Should I consider lipo or CoolSculpting for my arms? Help - what are the pros and cons of both?

I am a 50 year old woman. I weigh about 160 lbs and wear a size 9-10 dress. I would like to reduce the size of my upper arms. I have a little laxity in my arms but not a lot. Dont think I'm ready for an arm lift just yet. I am concerned the lipo might leave me with unevenness were as Coolsculpting might require multiple treatments.

Doctor Answers 7

Should I consider lipo or CoolSculpting for my arms? Help - what are the pros and cons of both?

Thank you for your question. If you are interested, I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in CoolSculpting. This way, you can explain your concerns, learn more about the procedure, and determine if you are a good candidate. An in-person assessment is always best. 


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 415 reviews


Coolsculpting 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. Liposuction for the arms will leave skin hanging and reducing the skin by surgery will leave a scar.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Arm liposuction or Coolsculpting

Thank you for your question, however liposuction and coolsculpting are to very different procedures  with different recovery and downtime. In considering liposuction, you should take into account that this is a surgical invasive procedure, that will require some down time and healing. Coolsculpting is a non-invasive, non –surgical procedure that will have little to no downtime. I think it is best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon and/or dermatologist to discuss which would be the best procedure to give you the desired outcome you want.

Steven H. Dayan, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Arm contouring is best with liposuction

If you want the best results, liposuction will be the choice. If you have no desire for surgery and want less downtime, Coolsculpting can be done. If there is little fat, and alot of skin excess, Thermitight is an option. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Arm Lipo is the Best For Contouring This ARea -- Coolsculpting/Kybella are alternatives

non invasive approaches have little downtime but do little for contouring and fat removal to this area.  I suggest you see an expert for lipo if you want contouring and tightening.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Coolsculpting ofr Arms

I would definitely consider a combination of Coolsculpting and Thermage for the arms.  I find that this combination of "heat" and "freezing" is what is best to treat this area.  Best, Dr. Green

Contouring arms

Contouring the arms can be achieved with liposuction or non-invasive options such as coolsculpting.  The best way to choose which ir right for you is to visit a physician who offers both options.  Liposuction performed by a skilled doctor should not leave your with irregularities.  However, liposuction will require the use of compression garments for a few weeks and some swelling.  Coolsculpting has less downtime but does usually require multiple treatments for best effects.  In general, patients with tight skin and thicker arms do better with liposuction.  Patients with a little more laxity and softer skin do better with coolsculpting.   Both are great options, it depends highly on the person.  Make sure to seek out an expert in body contouring and avoid medspa type clinics for an honest opinion.  Best of luck.

Kyle Coleman, MD
New Orleans Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.