Liposuction of the Arm vs. An Arm Lift

Q: Hi Dr. Eppley. I am a 56 yr old female and I am interested in liposuction for my arms. I am currently losing weight and have lost just about 25 pounds. My current weight is 186 and my question is… do I need to wait till I have lost all the weight I want to lose or could I have liposuction on my arms now? I am exercising on a regular basis, but I am seeing very little if any progress on my arms. I am having to cover my arms as much as possible and I so want to wear sleeveless tops. I have researched this subject and have read where liposuction of the arms produces  “only modest improvement”. Would I even benefit from such a procedure?

A: Like all liposuction, but particularly in the arms, patient selection is key for a satisfactory result. The real question is what is making your arms big? Is it fat alone, extra skin or a combination of both? Conversely, a good question is how much improvement is needed to make a visible difference? How much change is necessary to be able for you to comfortably wear sleeveless tops again? That is the bottom line question and objective.

While I can not obviously see your arms, I have never seen any patient at a weight of 186 lbs where fat removal alone with liposuction will produce a significant arm contour change, particularly in someone losing weight. Significant arm changes at this size require both skin and fat removal, otherwise known as an armlift or brachioplasty. That procedure can make a dramatic arm change at the price of a scar running down the backside of the arms. More likely your decision is whether an arm scar is a good trade-off for a noticeable arm improvement.

Dr. Barry Eppley