Don't want scar from traditional arm lift. Would lipo and mini arm lift improve appearance? (Photo)

I've always had large arms but after 80 lb. weight loss, arms remain large with 12" circumference in both upper arm and just above elbow. I know I would benefit most from traditional arm lift but I do not want that scar. I'm also not looking for perfect, just better. I am really interested in lipo with mini arm lift and think it would give me the improve to im looking for. I'm almost 47 and just want to be able to buy tops that fit my torso (medium) and not to fit my arms (large). Thanks!

Doctor Answers 15

Arm Lift

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Most patients who lose this amount of weight, will have a moderate to significant laxity of their arm circumferentially.  In addition, many weight loss patient will also have armpit sagging.  A mini arm lift is really not a good procedure for most patients since the amount of skin excision is minimal, the direction of correction is vertical rather than circumferential, and the scar migrates after 6 months.  You will benefit best from an extended arm lift or L-brachioplasty.  For more information, you can visit my arm lift gallery below. Best of luck.

Mini Arm Lift to Avoid the Longer Scar

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Based on your photos, it seems you would do best with a regular arm lift.  Many people try less invasive things, but are often disappointed at the results and end up pursuing the traditional methods.  Depending on the heaviness of the fat in the back of your arm, liposuction may relieve the weight somewhat and provide a bit of a lift, but this is hard to determine based on pictures, and virtually impossible to guarantee.

Seek a board certified plastic surgeon (certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery) to best evaluate your options.

Roxanne Sylora, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arm contouring

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It is hard to give you a recommendation without a direct examination. If you do have hanging skin, brachioplasty (arm lift) will give you a good contour. However, it will have scar. Depending on your need, the scar can be elbow to armpit or confined around the armpit. If you have a mild laxity, liposuction/laser may help. It will be best to be examined by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

Don't want scar from traditional arm lift. Would lipo and mini arm lift improve appearance?

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Congratulations on the weight loss. Based on your pictures, I agree that you will get the best result with a traditional arm lift. The lipo will further deflate your tissue and create more excess skin. I think you would likely be disappointed with lipo and a mini arm lift due to the remaining excess skin that will be present.

Spencer Leigh Eagan, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

Arm Lift

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The best and most predictable operation for tightening the extra skin on your arms would be a full traditional brachioplasty (arm lift). Many patients can not accept the scars. In those patients, I have been impressed with the results of laser liposuction that I have personally done. As I like to say, I'm even impressed!...and I did the surgery!!

Given that laser liposuction of the arms can be performed with local anesthesia only (numbing medicine), in the office, it is definitely worth trying first. There is basically NO scar, just a little nick in the skin to insert the laser fiber. It may leave a little bit of skin irregularity or it may tighten the skin exceptionally well. Six to twelve months after the procedure, the final results should be evident, then you and your surgeon can decide together if a more limited skin excision brachioplasty might benefit you. There are multiple scar treatments to help minimize the visibility of the scars, if the laser liposuction does not accomplish the full result and you choose to proceed to some type of skin excision. You can see examples of both procedures on my website

Would lipo and a mini arm lift improve appearance?

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Judging by your photographs it appears that the best recontouring procedure for you would be a traditional brachioplasty with the scar extending from the elbow area to the axilla. Any procedure less than that will have lesser results. I can understand your desire not to incur the lengthy scar associated with the arm lift. In general however longer scars normally result in better contouring. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Arm lift

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I understand your desire to have a smaller scar, but I don't think you will be happy with the results if you go with liposuction and a mini arm lift.  The liposuction will remove excess fat, but it appears there will be too much excess skin to be resolved by a mini lift.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Can't Expect Same Results With "Mini-Lift"

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Unfortunately, full arm lift procedures do involve an inner arm scar from elbow to armpit; it is understandable that so many people opt for an alternative.
This is a frequent discussion in my practice, because we understand tradeoff of any procedure that leaves a scar.
 Yet, we do many full arm lifts and we do many "mini-arm lifts," with liposuction and limited armpit incisions.
It is important to really understand that the "mini" approach will produce improvement, but not as much tightening as the full arm lift, where all the extra skin is removed.
A detailed evaluation of the amount of fat and the amount of extra skin, as well as the tone of your skin is helpful to estimate what that difference might look like for you.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Liposuction of arms will give you some improvement

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Liposuction will reduce the bulkiness in your arms. Excess skin will not go away without arm lift.  Mini arm lifts do not accompish much and will accomplish nothing in your case.  

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Arm lift

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In looking at your pictures, it certainly seems like you would need a full arm lift.  A lipo and mini arm lift would not remove the extra skin in the arm adequately and actually may make things worse.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 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.