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 11

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 83 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
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 89 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 34 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 183 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 77 reviews

Arm lift

it is not possible to answer a question regarding specific surgery without adequate photos. In most cases we would do Liposuction and arm lift at the same time. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Arm lift.

Hello and thank you for your question. Congratulations on your weight loss. Staging excision all surgery with decompression liposuction is a good idea when there is,a lot of fat still there and in my practice is standard for thigh lifts. 

In your case with only a small residual amount (in fact your arms would need to have a very lot of fat)  it is better to get them done together from a technical, cosmetic and recovery point of view. 

Consult with plastic surgeons who have a lot of experience performing arm lifts especially following major weight loss. 

Peter Fisher M.D 

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Single stage arm lipo and skin excision yields good results

Hi, I just added a link that might be helpful...

Hi 0username0. I have not found it necessary to stage this combination of surgeries.  If your liposuction is being done on the back side/ shoulders or any other area that doesn't fall within the skin to be excised, a single stage procedure is obviously a good option.  If additional fat from the area to be excised needs to be suctioned, this can also be done as a single stage provided the remaining skin remains healthy (i.e. surgeon/technique dependent).   The length of your scar will not change whether you stage or not.  The width of the scar depends upon the amount of tension the edges are under (somewhat dependent upon multiple variables: quality of skin, how much skin is excised, types of sutures, closure technique, etc).  Scars that are firm, raised or pigmented can all be treated with silicone topical therapy, lasers, etc. and are not altered by staging the procedure. If you decide to stage, wait at least 8-10 weeks.  Hope this helps! Best of luck,

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