After Upper Arm Lipo 3 Yrs Ago the Fat Now Feels Soft and Jiggly. Is Brachioplasty Right?

I had liposuction done 3 years ago. My upper arms were big but firm. Now they are softer and jiggly. I regret doing it. Especially since they are still big and when my arms are down they look soft and dimply like cellulite thighs but upper arms. And now the skin droops and almost looks fatter over my elbow. I'm not sure if a Brachioplasty is right because it's not just the skin that is loose, there is a lot of soft fat in there too. What would you recommend?

Doctor Answers 20

Is an arm lift the best procedure for me?

Upper arm fat and excess skin are treated with liposuction and brachioplasty, respectively.  Liposuction treats excess fat and skin excision (brachioplasty) treats excess skin.  It sounds as if you likely had a bit of excess skin before liposuction that is now empty.  Brachioplasty is likely the procedure of choice for you at this point, possibly with a little liposuction for contouring.

Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 183 reviews


                  Liposuction is an excellent technique for reducing the size of large upper arms. Unfortunately, when large amounts of fat are removed from the upper arms and skin elasticity is poor, sag of the skin can occasionally occur.

                  When this situation arises, brachioplasty is usually always indicated. This procedure results in significant improvement of upper arm contour and is associated with high satisfaction rates. Unfortunately the procedure is also associated with severe scarring.

                  If you have developed loose skin after upper arm liposuction, you should consult a board certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that will address your concerns. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Arm lift needed for soft, lax, droopy upper arm skin

Without providing pictures (and of course examination), the recommendations made are only conjecture. Nevertheless, it sounds like you have lax skin with decreased skin tone. The treatment of this would be for an arm lift (also known as a brachioplasty) which involves a longitudinal incision down your upper arm allowing for circumferential tightening. There is usually a transverse incision as well - situated in your arm pit area.

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who has experience with arm lifts.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Arm Lift and Liposuction in Atlanta

Based on your description, it sound like you will benefit from redo liposuction and removal of the excess skin. This is a common procedure in my practice. I routinely combine liposuction with Brachioplasty (arm lift). The best advise for you is to see a board certified Plastic surgeon. Do your research well. Anyone can claim to be a cosmetic surgeon without surgical training.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Brachioplasty or arm lipo

It sounds like you have a combination of both fat and loose skin in the arm.  This is quite common.  I'd recommend a combination treatment - circumferential liposuction of the arm with a skin-only brachioplasty.  This would both tighten the skin and reshape the arm contours.


All the best,

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Arm lift may need both liposuction and brachioplasty

   Arms can be difficult.  Liposuction is often quite successful in good candidates .  If skin is in substantial excess then brachioplasty must be considered.   Brachioplasty can be combined with Vaser Ultrasonic Liposuction which can help in skin adaptation.  The best suggestion would be to visit a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  There is nothing like hands on examination.  Many plastic surgeons do not charge for consultation so this becomes a great learning expenience at a great cost.   Try to find a surgeon with experience in arm procedures and you will be happy I hope.  Good Luck.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Yes brachioplasty would be best

The best way to tighten the skin a d improve your arm contour further a this point is through arm lift or brachioplasty. Sometimes this can be performed with a relatively short scar in the armpit only, but often a longer scar down the arm is needed to achieve maximal improvement.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Treatment of loose skin after liposuction

Arm reduction surgery involves removing excess loose skin eith with a smaller incision in the arm pit or more commonly an incision along the arn to or past the elbow.  All decisions are based on how much skin there is so photos would be necessary.  Be sure you really can deal with the incision to the elbow before proceeding especially if your goal is to wear short sleeved shirts because of the visible scar.

Terrence Murphy, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Arm lift and liposuction

You may get some more detailed recommendations if a set of pictures was available. Since you have loose skin and some fat also, a combination of arm lift and liposuction may help. Both of these can be done together as an outpatient procedure. The scars from an arm lift are obvious and take a while before they improve so you should have a good discussion with a Board Certified plastic surgeon before you consider more surgery.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews


brachioplasty is necessary to remove excess and inelastic skin follwowing liposuction.  Unfortunately, the scar can be very visible, talk to a board plastic surgeon.

Christopher K. Livingston, MD
Houston 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.