Coolsculpting vs laser lipo for upper arms? (Photo)

I have always had extra fat on my triceps that do not go down with exercise, and have about 1 inch to lose on each arm. Would CoolSculpting or would laser-lipo be a better option for this?

Doctor Answers 11

Treatment of Flabby Arms

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The answer to your question depends on your expectations and how aggressive you are willing to be with treatments. You are a candidate for CoolSculpting the arms. However, almost everyone that gets CoolSculpting for the arms will need at least 2 treatments for optimal results. Results will be subtle compared to more aggressive treatments and you may not lose a whole inch. You may want to combine it with a skin tightening treatment such as ThermiTight to give you optimal non-surgical results.

Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Batwings treatment

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I would estimate that the better treatment is laser lipo/Thermitight over Coolsculpting. It can lead to better skin tightening which is a major component of this area. There will be more downtime but if you are results oriented, the minor surgery will give better results in my opinion.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 70 reviews


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In office examination is very important to see if you are a good candidate for coolsculpting. It is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

I use Pelleve which uses radio frequency for skin tightening.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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Arm options

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It's hard to assess skin by a photo but it appears healthy. If that's the case and you want non invasive options then i think a cool sculpting consultation is reasonable. The arms are still off label for Zeltq and may require more than one treatment. Surgical intervention is best in most cases but Cool sculpting is a nice option if you wish to avoid surgery. Best of Luck. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Coolsculpting arms

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Coolsculpting is an option for treating fat in the arm area. For some people they may need fat reduction followed by radio frequency for skin tightening.  However, you will not know if you need skin tightening post coolsculpting until you have completed 2 treatments in the area and waited for 3 months.

Steven H. Dayan, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

#CoolSculpting or #LaserLipo of arms?

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Dear NYCgal26:   The answer to your excellent question, I believe, boils down to price and whether you want surgery or a nonsurgical approach.  You would get great results with one or two CoolSculpting treatments with the #CoolFit applicator, after which you can decide if you want to tighten the arms with focused ultrasound (#Ulthera) or #radiofrequency (in our office we use #PelleFirm).  I believe the end results would be similar.  All the best,   Dr. Clark

Sheryl D. Clark, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Upper Arms

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If skin tightening is desired, then laser liposuction would be the better option for the upper arms as it provides nominal skin tightening as opposed to no noticeable skin tightening with Coolsculpting.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

CoolSculpting for the Arms

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Based on your picture, you do seem like you would be a good candidate for CoolSculpting of the arms.  This is an off-label area, but many providers are very successful with it.  You may want 1-2 treatments on each arm.  You can do the 2nd treatment as early as 30 days after the first to see quicker results.  After you see the results of your CoolSculpting, then you may decide on adding in some skin tightening treatments.  Our office offers a radio frequency treatment called Venus Legacy to help with some skin tightening.   


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I agree with the advice given below. You are an excellent candidate for Coolsculpting with possible radiofrequncy to tighten, after.  We see great results with coolsculpting alone, but have the option of further tightening with radiofrequency. Both are non-invasive procedures that are ideal for a candidate your age. 
Please feel free to call my office for a complementary consultation. 
Dr. Ariel Ostad

Ariel Ostad, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Best approach for fat removal upper arm?

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Hello NYCgal26,Thank  you for your question and sharing a photo. From the limited view it does appear you would be a very good candidate for CoolSculpting and would be an excellent choice for a non-invasive means to permanently remove unwanted fat. Always remember there is no substitute for an in person consultation for a complete assessment of your concerns. Be well.

Paul Pietro, MD
Greenville Physician

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.