Arms too fat?

Most people with the condition notice their arms getting large when in their late teen years. Much recall sitting in class when the guy behind me ask “why my arms are so big”… they join a gym that and begin trying to work on their upper body. Although they could drop a size or two, their arms remain large, and stay big! They suffer from a condition known as ‘bat wings’, the large fatty wing-like feature that hangs below your arm. The extra fat and associated loose skin around the upper arm wiggles and wobbles in an aesthetically unpleasant manner and can cause a cosmetically distasteful thickness of the upper arm. Sufferers find bat wings interfere with wearing short sleeves and tank tops making them look unattractive.

People with bat wings suffer from excess fat tissue of the upper arm. Bat wing arm is a relatively common condition. Excess fat of the upper arms is usually a hereditary condition, although bat wings can also be caused by overweight and obesity. The result can be unsightly sagging and wobbling that can be mild or very severe in nature. My patients also refer to their large sagging upper arms as “bingo wings”.

Available Treatments

Patients can have their excess fat and loose skin of the upper arm treated through a variety of procedures. It is important to achieve a reasonable and consistent body weight that can be maintained and then one of several options can be used to improve the appearance of bat wings. The most common and effective treatment for bat wings is VASER liposuction of the upper arm. During bat wing VASER Lipo, a small incision made around the elbow region and another hidden at the top of the upper arm. The tiny 3mm incisions are used as an access port for the VASER probes. The VASER probe transmits ultrasound energy that both disrupts the fat cells and also itches the under surface of the skin. That itching process generates controlled heating of the skin. It is that process of itching and heating of the underlying surface of the skin what causes future contraction of the skin. Using a small cannula the loose fat is then suctioned out. A cannula is a hollow tube connected to suction device and a collection canister. The loose fat is then removed from the arm and the improvement of the bat wing relies on skin retraction and elasticity. VASER lipo for bat bingo wings is a once off procedure.

Another popular way to treat bat wings for those individuals that have small enough fat is by fat freezing.  Fat freezing is a medically controlled process during which a suction device that cools the skin to below freezing is attached to the bulk of the bat wing. The fat freezing device is left in for about 30 minutes and causes the fat tissue to freeze. The frozen fat cells perish through a process known as apoptosis. Over the next few weeks the fat cells are removed by the body leaving the arm thinner. Repeated treatments are required to achieve good results.

Patients who undergo VASER lipo or upper arm fat freezing generally will not have a return of this aesthetically displeasing bat wing condition, as long as careful weight maintenance is observed!

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