Arm Lift or Liposuction?

The upper arm is a common problem area: excess skin and fat over the posterior portion of the arm tend to become more noticeable with aging.   Weight loss can also create excess skin over this area.  The solution depends on the problem: is there excess skin, excess fat under the skin, or a combination of both?

  • For excess skin, a brachioplasty (arm lift) is the best solution.  For more information, check out my previous blog post on brachioplasty or look at the American Society of Plastic Surgery‘s website on the procedure.
  • For mostly excess fat with minimal extra skin, liposuction may be all that is needed.  This is performed through small incisions near the elbow and in the axilla (armpit).  Afterward you will need to wear a compression garment for several weeks to decrease swelling and help your skin retract.
  • For a combination of both loose skin and excess fat, a staged approached works best.  Skin retracts back to varying degrees after liposuction.  So when there is already a small amount of excess skin, I usually recommend liposuction first, followed by excision of excess skin (brachioplasty) several months later after skin has had time to retract.  Taking this two-step approach may help limit the length of the incision needed to remove the excess skin.

Related Articles:

Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Questions? I'll do my best to answer any questions left in the comments!