Is Laser or Vaser Lipo Better for the Upper Arms?

I am 50 years old and am considering lipo of my upper arms. I am not over weight at all but have never thought my arms are in proportion to my petite frame. Which method will have a better result? I am afraid of being left with loose skin once the fat is removed. I have had vaser lipo in the past on my abs and flanks. The flanks are great but my abs have loose skin. I knew I might be a better candidate for a tummy tuck but didn't want to do it.

Doctor Answers 10

Vaser or Laser Liposuction

     Vaser is better than laser by far.  Laser systems are slow and inefficient.  Laser systems claim skin contraction but that is very minimal.  Simple plain small cannula liposuction and the resultant skin contraction is excellent. 90% of the world's liposuction is done without high tech assist.  Skin contracts great after simple small cannula tumescent liposuction.  Laser and Vaser add little to the skin contraction.  The Vaser very effectively liquifies fat and allows easy evacuation by regular small cannula technique. Small cannula is always the workhorse.  I really appreciate Vaser because it make my job easier and the patient has less pain.  Wound healing is more comfortable after Vaser.  Do not look for technology as the answer.   Look for the smart doctor and not some heavily hyped technology assist.   A great surgeon can do great liposuction with any technology.  Choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  When considering surgery be sure your doctor is a surgeon.  Be sure your doctor is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.  Be sure you doctor has hospital privileges to do your surgery even if it is done as an outpatient.  Hospitals have rigorous peer review and assure your FACS and ABPS surgeon is safe and up to date.   There are many doctors offering supposed plastic surgery that are not boarded surgeons and have neither FACS or ABPS.  Be careful.  You life and results depend on carefully choosing a safe and trained surgeon.  Forget what technology is used.  Much tech assist promotion ends up as pure hype and slick marketing.  Choose a smart doctor.  My Best,  Dr C

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Lipo on arms

As one gets older, the chances for more laxity increases after removing fat.  I do n ot think that the vaser of laser lipolysis devices offer any advantage over traditional liposuction.  It is not the wand but the magician with the want that creates the magic!

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

Upper Arm Lipo Vaser or Laser

    Find the surgeon with the best credentials and ask that surgeon what he or she prefers.  You can probably get great results no matter what type is used.  I do not have a preference nor can I make a case for one over another.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Vaser or Laser

Both modalities can work but I prefer Vaser on the arms as I believe the skin retraction is more consistent as long as you are not over-suctioned.  Neither is a magic skin tightener and you must rely on your surgeons analysis of your skin elasticity and sometimes less is more to avoid loose skin.  

Charles R. Nathan, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Vaser lipo vs laser lipo for upper arms

First, let's be clear what we are talking about here: there is plain old liposuction, which comes in different flavors (power-assist, water-assist) but basically have the same result; laser liposuction (Smartlipo, Slimlipo, Cellulaze) during which the surgeon applies a laser with a specific wavelength to the fat before liposuction; and VASER, where the surgeon applies ultrasound to the fat before aspirating/suctioning it. I have tried all three with the following results: VASER works best for tough areas of fat, like gynecomastia or the buffalo hump; Slimlipo works best for thin saggy skin, like necks or arms, where it can give a very very nice substantial lift; regular lipo is fine for thick skin areas with no tightness issues, like the lower back. So in your case go with the Slimlipo. I don't think Smartlipo is as good as the wavelength doesn't seem as effective. We all have hope for Cellulaze but we will see as it is new. Finally, don't confuse laser lipo with regular surface laser, as lasers used on the surface of the skin don't do a lot to tighten the skin. We have had some improvement with radiofrequency devices, but that's about it!

Lisa Cassileth, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Vaser or Laser Lipo


As you have already experienced with Vaser, Laser will offer you the same in the skin tightening department: Nothing.  If you have loose skin there is nothing short of skin excision to improve contour and laxity. Nothing.

You should visit a surgeon with a great reputation for body contouring, and discuss whether you are a good candidate for liposuction of your arms.  In the right hands, you might get an acceptable result without the need for an arm lift.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Vaser vs. Laser

There is no good data to answer your question and without seeing you it is difficult to predict.  However, you already note that your skin retraction is less than you wanted.  So your problem may be more related to skin tone than fat excess.  If that is the case, there are lots of things to try, but no assurance that any will give you what you want at this time. 

Mark P. Solomon, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Laser or VASER lipo for best arm contouring

Without photos it is difficult to answer this question. In general, laser or VASER can give you a good result. I said this many times, it is not the machine that makes ther difference, but the surgeon. These are tools in a plastic surgeon's tool box. I use both in my practice, but if I want to create an athletic arm and not just reduce the fat volume, then I prefer the VASER. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tumescent liposuction is best for liposuction of the arms.


I don't think vaser or laser have any advantages and they can have more complications.  They are basically marketing ideas.

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

Liposuction Technologies Offer Different Benefits

Laser assisted liposuction uses a combination of wavelengths to coagulate blood vessels, "melt" fat, and heat the skin and fibrous connections.  It results in nice contour correction with minimal bruising.  The amount of skin tightening you get depends on how the liposuction is performed, how the laser is used and your skin quality. Traditionally, loose skin would be excised with an arm lift.  Significant skin retraction can be achieved with laser lipolysis, especially if combined with a non-ablative skin tightening treatment.  Your satisfaction with the outcome of this procedure will depend on your anatomy, your expectations, the technology used as well as the experience and skill of your surgeon.  If your condition is not severe, this treatment has a good chance of success!  Good luck!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 54 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.