Would you recommend a Simultaneous or Staged approach for an Arm Lift with Lipo? (F, early 20's, ~100lbs lost w/o surgery)

I have skin laxity and some remaining fat in my upper arms. For an arm lift w/ lipo would you recommend a simultaneous or staged approach? I've heard different things from different doctors. Some say a staged surgery allows for better scarring and the best overall result, others say you save money by doing both at once and it really doesn't matter. If the procedures were staged, how long do you recommend waiting after the lipo before the lift? I'm Just looking for some other opinions. Thanks

Doctor Answers 14

Arm lift and liposuction in one stage or two?

Thank you for asking about your arm lift.

  • Congratulations on losing your weight! That is excellent.
  • A lot depends on how slim you are now -
  • Unless there is a lot of residual arm fat, the doing the arm lift with liposuction at the same time is usually best.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Arm lift

Thank you for your question.  In our practice we often combine these procedures in our practice to produce beautiful overall results.  The decision of how to approach your surgery is one to be made between you and the operating surgeon you are most comfortable with,  If you are not comfortable with the information you have already received, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to be further evaluated, discuss your surgical options, address your concerns and goals, then work together to create the surgical plan that best helps you achieve the look you desire.

With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Arm lift

That's great congrats ! Pictures would have been more helpful to better evaluate you, or an in person consultation would be best, consult with a board certified PS, good luck!

Congratulations on losing the weight!

Congratulations on losing the weight!  If you have mild to moderate excess fat of the arms, liposuction at the same time as a brachioplasty (removal of excess skin) works very well. The good news is that you have youth on your side so hopefully your skin will shrink better than an older person. If you have extremely large arms because of excess fat, I would recommend doing the liposuction first allowing the skin to shrink for several months followed later by removal of the excess skin. Patients do extremely well with these procedures and are very happy with their results. 

Jeanne A. Scanland, MD
Chattanooga Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Would you recommend a Simultaneous or Staged approach for an Arm Lift with Lipo?

It is very funny, if you talk to six doctors, you will get seven recommendations! Sometimes, if a doctor has one laser or device or technique, it is his or her hammer and the world becomes the nail. It is better to loose as much weight as possible, remove the fat by lipo, so you have only loose skin, and then do the arm lift, so you get the best results. After the fat is removed, you may not need an arm lift if you get circumferential SafeLipo, and if there is a little loose skin, you may be able to get non-surgical skin tightening by something like ThermiTight.

Mahmood Kara, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Arm lift and liposuction

Thank you for your question.  If you have some excess fat along with the excess arm skin, then an arm lift with liposuction combined would usually be the best option.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Arm lift and liposuction

Thanks for your question. As you can see from the many answers here simultaneous or staged lipo are both reasonable. It really comes to surgeon preference.

I just wanted to chime in about liposuction in the massive weight loss patient like yourself. Through your perseverance (congratulations) you have lost 100 lbs.  As you can see the consequence is loose skin. Liposuction , Like your own weight loss takes more volume out from under the skin and can continue to make you looser. Be sure you want this added laxity. 

In my own weight loss patients I tend to focus on "Skin Tightening" and reserve liposuction only for specific areas that may benefit and have good skin tone.  Leavin a normal Physiologic layer of fat is important aesthetically. 

I can't really guide you without photos or an exam, but I hope the concept makes sense. The brachioplasties in the examples below focused mainly on skin tightening.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Arm lift

hard to answer that question without pics. If you have hanging skin then I would do it all together.  My brachioplasty patients are very happy.  Removing the skin allows for a tighter and prettier looking arm. Congrats on your weight loss.  Make sure to see a Board Certified  plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Staged or single surgery for arm lift and lipo?

Thank you so much for sharing this question. First of all, congratulations on your 100 pound weight loss. With that much weight gone, I suspect there is little fatty tissue in the upper arm area that would be left to perform liposuction upon. In the average case of 100 pounds loss, I would likely proceed with a single stage to remove the excess skin and then do just s tiny amount of liposuction. However, without the ability to examine your arms and, at the very least, look at a photo of your preoperative condition, it is impossible to give you specific advice about your case. As far results from arm lift operations, I find the posterior incision works the very best for this level of weight loss as it targets the where the actual excess skin develops in the back of the arms. I encourage you to see some before and after photos in the link below to get a better idea of the recommended approaches.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 reviews



Most surgeons that perform armlifts on a regular basis combine skin removal with liposuction to maximize arm contour. Go visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 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.