List Some Reasons Why Arm Liposuction Could Be Painful?

When will the swelling an stiffness reside after arm lipsuction? If there is numbness, should that reside soon after the swelling as well?

Doctor Answers 4

List Some Reasons Why Arm Liposuction Could Be Painful?

It is common to have liposuction be sold as a "noninvasive" process. That is completely false.

To answer your question directly, Arm Liposuction may be painful because it involves having a hollow steel tube hooked to high vacuum being pushed and pulled many times through the fat under the skin along the whole circumference of your arm. While this process is done with precision in a sterile environment it is still a traumatic process which results in swelling.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Pain with Arm Lipo

Liposuction of the upper arm fat pads can give great results. As with all areas, tenderness, swelling, stiffness and numbness do occur and the timing for resolution varies between patients. In general, most patients will be able to resume fairly normal activity within several days (3 to 7). But most are still tender and stiff for at least a few weeks. Numbness is normal after liposuction, as the nerve endings are stretched during the procedure. There can be some small areas of permanent numbness, but most resolve within weeks to months. I do have all my patients wear a compression garment that is like a small shirt (hooks in the front) and is 3/4 length. They wear it for 24 hours for 2 weeks and then I really like to try to get them to keep wearing it for up to 4-6 weeks. Massage after liposuction can help the symptoms you describe. I would ask your doctor. Thanks for the question.

Jennifer Reichel, MD
Seattle Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

It is really difficult to give meaningful advice online sometimes

Today we all think we can find the answers to everything on-line, and there is a lot you can find. However sometimes the best thing is to speak with your doctor. He or she can best reassure you.

Having said that, liposuction is superficial, and stiffness is probably related to swelling. Nerves can be stretched by the blunt cannula used to do liposuction, and that can take months to recover.


Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

List Some Reasons Why Arm Liposuction Could Be Painful?

From the very limited information you have posted very hard to advise to cause and effect relationships. Best to obtain in person a second opinion. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.