Smart Lipo or Thermage to Tighten Skin on Arms As I Lose Weight?

I am in the process of losing weight & noticed some loose skin on my tummy & arms. I'm currently doing twice a week aqua aerobics, a yoga class adn some strength training. But ultimately my arms are too big to hope to preserve their size, they cause me to have to size up my clothing just to fit my arms into a dress or shirt. That aside I was wondering how effective getting thermage as I loose would be. The info says they help tighten skin, any words of wisdom?

Doctor Answers 6

Pay for Results not Hype

Please understand that any Lipo suction reduces the number of fat cells but during times of weight gain each fat cell can grow to twice or even 3 times its size. Also any liposuction result is based on your starting skin quality. If you have lost a lot of weight, or have been in the sun a lot, your skin quality may not be as good as you think.. You should visit with a reputable board certified plastic surgeon. Don't pay for a marketing mirage. 

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Many promises,.. Few success stories

Hi there-

Smart Lipo and Thermage are both technologies that made amazing claims and promises of skin tightening...

And neither (in my opinion and that of most of my Board Certified Colleagues) have actually fulfilled these promises.

Your best bet is to not waste your money, and to visit a reputable plastic surgeon in your area.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Depends on if extra fat or extra skin is the problem

If there is a lot of fat in the arms, smartlipo will work well because it melts the fat and tightens the skin.   If extra skin is the problem, then Thermage is better.  However, if there is simply too much skin for Thermage to work, then you may require surgery.  

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Smart Lipo or Thermage?

Today, many people, both men and women, have problems with flabby arms. Smart Lipo is more precise than conventional liposuction and has a finer contour capability, suitable for small areas such as the neck and arms, and allows tightening at the same time as recontouring.

Smart Lipo uses thermal energy to liquefy fat and help with tissue tightening and Smart Lipo is best used as an adjunct with other forms of liposuction because it allows for better contour and tissue tightening than just one method alone. It is best used for tissue contouring rather than removal of large volumes of fat. An ideal candidate for Smart Lipo is typically in good physical health with one or more areas of local body fat deposits. Liposuction in general is an outpatient procedure and people usually return to work in a matter of days.

Thermage may be another option for you, although it is difficult to assess without a photo, but this is a non-surgical (no incision!) treatment that can tighten skin and stimulate your body to make healthier collagen—the building block that provides structure to your skin. The procedure uses radiofrequency technology called ThermaCool that has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin to smooth out wrinkles and renew contours. Fast and easy, Thermage requires no downtime from normal activities. And unlike laser treatments, Thermage can be performed on patients of all skin types. Thermage can be used on all parts of the body, including flabby arms, hands, abdomen, and legs. Now approved by the FDA for improving cellulite. Tighten and lift without surgery, injections, or downtime. Congratulations on your weight loss!

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Loose arm skin

Depending on how much skin is sagging, you may not get any appreciable result from liposuction or Thermage. If there is some fine wrinkling of the skin, that may improve with Thermage. You should see a surgeon in consulation to determine what the surgical alternatives would entail, but wihtout examining you it would be impossible to state your imagined outcome. Keep in mind, that the upper outer arm loose skin (once there is not much fat) tends not to improve much with any liposuction.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Loose skin following massive weight loss needs excision, not Thermage or Smartlipo

Unfortunately, neither of these technologies will help you tighten the loose skin at all after weight loss. You would be best served by an arm lift when the right time arrives. Congratulations on the weight loss!!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.