Do I need an arm lift or lipo? (Photo)

I have big arms with hanging skin! Should i just try for lipo or the complete arm lift?

Doctor Answers 18

Arm lift

Based on these pictures, it appears you have loose skin and the procedure of choice would be a brachioplasty (arm lift) rather than liposuction.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Arm lift

Hello dear, thanks for your post and provided picture as well. Based on your photo that is better for you to have a Brachioplasty because f the amount of skin that is showed.

Arm lift is a surgical procedure that:

  • Reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward
  • Tightens and smoothes the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
  • Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
Fluctuations in weight, growing older, and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat.

I recommend to make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon for a person evaluation and talk about your goals.

Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Arm liposuction or arm lift?

The photos don't demonstrate the shape, volume and skin condition of your arms very well. With the information provided, the answer is not immediately obvious to me. My recommendation would depend on many factors not the least of which would include your tolerance for scars and / or persistent skin laxity. Each of the two treatment options has its advantages and disadvantages which should be presented to you by your PS during the consultation. Only then will you have enough information to make an informed decision about which procedure is most suitable for you. Perhaps the safest alternative would be to proceed with liposuction first and then only pursue the arm lift if there is persistent skin laxity that you find intolerable.

Owen Reid, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Arm lift

If you have loose skin on your upper arms, you will likely need to consider an arm lift.  A brachioplasty is essentially an upper arm lift. In this procedure, the excess hanging skin and fat in the upper arm is removed. Its the procedure used to correct the common "bat wing" of skin that manifests in patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. Its difficult to evaluate your arms from just your photo. A physical exam is needed to make any recommendations. Best wishes.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews


Photos are helpful but an exam is needed for the best opinion. You plastic surgeon will assess the amount of elasticity, underlying fat and appearance in different positions to see which brachioplasty technique if any is appropriate vs liposuction alone vs non surgical skin tightening procedures available (see link).

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

Arm lift or lipo

Thank you for your question. Based on the picture arm lift will give you the optimal results. You have skin with loss of elasticity.

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Arm lift

Based on your photos, I think you'd be happiest with an arm lift, or brachioplasty.  Liposuction removes excess fat, but it does not remove any of the loose, hanging skin.  An arm lift will recontour the arms by removing excess skin and fat.  The drawback is the scar.  The incision will run most of the length from your armpit to your elbow.  I would recommend visiting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an evaluation and to learn more about this procedure.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Do I need an arm lift or lipo?

Thanks for the question and pictures. Based on your photographs, I think you will do best with an arm lift operation; in my practice, I would not offer you liposuction surgery alone.

Best to seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experie
nce achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Learn about the pros/cons/possible risks/complications associated with the procedure as well. You may find the attached link, dedicated to arm lifting surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.  

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

Do I need an arm lift or lipo?

Liposuction only takes care of excess fat. The only solution for excess skin is to surgically remove it. Hope this helps.

Terry E. Restivo, DO
Napa Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

You look like a good candidate for an arm lift

Liposuction vs. an arm lift mostly depends on the elasticity of your skin and whether the problem lies with loose skin, excess fat or a combination. Judging from your photos, it appears you may be a good candidate for an arm lift, or an arm lift combined with liposuction. The only way to know for sure is to visit an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine your arms in-person.

Adam L. Basner, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.