Techniques You Use to Liposuction Arm Fat?

What techniques or methods do you personally use to minimize irregularities and contour problems that can occur with arm fat liposuction? I am 125lbs at 5'3" and have excess fat around my arms/deltoids/armpits that I would like removed. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 12

Liposuction of the upper arms

I use what is called CAST liposuction technique that involves injecting the upper arm circumferentially with tumescence fluid but only removing the fat from the posterior lateral side of the arm where the skin is usually nice and thick.  I then use the liposuction cannula - without suction -  to tunnel the rest of the circumference of the arm, where the fat layer and the skin is thinner.  I use small cannulas and my PAL (power assisted liposuction).  I have patients wear a compression bolero for three weeks.   I've had very nice results with this technique, even in some patients with pretty beefy arms. 

The upper arms are a tricky area and it's important to use a lot of caution because they are pretty unforgiving.   This procedure is so much more surgeon dependent than equipment dependent!

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Upper Arm Liposuction

It's not unusual for patients to request liposuction to address localized fat collections in their upper arms. When this situation arises, a large variety of liposuction techniques are available. In most cases, the specific liposuction technique utilized is less important than the skill of the surgeon.

Although we have access to a large number of liposuction tools in our practice, we prefer standard tumescent liposuction for the majority of cases. This procedure involves infusing fluids into the subcutaneous tissue of the arm prior to liposuction. This fluid contains epinephrine and lidocaine. It helps decrease post-operative pain and minimizes bleeding. This technique is combined with the use of small diameter liposuction cannulas which minimizes tissue trauma. These cannulas are then used to actually sculpt the arms. This approach is associated with excellent clinical result and high levels of patient satisfaction.

If you're considering liposuction of the arms, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Optimizing Arm Liposuction

If you’re a candidate for arm liposuction, one must have good skin tone, no skin laxity and use fine cannulas with multiple long strokes. It needs to be done by someone with experience and expertise in body contouring procedures.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Liposuction of the Arms

The technique for liposuction of the arms is patient specific as not everyone needs the same treatment. For most Arm Liposuction I use a small cannula, generally 3 mm, use a "Superwet Tumescent" technique focusing on the posterior and lateral aspects making sure to feather the edges of liposuction as needed. If there is cellulite, dimpling, noted on the sides or front of the arms then undermining without suction is often used

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Lipsuction of Arms and Technique?

Thank you for the question.

In my opinion the most important determinant of successful results after liposuctioning of the arms is:

1. Careful patient selection;  the amount  of redundancy and nature of  skin elasticity of the upper arm skin is critical. The majority of patients I see who are interested in liuposuctioning of the upper arms are not good candidates and would benefit from arm lifting surgery instead.

2. Use of small cannulas with a cross feathering technique avoiding over resection and liposuctioning too close to the skin is important.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Arm liposuction technique

I have been very happy with the results of circumferential infiltration of tumescent fluid and aggressive liposuction of the posterior and lateral arm tissue. I also "pickle fork" the anterior and medial aspect of the arm without suction. I use the PAL system with a 3 mm cannula that does not have suction holes on the top surface. This allows me to direct the suctioning away from the skin surface which reduces the risk of removing too much of the immediate subdermal fat. I have not had any issues with contour irregularities with this technique. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Arm Liposuction

Once appropriate technique of liposuction is chosen for the patient, the most important variable is patient selection. Any of the techniques that my colleagues are mentioning can be beneficial and in the right hands can produce the appropriate results. At the end of the day, the most and the single most pertinent criteria that would lead to a good result in liposuction of arms is the patient her/his self. The integrity and elasticity of the skin is the main issue here.


Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Arm liposuction

Suction assisted liposuction using the superwet technique in my opinion can lead to the best results with minimal contour irregularities.  The use of ultrasound or laser assisted techniques can result in scarring between the dermis and the underlying fascia of the arm resulting in more contour irregularities.  Excision of excess skin can also help the overall result if excess skin is also present. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Arm liposuction

The key to a smooth result in any liposuction procedure is to leave untouched about 1 cm. of fat just under the skin.  If this is done, and some type of skin-tightening methodology used, a very nice result can be achieved.  My favorite modality is external ultrasound for tightening.

Michael Leff, MD (retired)
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Liposuction of Arms

Arms can respond very well to judicious liposuctioning.  It is important to taper the area of fat removal so that there is not a line of demarcation between where the suctioning was done and where it ended.  It is important not to over remove fat, as this can leave an unnatural contour.   I agree with Dr. Baxter that the machine that is used for the liposuction is way less important than the right surgeon using the machine.  There is no scientific data that shows an improved outcome for either laser liposuction or "Smart Lipo."  Those "technologies"
 have hyped up marketing claims with unproven benefits. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 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.