I have always had big arms. I had lipo but didn't get results. Would Coolsculpting be the best option? (Photo)

I do exercise but my arms give me the most trouble.... What would be the best procedure to try to get them to slim down more and tighten them? Would cool sculpting be the best option?

Doctor Answers 8

Brachioplasty May Be Best

Hi there. I'm sorry to read your initial liposuction procedure didn't produce good results. Unfortunately, because that procedure didn't give you the results you were hoping for, it's likely that CoolSculpting may not be the best choice. You could try an additional liposuction procedure, but brachioplasty, or arm lift surgery, may be a better option for you, although it is difficult to tell without an exam. Your concern likely involves a combination of fat and excess skin, and a brachioplasty could remove both. I recommend you consult with a body contouring specialist who has experience with the upper arms. Best wishes.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Coolsculpting for Arms

Coolsculpting works very well on the arms.  However, it may be that your main problem is excess skin and in this case neither liposuction or Coolsculpting would work.  An in office consultation is really the only way to assess the area and see if something non-surgical like Thermage to tighten the skin or Coolsculpting to reduce the fat will work for you.  Best, Dr. Green

Skin or fat?

If you do have fat, Coolsculpting will eliminate it.  If it is mostly skin, you will need a brachioplasty procedure to get the results you are looking for.
My best,
Sheila Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Repeat liposuction or arm lift

Coolsculpting is unlikely to give you a significant difference in arm circumference. You could have more liposuction (maybe laser liposuction to help tighten the skin). But, if your skin is already lax you may be left with hanging skin. A brachioplasty (arm lift) would correct the skin and really improve the contour of the arm. The drawback to this procedure is the scar. Good luck, Dr. M

Jared Mallalieu, DO
Annapolis General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Coolsculpting for the arms

Thank you for your question and for providing the photos.  While not a substitute for an actual exam, based on the photos, it looks like you have a combination of excess fat and skin.  Since you didn't get the results you were hoping for with liposuction, it is unlikely that Coolsculpting would be a viable option.  Coolsculpting doesn't remove as much fat as liposuction, and the types of arms it can treat and the areas of the arms that can be treated are limited.  In addition, Coolsculpting relies on adequate skin elasticity to shrink and fit your new form after fat removal.  It does nothing to tighten the skin and can exacerbate already loose skin.
I think your arms would be best treated with continued exercise, followed by a possible arm lift and additional suction.  This may be the best way to give a significant change in the contour of your arms, but does leave a significant scar as a trade off.  Of course, an in person exam would be necessary to confirm this.  In the interim, keep working out and see how it goes.
Best of luck with your arms.
Jeff Rockmore

Treatment for big arms

From your photos it appears to me that you have excess skin, which probably explains why Lipo didn't do add much as you might have hoped. Lipo will only remove fat, not skin.  I Haver not seen enough improvement from CoolSculpting in patients with your type of arms to be worth doing.  You should concentrate first on weight loss, then once you are at a good BMI you could consider arm lift surgery. Of course that means you will have permanent incision lives on the inside of your arms, but you will also be forever rid of your excess fat and skin problem. 

Possible CoolSculpting for arm fat

CoolSculpting is one possible treatment to reduce fat on the arm.  There is not one treatment that is necessarily the best or worst, and there are different advantages and disadvantages to each option.  Advantages of CoolSculpting are that it is non-invasive and normally requires no down time.  A single treatment session will normally destroy 20-25% of the fat cells in the treated area.  It is difficult to judge good candidates for CoolSculpting with just a photo, as the area needs to be examined to determine if there is enough fat that can be drawn into the applicator.  I would consult with a physician experienced with CoolSculpting to see if the treatment might be good for you.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Arm Tightening Procedures

Thank you for your question. From your photos it looks like you likely have some excess skin and fat. While the liposuction likely helped, your best bet to remove skin is to undergo a brachioplasty. This is a procedure that gets rid of fat and excess tissue by making incisions either in your armpit, centrally under your arm (from your arm pit to your elbow), or through a combination of both approaches. Often times, liposuction is added to the procedure to help achieve your best contour. The most common patient complaint after this procedure is scarring. And, although the scars can be extensive, they are placed in areas that are well hidden - in plastic surgery you often have to trade scars for improved contour. It is highly unlikely that cool sculpting will help you achieve the look you desire. Best of luck!

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.