Arm Skin Did Not Tighten After Smart Lipo and Ultrasonic Lipo

In 2007, I had External Ultrasonic Liposuction with Smart Laser on my upper arms to reduce the overall size and make them more in proportion to my petite frame. First, the ultrasonic lipo was performed, followed by the Smart Lipo. I don't think the Smart Lipo worked, and I'm not sure the doctor did the procedure in the right order. Also, when he used the Smart Lipo wand, it was only a few seconds on each arm. I would think that part should have lasted longer. My results are not satisfactory at all. While I can tell there is less fat, the skin did not retract or tighten in any way and now my arms look worse than before. They are the same size (circumference), just less full with loose skin.

I'd like your opinion as to whether or not the procedure was done correctly, and do you think trying just another Smart Lipo session with a different doctor would tighten the skin now?

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction not for sagging skin

Unfortunately, any form of liposuction will probably not tighten loose skin as much as the patient would like. You may want to consider an arm lift instead. This is designed to remove excess fat and tighten the skin to give you a leaner contour. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Smart lipo doesn't tighten the skin better than mother nature can

The thin skin of the upper arms is not going to shrink well if it is loose at all.  No technology or technique can overcome that fact.  So if your doctor told you it would tighten it up, you may have been misled and might need an armlift to tighten the skin but with the scar that comes along with it..

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

You may need arm lift

You had multiple tries to get the skin to shrink and it has failed to achive the results that you seek. One problem with laser-lipo is that most doctors are not plastic surgeons and offer laser-lipo to the patients that need other procedures. The other issue is that older laser lipo machines are not strong enough to deliver enough enery and also most doctor use laser for short period and this does not deliver enough energy.

You need to have consultation with more than one board certified plastic surgeon and you may need lipo and arm lift combined.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

There is no magic way to tighten skin of arms

My guess is that you have had the most amount of skin contraction you can achieve and it is highly unlikely that additional SmartLipo sessions will provide you with any additional benefits.

You will most likely get your best results with a brachioplasty procedure albeit you may be left with a visible scar.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.