Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to get my upper arms reshaped. I am most interested in Smartlipo and having it done under local anesthesia.
A: The first question is whether any form of liposuction is appropriate for the upper arms. I ask this because I have seen many patients, particularly those interested in Smartlipo, who believe that the procedure can do more than what is possible. Most of these patients have more than fat with some amount of skin excess. While Smartlipo has some minimal skin tightening capability, what most patients need is far in excess of minimal. Smartlipo tightens skin in terms of millimeters, what most patients need is in the centimeters range. Millimeters signifies that just a small pinch of skin can be tightened. Many patients that want upper arm reshaping need inches of skin tightened/removed. What shape your upper arms have I obviously don’t know. So this would be my first concern. You may feel free to send me some pictures of your arms and I can tell whether Smartlipo liposuction is the appropriate procedure for your upper arm reshaping.
Secondly, while upper arm liposuction can be done under local anesthesia, I do not recommend it. This is because of two important reasons, results and cost. Arm liposuction done under local anesthesia will not get the same results as that done when the patient is asleep. It is a simple matter of you can only remove what the patient deems is comfortable. Because any procedure done under local anesthesia takes longer to do, the cost of doing it rises accordingly. Patients often mistakenly assume that a procedure done under local anesthesia will create the same result and cost the same as that done under an anesthetic…this is a wrong assumption.
Dr. Barry Eppley