Will Liposuction on Arms Make the Skin Loose?

I have been considering a short scar lift surgery on my arms for some time now due to all the excess skin that I have around them. I have been to a couple of doctors now but I get different suggestions. Some suggest I just need regular liposuction, but I don't think it would be a good idea considering the elasticity of my skin is bad. Others suggest a combo of both a tuck and some lipo. What would be the best option? (For some reason my skin looks very full in the pics I don't know why)

Doctor Answers 16

Arm liposuction

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Liposuction would probably leave your skin looser on your arms, and that would only be able to be addressed adequately with a lift. But the lift gives you more noticeable scarring. I would recommend you be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in the procedure.

Arm Lift

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Based on the information you've provided and your photo, you'll probably need an arm lift rather than liposuction. This is because if you remove a lot of fat in your upper arms with liposuction alone, you'll have loose skin that may not be able to retract to your leaner contour. This loose skin will make the results of your liposuction hard to see. An arm lift will remove the excess fat and skin to give you a better result.   

Liposuction on arms will NOT make skin loose but it will NOT make it tight either

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Liposuction on the arms has a relatively high satisfaction rate. it will NOT make skin loose but it will NOT make it tight either. In your case, it appears that you have sufficient laxity that I would recommend a brachioplasty (arm tuck) as a better alternative.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

"Mini" procedures lead to "mini" results, in most cases

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First, a "mini" or "short scar" arm lift is not a great operation. It can be okay in perfectly-selected patients--your photo indicates to me that you are not the right patient for this "mini" operation.  I would start with liposuction alone, which you may find gives you better results than you expected.  If you still have loose skin remaining after the liposuction, then the arm lift technique that removes the most skin would be right for you.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Liposuction alone won't do much to tighten the arms

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If there is minimal to moderate skin laxity, laser liposuction such as smartlipo will contribute a certain amount of tightening to the arms.

If there is considerable laxity, you would require some skin removal  (brachioplasty, or mini-brachioplasty).

You would need to see your surgeon to measure and feel your arms in order to best assess your situation.

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

CAST liposuction of the arms combined with minibrachioplasty corrects moderate skin laxity

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Liposuction for upper arm contouring can produce excellent results in individuals with good skin elasticity. I recommend the Circumferential para-Axillary Superficial Tumescent (CAST) technique for upper arm contouring. The use of tumescent anesthesia, micro cannula, and meticulous post operative care maximizes skin retraction and can give excellent improvement. If there is skin laxity, a brachioplasty may be required to tighten the skin. The minibrachioplasty is ideal for correcting the loose skin in the upper third of the inner arm. An ellipse of skin is removed from the axilla (arm pit) and the thin skin of the upper inner arm is advanced and tightened. The scar generally heals well and is well hidden, allowing you to wear short sleeves and sleeveless blouses. Based on your photograph, I would recommend CAST Liposuction conbined with a minibrachioplasty.
Of interest, I just had the opportunity to present the results of my most recent 190 cases of liposuction of the upper arm at the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in San Francisco last month. Of these patients, 38 also had minibrachioplasties. The satisfaction rate was extremely high. I generally try to avoid performing a full Brachioplasty unless the skin is extremely loose. In such cases the resulting improvement in the contour of the arm can be dramatic, but the scars are difficult to hide.
Please consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best regards,
Andrew Lyos, M.D., FACS

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Arm lift or liposuction

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The elasticity of the skin would determine what type of outcome you could expect. Younger women usually are the best candidates. For some the only way to get rid of fat and a lot of loose skin is a Brachioplasty (arm lift) but the trade off is a long scar.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Arm liposuction or lift or both?

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Treating the arms can be tricky.  If your skin quality is not great, it may sag more with just liposuction. You may be correct to require both  excision and liposuction or even just excision.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Liposuction for the arms

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the contour of your arm will probably not be the best after liposuctiton. An arm lift won't be the best answer by itself either.  You might do very well with liposuction first then waiting six months to have a skin lift.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Liposuction will not necessarily cause your skin to sag.

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Liposuction will not necessarily cause your skin to sag.  The state of elasticity in your skin is the best prognostication factor in the final result.  I would suggest having water-assisted liposuction, waiting 3-4 months and see the final result. If you are not happy, then an arm lift can be done.  If you are happy with the result then you have saved time, expense, and a scar.

Charles D. Ebert, MD
Las Vegas 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.