I have excess skin due to massive weight loss and it is recommended that I get a body lift. I did not have any surgeries, but was on medication for obesity and am insulin resistant. I am concerned about scarring on my arms. Any advice on what I can expect regarding scarring?

A: Body lift, arm lift, and scarring

A brachioplasty is the term for the arm lift which removes excess skin of the upper arms after massive weight loss. Typically, this incision runs on the inner portion of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. When your arms are down by your side, this scar will not be noticeable. This scar however, has a tendency to be a red, thickened scar, which can occasionally be raised. Most patients will accept a scar like this in exchange for a much improved arm contour. Look at before and after photos of this procedure to determine if you will be able to live with this type of scar.

The body lift scar is typically a circumferential scar that extends around the waist and back to address loose skin of the abdomen, sides(flanks) and back. This also allows for some improvement in the buttock contour. This scar can also be raised with a reddish color. Although most scars lighten over time, some can remain permanently darkened or located in a position where they are visible in certain clothes.

The scars are a tradeoff. You will have a better contour, but with scarring–sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Most patients are quite happy as the removal of skin and improved shape, far outweighs the scars.