How Much Weight Can 1 Lose From The Gastric Balloon Bat-Wings: The Dreaded Hanging Arm Skin After WLS

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Bat-Wings: The Dreaded Hanging Arm Skin After WLS

Gastric bypass surgery is only the first step many morbidly obese patients take in their total body transgression. A remnant of massive weight loss is the dreaded “bat wings”. You know what I’m talking about – the upper arm skin that hangs like bat wings if you spread your arms wide ready for flight. Wave the hand and the bat wing waves too. For some, after massive weight loss, there is so much skin that it is difficult to find shirts with sleeves that fit, and even worse, it is embarrassing to wear sleeveless shirts.

What to do?

Exercise:

The first line of defense is to do weight or strength training during the rapid weight loss phase. Many patients report satisfactory upper arm skin shrinkage when they incorporate light exercise during weight loss. Bicep curls and tricep pulldowns are the best exercises to tone upper arms. Arm training requires minimal equipment (2 light dumbbells 3-5 lbs each) and limited space. It should be noted that the younger the patient and the fewer times they have seen significant weight change, the better chance they have of toning and shaping their arms with exercise. It doesn’t stop older patients from exercising – it just gives a little more encouragement to younger people undergoing weight loss surgery.

Liposuction:

The next, but not very plausible option is liposuction. Lipo is only appropriate when there is a lot of fat and the skin is tight. The lipo sucks out the fat and allows the skin to shrink. This is not plausible for most WLS patients because they have already lost the fat, leaving an empty balloon of upper arm skin.

Brachioplasty:

The last resort is the $5,000 arm lift called brachioplasty Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the upper arm.

Incisions and scars in arm lift

Scars are the main disadvantage of this operation. They will extend from the armpit to the elbow along the inside of the arm. This surgery replaces one cosmetic problem (loose skin) with another (scars). In general, those with very loose flabby skin are most likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will likely not have the scars.

Kaye Bailey © 2005 – All rights reserved

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