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Don't Be A Swing Voter: Lose Your Flabby Bat Wings


Flabby arms that swing may keep you from raising your arms or wearing certain clothing. Now, doctors are making use of many options that battle the dreaded "granny swing".

Most people who have unsightly arm flab would like to see it vanish. Getting rid of the excess skin and fat without cutting or surgery sounds great, but is it really possible to achieve the results you want without going under the knife? In the past, losing the flab meant trading it in for long scars, often from elbow to armpit. Although not for everyone, there are some non-surgical and small incision options available today.

Newport Beach Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Barnes believes he has found the solution. Using a combination approach with Tickle Lipo followed by the SmartLipo procedure, he is seeing great results.

He prefers Tickle Lipo to contour excess subcutaneous fat followed by the laser lipo device, SmartLipo to heat the skin and cause tightening. "The next day the dressings are removed. Most can return to activities in 2-3 days if not before, and there typically is no bruising" says Dr. Barnes. "There may be some swelling depending on which areas are treated but a patient should expect to see improvement right away." In a week, even more improvement is obvious and improvement continues for a whole year.

Bat Wing - Arm Flab reduction photos
Scarless Batwing Removal by Dr. Thomas Barnes

So how do you know if this is the right approach for you? If a patient has extreme skin laxity on their upper arm - super batwings - and desires a really tight result, Dr. Barnes recommends a brachioplasty. This involves removing excess skin by incisions but he cautions that this will result is scars at the back or inside of each upper arm. Few patients want to have scars. If a patient decides to try Dr. Barnes minimally invasive approach instead, they should be aware that while they will see overall improvement, some skin laxity may persist.

Dr. Barnes says, often, a second procedure with SmartLipo four months after the first procedure can result in additional skin tightening. "My experience after doing upper arms for 15 years, is that they tend to improve over several years. Doing a follow up procedure has been useful for improving the results, even several years later, for patients who do not wish to have excess skin cut."

At times, Dr. Barnes adds the Viora Reaction for non-invasive contouring of upper arms where there still is some skin laxity, albeit much improved from their pre-op situation. The younger the patient, the faster they will heal and the better the result across the board.

Dr. Robert Burke, an Ann Arbor area cosmetic surgeon, uses an approach that has a minimal incision and laser sculpture with the Rejuvalift arm lift. It is an outpatient surgical skin removal procedure with lost volume replacement.
Minimal Incision Rejuvalift Result
Minimum Incision Rejuvalift Result by Dr. Robert Burke

Some physicians who used to treat this problem with a long incision from the elbow to the armpit are using less invasive methods, or even non-invasive procedures depending on the patient's needs. While some patients do still need a more formal procedure, many can be treated with newer devices like the VASER Shape. The VASER Shape has recently been featured on the Dr. Oz show as one of his "Newest, Fastest Fat Busters".
VASER Shape for arms before and after photo
Arm Fat Reduction using VASER Shape
Images Courtesy of Sound Surgical

Those with more mild problems can see desirable results from other procedures. ZERONA, for example is FDA cleared for safe and effective circumferential reduction of upper arms, in addition to treating areas like waist and hips. This particular device has healing effects that can help reduce swelling and bruising.
ZERONA Arm Lift Results Photos
Non-Invasive Reduction of the Arms with Zerona
Images Courtesy of Erchonia Medical