Years after Lipo of arms, why are they wavy and lumpy?

I had laser lipo 8 years ago and it was very painful. Afterwards its remained wavy, with dents and irregular contour. I am going for a brachioplasty at some point but I am concerned that because of these lumps which you can see on the surface and feel under the skin will not give me a good result. This disturbance is only on the front of my arms. There was no lipo on the arm backs so they are smooth. Can you help me?

Doctor Answers 10

Wavy Lumpy Arms post Liposuction

Thanks for your inquiry.  Unfortunately, one of the risks of liposuction is having irregularities in the skin.  It is important to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for your liposuction just to ensure that they use the right technique because using the wrong technique like using a very large cannula or sectioning superficially can all cause these irregularities.  This is especially true for areas like the arms that do not tend to have a lot of fat.  The irregularities are very difficult to improve once they are there and after 8 years, they probably will not get better on their own.  I would suggest a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to further discuss your options. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Years after Lipo of arms, why are they wavy and lumpy?

Thank you for you question, it would be better if you would send photos for evaluation,Also known as pain-free liposuction, Lipomatic and Liposculpture body shaping methods are FDA-approved reliable systems. They are proven to be the safest devices allowing precision and high-volume fat extraction from all parts of the body. The problem area is entered using fine-pulsating cannulas. This vibration disrupts fat cells and transforms fat into emulsion. Unlike conventional liposuction, this procedure is not associated with disadvantages like vein and nerve damage or muscle tissue tearing. High frequency pulses and effective suction delivers optimum impact, which in return yields a smooth skin, less the bruising. The special design cannulas allow the precision removal of fat tissue even from hard to access areas. 

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Years after Lipo of arms, why are they wavy and lumpy?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 398 reviews

Post lipo deformities of arm

The best way to correct post lipo deformities of the arm would be with a brachioplasty. In minor cases fat graft can help. This may have been over resected with the liposuction, although some people get contour abnormalities even if the procedure was done correctly.  

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting -- HI DEFINITION REVISION

Please post photos for further evaluation and treatment advice. I suggest seeing a VASER HI definition sculpting physician who can evaluate what type of procedure is needed and if revision and fat grafting are needed. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Wavy Arms

Hello and thank you for the question

Sometimes the procedures don't shoe the expected results or desired ones, but always there's the option of reevaluation and second opinions on the matter.

There's not pictures to evaluate the condition of your arms but sometimes this lumps can be seen after a liposuction. Hope you find a  Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that can give you the best option for your arms.

Best of lucks.

Disnalda Matos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Years after Lipo of arms, why are they wavy and lumpy?

Thank you for your question.  The dents and irregular contour were most likely from uneven liposuction and unless addressed during your brachioplasty they would likely remain to some extent.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation, they can offer you the best treatment option based on an in-person examination.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Lumpy arms after liposuction.

A brachioplasty can improve the contour of your arms but expect some lumpiness from the liposuction to remain.  You might even need fine tuning of the contour after the brachioplasty utilizing fat grafting to selected areas.  
    I believe that very few people who don't like their arms are liposuction candidates.  Most patients would benefit from a brachioplasty since they have loose or hanging skin.  Make sure you are seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Laser liposuction - why did it stay wavy and lumpy?

Thank you for your question about your laser liposuction.

  • I am sorry to hear about your disappointing laser liposuction result.
  • The waviness and lumpiness could have been because you needed an arm lift then -
  • Or it could be the result of irregular fat removal, often from using a larger cannula.
  • Skin on the back of the arms is thicker and waviness less likely to show.
  • Ask your surgeon if the area will be removed with your brachioplasty -
  • It sounds as though most of it will.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


You would have to be seen in person to determine what might be possible with a brachioplasty. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.