Upper arm tissue relaxes and descends with aging, gravity, and weight loss. The drooping of skin is caused by a stretching of the anchoring fascial system, loss of elastic recoil of the skin and loss of supporting fat. The extra sagging can result in significant "loose hammock" like deformity from the axilla to the elbow. This is also called a bat wing type of deformity.

There are different degrees of ptosis (drooping). Brachioplasty (arm reduction surgery) can remove the excess tissue and reduce the circumference of the upper arm. Surgical correction depends on the amount of extra skin and how loose the supporting tissues have become. Extra skin is removed from incisions placed along the inner arm or in the axilla. The incision must be placed where the tissue can be best tightened.

The most common incision extends from the elbow to the axilla. This permits the excision to maximally address redundant skin in the middle of the arm. Modification of the incision may be necessary to limit scar contracture in the axilla. Smaller excisions allow modificatoin of the incision with shorter scars. Liposuction can be performed in conjunction with the skin excision to improve the form and final results.

Surgical sculpture involves not just the superficial skin, but also the deeper attachments that have loosened. Patients who have gained and lost large amounts of weight are the best candidates for this procedure.  The surgery can be done under local or general anesthesia in the office or hospital setting.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Norman Day, please contact his office at 212.289.9191 or email him at