Lipo for Upper Arms?

My upper arms measure about 16in all around. I fear want major surgery so I am thinking of going with lipo. I am not sure what would be best for me. Should I choose cool lipo, smart lipo, or lipotherme? I am confused, I need to get the best results possible. Please advise. Thank you so very much!!

Doctor Answers 13

3 procedures you ask about are not lipo

The 3 procedures you ask about are not lipo, they are laser lipolysis and other types of complimentary procedures.  You are looking for traditional liposuction or tumescent liposuction.

San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Liposuction for Upper Arms

The result anyone gets from liposuction is very dependent on the elasticity of the skin, which is affected by multiple factors: age, previous sun damage, individual variation and, most importantly, the area of the body. Some parts of the body have skin that is tighter and more elastic than others. In most cases, the skin of the upper arm is not very elastic and the results can be disappointing. Take this test: hold your arm out from your side and grab the part that hangs down. If you can move it freely back and forth you have loose skin which will not disappear after liposuction, no matter what technique you use. You are not likely to be happy with the outcome.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Arm Liposuction Will Not Make A Fat Arm Thin

While it is understandable why you are considering liposuction for your upper arms, it will not produce the result you are looking for not matter what the liposuction technique. You simply have too much skin to get the arm reduction you desire. Ideally you need liposuction combined with an armlift or arm skin reduction procedure. This does result in an upper arm scar so you have to consider that carefully as a trade-off. There is nothing wrong with doing liposuction alone but your expectation of the arm reduction results should be appropriately tempered. 

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Liposuction for arms

It looks like you have a fair amount of excess fat in the upper arms that can be addressed with traditional liposuction. You may need an arm lift (skin excision) if you want your arms really tight. It's always a tradeoff, the best contour often requires an incision. If you have stretch marks in the skin in your upper arms, the skin is less likely to contract after liposuction and you are more likely to need skin excision.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Lipo for Upper Arms?

Based solely on the one posted photo of your right upper arm I would not recommend any form of liposuction for this area. Only excision with the scar can improve. Thusly, I would not do you liposuction for this area. Sorry. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Your upper arms have "flabby" skin. Any form of liposuction will waste your money!

Your upper arm skin "hangs" because it has poor elasticity. Sure, there's fat there, and liposuction can remove some or even most of it. But what happens to the "emptied" skin? That's like having triplets and asking for the tummy to snap back to completely flat. Perhaps for a very select few with great genetics, but if you want the best results possible (I'm not sure why you said you "need" since this is elective surgery and there is always a choice to do liposuction, deflate your arms, and then go through the arm lift operation you really "needed" in the first place!), then don't wast time, money, healing, and incur (minimal) risks with any form of liposuction. The degree of skin tightening that Vaser, SmartLipo, or any other kind of marketed liposuction or external technique can offer is so limited you will kick yourself if you fall for the advice "Try liposuction, but then you 'may need' some sort of arm lift."

You "need" brachioplasty or nothing at all (unless you like the flapping bat wing look). I'm sorry for the dogmatic tone of my answer; it's just that I feel the "politically-correct" answers some of my colleagues are giving will be taken by you to be supportive of what you obviously "want" to hear, rather than what you really DO need to hear! See several ABPS-certified plastic surgeons with lots of experience in liposuction AND brachioplasty before you make your decision. Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Liposuction should help but you may need more

I think that you will receive good results with liposuction to your upper arms.  However, it seems that you have quite abit of loose skin which may not all shrink down adequately with just liposuction.  Therefore, you may need an arm lift later.  I would recommend starting with liposuction but keep in mind that you may also need an armlift later.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction for the Arms?

Dear Sandy08,

Liposuction works very nicely for removing fat and sculpting the upper arms. If you have a significant amount of loose or extra skin, an arm lift may also be necessary.

When choosing liposuction, the most important factor to consider, contrary to what the advertisements would tell you, is to find a great surgeon with excellent skills and artistry. A skilled surgeon will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for liposuction. He or she will also know how much fat can be safely removed depending on the area of the body and elasticity of the skin.

The challenge for patients is sorting through the marketing hype. All of the available liposuction techniques (eg. tumescent, laser, UAL, PAL, Vaser, Smartlipo, etc.) can lead to excellent results with minimal downtime in the right hands. The problem is that there are many non-plastic surgeons who will try to "sell" you on the fact that their technology can overcome your poor skin elasticity and their lack of proper board certified training.

I perform liposuction using a variety of techniques including tumescent, laser, ultrasound, and power assisted.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD


Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Liposuction for arms is not good

Unlike the other answers, I feel that liposuction in this area is not a good option. I do agree that if in the end you wish to do liposuction, then basic tumescent liposuction is just as good as the other over-hyped forms of liposuction such as SmartLipo or VASER or others. What matters is who is doing the liposuction, not which machine he or she is using. However, in the upper arm are you can do a little bit of liposuction and barely see a difference, or do a lot to really thin your arms and be left with loose skin. For that reason an arm lift with liposuction is most effective. The downside is the long scar. Each option has its pros and cons. Sincerely, Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Liposuction for the arms?

Tumescent liposuction by an experienced and board certified plastic surgeon is the gold standard for the arms. From your pictures it seems that you also have excess skin, which may require a brachioplasty or arm lift. You can have the liposuction first, and then decide if you need the lift.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 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.