Is Liposuction Required for an Arm Lift?

i hate my underarm flapping skin. Was considering arm lift surgery.  However, it's not clear to me if I'd also need to get liposuction to get results. What is the best way to know ahead of a consultation if it will be necessary?

Doctor Answers 27

Liposuction with arm lift procedures

Thank you for your question regarding liposuction associated with an arm lift.

Every plastic surgeon is different. Early in my career, I did not use liposuction. Fifteen years ago when I started using arm liposuction for my brachioplasties, I found much better arm lift results. Presently, for all my brachioplasty procedures, I always perform arm liposuction. I believe arm liposuction at the beginning of the arm lift procedure is essential to better eliminate arm fat. Arm liposuction also aids in the dissection.

Good luck with your quest for skinnier arms.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Arm Lift

Lifts on this famously wobbly part of the human anatomy—known familiarly as “Hi Janes” or “Bingo” arms—are particularly popular. Heavy and even moderately droopy arms can be recountoured very effectively with liposuction. Liposuction modifies volume by sucking out fat and because liposuction stimulates the skin to tighten, good elasticity provides a smooth contour after fat is removed. The procedure takes about an hour, the recovery takes just a couple of days, and there's virtually no scarring. I use several innovative forms of liposuction, including SmartLipo, in order to contour and resculpture the area while providing the most beautiful results with minimal scarring. SmartLipo, used in combination with other forms of liposuction or alone, is a procedure that uses laser light to liquefy fat and tighten the surrounding skin. Liposuction as an outpatient procedure under I.V. sedation can easily reduce the bulge that some people have in their abdomens.

For the loose skin of your arms, Thermage® is now a safe, non-invasive, cosmetic procedure that’s clinically proven to help smooth, tighten and contour skin for an overall younger looking appearance. The treatment delivers natural looking results with little to no downtime —on all skin colors, on and off the face, all in a single procedure. Fast and easy, you can even come in during your lunch break and return to work after!

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Liposuction and Arm Lift

Arm lift surgeries usually involve some liposuction. If there is not much fat then liposuction may not be necessary. Sometimes if there is not much excess skin liposuction alone may be all you need.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Lipo not part of arm lift

There are many causes for flabby arms. Incisions can be very small or large depending on location of fat. If one has flabby arms, the best indicator of the treatment would be the elasticity of the skin.  If the skin has good elasticity, then Liposuction alone may be the answer.  If not, then an arm lift to resect the excess skin is best.  However, the best indication for an arm lift, and the most gratifying are those who have lost a lot of weight.  The skin is usually flabby and overstretched.  It is simple and effective to remove the skin that has been stretched past its capacity.  No Liposuction, or other noninvasive modalitiy will help the skin become more firm around the arms.  The length and type of the incision will vary depending upon the location and the amount of fat in the arms.  The cost will also vary by geographic locale.  Most will run anywhere from $3500-$7000.  I would advise you to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to have treatment recommendations specific to your concerns.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Liposuction Not Needed for all Arm lifts

Although Liposuction is used in most traditional arm lifts it is not required if there is not much fat redundancy. Your plastic surgeon will quickly let you know if this is required.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Liposuction with arm lift

Arm lift procedures frequently involve liposuction as part of the surgical treatment.  Only in situations of massive weight loss is liposuction not necessary.  Otherwise, even a small amount of liposuction can aid in the overall result.  Of course, care must be taken to avoid excess fluid infiltration and excess skin excision that would result in a tight skin closure and eventually a wide scar. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Liposuction Necessary for Arm Lift?

Thank you for the question. 

Liposuction is a tool that may be useful during arm lifting surgery.  It is certainly not “required”.  Whether or not it is used will  depend mostly on your surgeon's  preference. Please make sure you're working with a  board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Liposution with an arm lift...

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from a specific area of the body.  Unlike liposuction, brachioplasty reduces excess skin, and reshapes your arm to a more toned appearance.  Since you are considering having an arm lift done, liposuction can be done at the same time if needed.  The best way to know what you need for sure is to see a board certified plastic surgeon.



Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Arm flapping skin and liposuction

I do not commonly combine liposuction with arm lifts.  If your arm is flopping quite a bit, you  may be a better candidate for an arm lift than liposuction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

It depends

most of the time liposuction is done with arm lift where it helps in skin excision and at the same time gives better natural contoure where you can liposuc the areas that your incision will not extend to as the lower arm area 

Nawarah Alarfaj, MD
Saudi Arabia Plastic Surgeon

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.