Do you think liposuction alone will help me reach my goal or do I need a arm lift? (Photos)

I'm not looking to get super skinny toned arms. I just want them to look nice without a lot of excess skin. I'm sure with my size arm there will be little excess skin which is fine. I just don't want a bag of flabb.Also I'm 29 years of age.

Doctor Answers 9

Liposuction vs Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Thank you for a question.  Without seeing you in person for a consultation it is hard to  determine whether liposuction or an arm lift is better for you.  If you have good overlying skin, liposuction may be the right choice.  However, if the skin does not retract you will be left with lots of excess skin.  I think its best to make an appointment with a plastic surgeon in your area for a formal consultation.  Best of luck to you.

Syracuse Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Do you think liposuction alone will help me reach my goal or do I need a arm lift?

Thank you for your question.  It's hard to tell which would be best without an in person evaluation.  If you have liposuction alone, you may have some excess hanging skin depending on your skin tone and quality.  You can always have the arm lift later on however.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Do you think liposuction alone will help me reach my goal or do I need a arm lift? (Photos)

Thank you for your question and posting the photos. It is always best to have a physical exam for candidacy and expected results. However, it looks like there is some fat to be removed. Skin retraction is expected to a degree from liposuction. So, you will definitely have smaller arms, but you may want an arm lift later on. May be soon after having liposuction or later in life. You are still young with good skin.
The incisions from an arm lift are hard to hide, so often my patients (that look similar to your photos) will choose to do liposuction first and then evaluate 6 months later. You do not burn any bridges that way and if you do decide to do an arm lift, the results will be better. Skin removal surgery of any kind always goes better when the skin is not too thick.
Always see a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Good luck!

Reza Rod, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lipo or lift?

Thank you for posting pictures! The only way to really give you a good answer would be to evaluate you in person. Although the pictures are helpful an assessment of skin quality and amount of fat present is needed. However, you are young and usually this means skin quality is decent.

The scar from a arm lift is probably one of the most visible and can be slightly unsightly at times. It seems as though you have realistic expectations and you understand that you may have some loose skin after liposuction alone. For these 2 reasons it may be worth trying liposuction first. The good thing is, lets say you end up with more loose skin than you would like then you can always get an arm lift later on.

Hope this helps and good luck on your journey!

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Do you think liposuction alone will help me reach my goal or do I need a arm lift?

At your age the elasticity of the skin is usually pretty good. Since the scar of the arm lift is fairly long, I think I would consider liposuction alone for someone as young as you and count on the skin shrinking at least to some extent, thus avoiding the scar for now. If the skin is too loose, you haven't lost anything, you can always get it tightened at some point if necessary. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction or Arm Lift?

Liposuction removes disproportionate fat. While it does not remove or shrink skin, it can allow skin that has elasticity to conform to a smaller arm. If your arm skin has good elasticity, Liposuction can provide a reduction in size. On the other hand, if the main problem is that the skin is loose, Liposuction will make it worse. For loose skin, only an arm lift will help. To accomplish skin tightening a scar is placed on the lower portion of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. Consider seeking a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for guidance in selecting the optimal path for your goals.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Arm lift arm reduction brachioplasty arm liposuction VASER arm liposuction arm liposculpturing

Hi,Thank you for your question regarding arm liposuction versus an arm lift or brachioplasty.  Also, thank you for your history and pictures.   I would suggest a full arm lift or brachioplasty.  You have excess arm skin and fat all the way to the elbow.  I believe arm liposuction would result in sagging arm skin. A full arm lift procedure takes about three hours to complete.  The arm lift is performed under general anesthesia.  After an arm lift, the recovery takes about two weeks.   If you decide against a full arm lift, I would suggest you maximize your chances on arm skin contraction with liposuction.  Maximal arm skin contracture can be achieved using the VASER.  The VASER melts arm fat, heats the underside of the skin, and I believe, gives better skin tightening than traditional liposuction.  Thank you for your questions about an arm lift versus arm liposuction If you have any other questions pertaining to an arm lift, brachioplasty or arm liposuction, please call my office. Sincerely,Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Liposuction versus Brachioplasty in Melbourne, Florida

Generally speaking, my Melbourne, Florida, who present with excess fat and excess skin in the arms benefit most from a complete brachioplasty. Keep in mind that liposuction alone will only empty out the excess fat leaving the hanging excess skin behind. I have found in cases such as this when the patient proceeds with liposuction they tend to be unhappy with the sagging excess skin later; however, ultimately, this is a matter of personal preference. Discuss in detail with your board-certified plastic surgeon. I hope this information is helpful to you. Best of luck!

Amy Ortega, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews


It's a little hard to give you a definite answer without looking at you and your overall body type.  A consultation with an experienced armlet surgeon would help determine what your goals might be, since you want everything to match.  At 29, your skin will handle more liposuction than it would several years later.  On the other hand, if we would want to remove 70% of the visible fat in order to conform to the rest of your body, you would need an arm lift since the skin can only take so much deflation before it no longer conforms to the rest of the arm tissue. The scars from arm lifts generally very acceptable and this has become a very common surgery in my practice.

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 39 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.