Liposuction or brachioplasty for my arms? (Photos)

Liposuction or brachioasty for my arms? I am 60 years old in relatively good shape, exercise daily but have always had fat arms. I am located in Toronto Ontario Canada.

Doctor Answers 8

Arm lift

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for a brachioplasty, not liposuction.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Arm lift vs. liposuction

Liposuction will remove the fatty tissue in the area, but will have little effect on tightening the skin.  It can leave loose, hanging skin behind depending on skin elasticity.  An arm lift will remove both excess fatty tissue as well as the loose skin.  The trade off though is a scar that will be from the armpit area to about the elbow.  I recommend meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to learn more and discuss your surgical goals.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Arm lift.

It's hard to say without seeing you in person, but my best guess would be that you need a brachioplasty or arm lift. I prefer the posterior incision in order to be able to hide the scar better and get all of the excess skin in the photo. Best wishes, Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

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Brachioplasty or liposuction?

It is difficult to provide an accurate answer to your question without the ability to perform a physical examination. If the physical examination confirms that your primary problem is loose skin a brachioplasty would be a great procedure for you.

Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is one of the most frequently requested body contouring procedures performed today. The demand for this procedure has increased more than 800% since 1997. This is the greatest percent change of any of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures Much of the increase in popularity is due to the growing number of patients who undergo massive weight loss. In performing this procedure an incision is made on the inside of the arm extending from the elbow into the armpit. Sometimes it is necessary to extend the incision further into the armpit and sometimes past it. Utilizing this incision excess skin is removed and the wound is closed. It is very important to position the scar properly so that it is concealed as much as possible. A well-placed incision should result in a scar that is only visible when the arms are raised. This operation is normally performed as an outpatient. It is very important for the surgeon to discuss the resultant scar thoroughly with the patient preoperatively. Very commonly this scar takes longer to undergo full healing and maturation than incisions on other parts of the body. Maturation refers to the process whereby the scar becomes less apparent. Brachioplasty scars commonly take up to 2 years to fully mature. Immediately after the operation compressive Ace wraps are placed from the fingers up to the armpit. These can normally be removed within 24-48 hours postoperatively and replaced by elastic compression sleeves commonly worn by athletes. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively at any sporting good store. Most patients wear these for up for up to 4 weeks postoperatively. No vigorous activity or strenuous activity is recommended for 3 weeks postoperatively. Complications following a well planned and well executed brachioplasty are uncommon. They may include however wound infection or wound breakdown. Is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon postoperatively to ensure the best result. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Arm lift

Thank you for your picture and question, liposuction alone would not help with the excess skin, consult with a board certified PS, best of luck!

Options for Arm Rejuvenation

Surgical options for rejuvenation of arm include variations of Brachioplasty, which is the vast majority of cases includes Liposuction.  For Liposuction alone to be an option, you would need good quality skin that will retract to achieve a good result. Brachioplasty involves removal of not only the excess fat but also excision of excess skin of the arms. The trade-off for improved arm contour, are scars. A non-surgical fat-reduction option is Coolsculpting, Hope this helps and best of luck to you!

Liposuction or brachioplasty for my arms?

Thanks for the question and picture. Based on your photograph, I think you will do best with an arm lift operation; in my practice, I would not offer you a liposuction surgery alone (I share concerns about the potential for "loose skin"). Best to seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Learn about the pros/cons/possible risks/complications associated with the procedure as well. You may find the attached link, dedicated to arm lifting surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes

Liposuction vs brachiaplasty

I always perform Vaser ultrasound liposuction and/or Smart Lipo on the arms as both will tighten skin to avoid unsightly brachiaplasty scars. In a small percentage of cases, extra skin tightening such as Thermi Tight RF or a small excision months later. I reserve brachiaplasty for extreme cases.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these procedures is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations. 

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.