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Arm Liposuction Incision Through the Arm?

I'm having an arm Liposuction in a couple of weeks, and I've been looking at before and after pictures and reading reviews. One thing I noticed is that most incisions are at or around the elbow area. My doctor said my incision will be through the armpit. Why did he choose that site? Will it make a difference in my results? I've had work done by him before so I trust his skill and experience, I'm just curious.

Doctor Answers (17)

Access sites for liposuction

+2

In order to get access to the arm for liposuction, we sometimes make incisions in the armpit and at the elbow. If a good result is obtained with just the armpit incision, then the elbow incision is spared. However, if extra sculpting is required then the elbow incision is made. The access incisions heal very well and are barely visible at about 1 year. Good luck!


Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

That sounds even better

+2

Neutral,

As plastic surgeons we are always looking for ways to hide scars. Although we like to leave our mark, we like it to be the result, not the scar. Your surgeon is likely choosing the least conspicuous location for your scar, through which he/she can provide you with the expected result. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Both incisions are fine for arm liposuction

+2

The choice of incisions depends on two things: surgeon's preference and patient indications.

If you have predominantly fat on the lower part of the upper arm, then an elbow only incision would work very well.

If the fat is mainly on the upper portion, then an armpit incision might be best.

However, if the fat is somewhat evenly distributed then both incisions might be needed. Keep in mind that these are very small incisions and do not usually draw attention.

Have faith in the surgeon you chose, and good luck with the procedure.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

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Arm Liposuction incisions

+1

The simple answer is that either the elbow or armpit, axillary, incision is acceptable and in the hands of a talented plastic surgeon you should get a great result. In general very small incisions are made in areas that tend to be less noticeable so that postoperative scarring is not a problem in the vast majority of patients

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Arm liposuction and insertion sites

+1

Many doctors use an axillary (armpit) insertion site as well as the elbow. It improves the result when you can pass the liposuction cannula through different directions to attack the same spot. The axillary insertions site is well hidden.

 

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

I think you have your answer

+1

As you can see by all the well crafted answers so far, arm liposuction can be done through multiple different incisions.  The scars are not the issue at all, the real question is how well will your skin shrink after.  The skin of the inner arm is exceptionally thin and relatively poorly elastic.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Liposuction incisions

+1

If your surgeon is experienced at liposuction, then it shouldn't make any difference where he makes the incision. I usually make the incision just above the elbow and after the incisions have healed they are almost unnoticeable.

Allen Clark III, MD
Montgomery Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Location of the incision is not important.

+1

Hi. The incisions for liposuction of the arms are so tiny that scarring is really not an issue. The four key points in liposuction of the arms are:

1) Understand that most of the fat is in the back of the arm.

2) Achieve a smooth contour. It is not hard to get an irregularity or a dent in the arms. I personally use both incisions, because it is easier to get a smooth surface when you approach the treatment area from two different directions. I also use tiny cannulas (2.4 mm), for the same reason.

3) Don't overcorrect.

4) When all the desired fat has been suctioned out, the skin of the arms can be tightened by tunnelling with the cannula right under the skin.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Arm liposuction

+1

Liposuction can be performed through multiple different access sites. No one incisions is the best. If your doctor feels that it can be accomplished successfully near your armpit than it should be OK.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Your trusted surgeon is your best resource.

+1

Not being involved in your care, we are only able to speculate. You mentioned you trust your surgeon, so ask him his reasoning. I welcome such discussion with patients, and my staff encourages it.

My most common incisions for arm liposuction are in front and behind the elbow, but axillary incisions would be needed for contouring the adjacent axilla, back or chest.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.