Arm lift or liposuction? (Photo)

I really want to reduce the size of my arms. I hate the scars that I've seen in arm lifts. Are my arms too big to get effective reduction with just lipo?

Doctor Answers 8

Arm lift or liposuction?

Thank you for attaching your photos. Your best results would be achieved with a brachioplasty. Regarding your concerns about the scars~ there are multiple options for scar therapy now. Speak to your ps at your consultation to see what can be done post surgery for scar Reduction. With Safelipo we have seen some skin tightening however with the photos you have attached you would be an ideal candidate for the brachioplasty procedure.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arm Lift or Liposuction?

You are not a candidate for liposuction but liposuction may be used in conjunction with the brachioplasty.  Unfortunately there is no way to reduce the notable skin excess without cutting out the skin ...hence the scar. With silicone sheeting and some scar creams you should have less notable scars but there is no way to eliminate them. As objectionable as they may seem now, once done the patients are usually very happy they had the procedure because the large hanging arm look is way more objectionable than the scar.  

William Aiello, MD Orange County, CA

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Arm lift

Definitely I would suggest an arm lift called a brachioplasty. Lipo alone will leave hanging skin. Do the right  surgery first.  Look for a board certified plastic surgeon

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Arm lift or liposuction?

Judging by your photographs it appears that you would require a full brachioplasty (arm lift) to satisfactorily reshape your upper arms. Fortunately however advances have been made in recent years to help reduce the scarring in this procedure.
Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is one of the most frequently requested body contouring procedures performed today. The demand for this procedure has increased more than 800% since 1997. This is the greatest percent change of any of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures Much of the increase in popularity is due to the growing number of patients who undergo massive weight loss. In performing this procedure an incision is made on the inside of the arm extending from the elbow into the armpit. Sometimes it is necessary to extend the incision further into the armpit and sometimes past it. Utilizing this incision excess skin is removed and the wound is closed. It is very important to position the scar properly so that it is concealed as much as possible. A well-placed incision should result in a scar that is only visible when the arms are raised. This operation is normally performed as an outpatient. It is very important for the surgeon to discuss the resultant scar thoroughly with the patient preoperatively. Very commonly this scar takes a longer time to undergo the full healing and maturation process. Maturation refers to the process whereby the scar becomes less apparent. Brachioplasty scars commonly take up to 2 years to fully mature. Immediately after the operation compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit. These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively. Elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Many patients wear these for up for up to 2 weeks postoperatively. No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively. Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon. They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown. Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best years improvements have been made in the performance of brachioplasty (arm lift) leaving better scars than had been achieved in the past. This includes more precise incision placement, better closure techniques and use of post operative scar reducing systems. With greater attention to these details the benefits of arm lift surgery can be achieved with more acceptable scarring than in the past.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Arm lift or liposuction?

Thank you for your question.  Based on your photo, liposuction would just leave you with more excess hanging skin and very disappointed.  Unfortunately, there's no other way around fixing this much arm excess without an arm lift.  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 16 reviews

Arm lift or liposuction?

Thanks for the question and picture. Based on your photograph, I think you will do best with an arm lift operation; in my practice, I would not offer you a liposuction surgery alone (I share your concerns about the potential for "loose skin").

The arm lifting procedure is a great procedure to remove excess skin and adipose tissue of the upper arms. However, this procedure carries a major drawback: difficult scarring that may require scar revision (more so, in my experience, then other procedures).
I have tried placement of the resulting scars in the bicipital groove (between the biceps and triceps muscles) as well as a long the inferior–lower aspect of the upper arm. I have found higher patient satisfaction with the latter approach. If the excision can be planned such that the scar falls along the frontal aspect of the lower arm, then the scar may be visible only when the patient raises his/her arms.
As with many plastic surgical procedures, the planning of the incisions and resulting scar line is critical. However, even with attention to detail, the resulting scars may not be ideal and revisionary surgery is often necessary to improve the appearance (for example, the width) of the scars.

Best to seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Learn about the pros/cons/possible risks/complications associated with the procedure as well. You may find the attached link, dedicated to arm lifting surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes as you work towards your goals.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Arm lift or liposuction?

An arm lift/or brachioplasty- in my opinion- is an excellent procedure to address this area of the body and its associated issues. The incision is the most significant fact to overcome. Liposuction alone will not completely treat the problem. The diagnosis is: excess skin and fat-- best removed with the appropriate operation.

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Arm lift, No If and or buts!

Anyone who tells you they can do a liposuction and have anything more than a miserable result is lying, plain and simple.  You have a lot of excess skin that will not respond and though you may hate the scar, there is no other o[ption.  I would see several plastic surgeons and see their result and then make your decision.  Good luck, Dr. Schuster in Boca Raton. 

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.