Why Would a Surgeon Not Want to Perform Liposuction with an Arm Lift?

I am considering having brachioplasty and have seen two surgeons about the procedure. One surgeon recommended liposuction with the brachioplasty; the other surgeon never performs liposuction with brachioplasty because of the high level of trauma. Can someone please advise on why liposuction would not be performed and will my results be as effective?

Doctor Answers 11

Liposuction with arm lift surgery

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Every surgeon is going to have a variable level of confidence with certain techniques for different procedures. The reason that some surgeons would feel uncomfortable is because of a concern for damaging important vascular supply and the risk of skin necrosis with the arm lift. I use liposuction with all of my brachioplasty patients and use an skin avulsion technique that leaves the underlying blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic vessels almost entirely intact. With this technique, very little bleeding is seen and the use of cautery to stop bleeding is extremely limited. The risk of damaging the underlying blood vessels is therefore extremely low. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Liposuction with Brachioplasty

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It is impossible to give any recommendations for treatment without a physical exam.  But limited liposuctioning can be performed safely at the time of a brachioplasty.   Liposuction may increase the risk of a fluid collection.  Hence, if and when I perform liposuction with an arm lift, I will place drains to prevent a seroma.   Another option is to perform secondary delayed liposuctioning after the arm lift to fine tune your results.   So both of your docs are not wrong with their answers.    Each are making recommendations based on their comfort level and experience.  Hope this helps.

Liposuction and Your Armlift

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Without photos it is difficult to examine you to determine whether I think liposuction should or should not be added to your brachioplasty procedure. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in body contouring procedures.

The only concern your surgeon may have is if you are over-liposuctioned, it may cause wound necrosis due to the lack of blood supply in the area.

I have included a link below that may be of help to you. Best of luck.

Liposuction with an Arm Lift...

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Brachioplasty is an excellent procedure if you have loose, excess skin.  It reduces extra skin and fat between the underarm and elbow, and reshapes your arm to result in a smoother appearance.   Liposuction is a good choice when the skin is tighter and there is a lot of fat.  Sometimes they can be done together, but you cannot be too aggressive with the liposuction when doing a brachioplasty at the same time because it is important to retain a good blood supply to the skin, which allows the incision heal as nicely as possible.  In some cases the liposuction needs to be done first and then a good excision of the skin can take place.  Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon to find out which procedure would be best.

Liposuction and arm lift ( brachioplasty )

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Every surgeon has his own comfort level with an operation. I would not hesitate to do liposuction and arm lift at the same time. As long as no skin flaps are raised liposuion can be done safely and enhance the results

Liposuction and brachioplasty

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If your upper arms are thick or bulky form collection of adipose (fatty) tissue, then doing liposuction to debulk the fatty tissue followed by the brachiopalsty 3-6 months later will likely provide a better and more optimal result. If the brachioplasty is done without doing liposuction in someone with bulky upper arms rather than just loose skin, the results will likely leave a thick but more contoured appearance of the upper arms, with the risk of wider or hypertrophic scars.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Brachioplasty with liposuction???

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Too much liposuction and edema can interfere with the blood supply to the incision sites and lead to wound necrosis. So the answer is that some limited liposuction may be combined it a brachioplasty----but not too much! Without a photo, it is difficult to tell exactly what procedure you could benefit from.

Liposuction with Arm Lift

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Thank you for your question.

It is difficult to give you precise advice without examining you and/or seeing photos.  I use liposuction as a tool during the brachioplasty surgery for many cases.  Each patient is different and so the technique used may be different.

Make sure you are seeing well trained, board certified plastic surgeons who have experience with this procedure.

I hope this helps.

Arm lift and liposuction may be contraindicated

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I use liposuction to contour the arm at the time of bracioplasty (arm lift). Typically the skin and fat that is removed takes care of 80-90 percent of the problem. Extensive liposuction may increase your risk for significant swelling and scar stretching and may interfere with the blood supply to the incision edges thus increasing your risk for wide scars.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Armlift combined with liposuction

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It is hard to tell on this discussion board (without seeing any pictures)  why your surgeon advised against a combined procedure . in some instances the results of a combined procedure can be really nice. often a shorter scar (L-shaped) can be achied this way. but this depends also on you clinical situation. if the procedure is performed safely and adequately there should not be any damage or major trauma to underlying anatomic structures. hope this helps, kind regards

Bianca Knoll, MD
Frankfurt 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.