weight and get fit choose a variety of ways to improve their body image. Here are some that will be familiar to most people who are either current or future clients of Dr. Vitenas:

  • dieting
  • working out
  • liposuction
  • fat transfer

The point of dieting is to help reduce calorie intake, and therefore stop excessive weight loss — it’s a lifestyle choice as much as anything else. As is working out; those trips to the gym may help to trim, tone and firm, but workingout also becomes a staple part of one’s social calendar.

Unless you’re young, these two alone won’t solve weight and body shape issues, which is why we offer liposuction, fat transfer, and other body sculpting procedures.

A little-known option from that particular menu is known as a brachioplasty, or arm lift.

What Is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is designed to reduce the excess skin that can hang down from the upper arms following drastic weight loss. There are a few choice phrases that are associated with these, but the one that you might be familiar with is “bat wings”.

The ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) doesn’t call them that, of course, but it does offer a helpful definition:

“Fluctuations in weight, growing older, and heredity can cause your upper arms to
have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected
through exercise.”

If you search YouTube, you’ll find things like the ‘bat wings workout’ that purport to solve the issue. But as any surgeon will tell you, the older you are, the less elastic your skin becomes. Subsequently, the ASPS notes that exercise is unlikely to be the best solution for people who experience fast weight loss and have skin that will not spring back into shape on its own.

The Brachioplasty Procedure

Under local anesthetic, Dr. Vitenas will remove the skin by making an incision that will be as unobtrusive as possible, and follow as far as is possible the patient’s natural contours. The incision will be along the inner portion of the upper arm. Brachioplasty provides a way to remove skin and, for patients who are also having liposuction, remove excess fatty deposits.

The really skillful part is the subsequent tightening of the underlying tissues and sculpting of the arm so that it has a naturally slimmer shape. To see what the effect of this is, there is a brachioplasty before and after photo gallery on the website.

Following surgery, patients will need to wait about a month to six weeks before resuming any exercise regimen. They will be able to return to work within a few days. It pays to take it easy, and not stretch the healing skin, to give the scar the best chance of being as faint and unobtrusive as possible.

To find out more, and schedule a consultation, Dr. Vitenas can be reached at his Houston-based practice at (281) 484-0088. His website has a wealth of information for prospective patients and can help you to decide if this procedure is right for you.