Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considered having an armlift for my bat wings. I have looked at a lot of scars from that surgery and most of them are underwhelming. I hate my batwings but am worried that I might hate the scar to remove them just as much. Some of the armlift scars seem to be quite long, often crossing the elbow and down past the armpit. Does every armlift scar have to be that long? Do you have any pictures of really good looking armlift scars?
A: The length of the arm lift scar can be shortened or lengthened as the patient desires although, in some cases, that may affect how much improvement is seen. It is also important to understand that with varying degrees of bat wing problems the skin excess may cross the shoulder and elbow joint areas, particularly in the bariatric or massive weight loss patient.
When it comes to the scar for the armlift, one has to approach it as the worst case scenario..as you never know in anyone how well it would do. In looking at our people’s photographs, one has to understand that is them and may not signify at all what may happen in you. Even if you saw a great arm lift scar on another person, that should not be the motivation to undergo the surgery…as you are banking on that will happen in you. You should make your decision for surgery based on ‘typical’ or ‘average’ results, not the best that has happened. If you look at an airlift scar and think it looks terrible, then this surgery is not for you. If you look at an arm lift scar, wish it looked better than that but still think that trade-off is better than having batwings, then it is a good operation for you.
Dr. Barry Eppley