Should I go for an arm lift or liposuction? Or both?

I now weight 165 lbs (I'm down 30 lbs from last year), and my arms have developed flappy bits that wave every time I brush my teeth. My arms are a bit too big for my liking, and that's why I'm considering liposuction as an alternative to arm lift surgery, but that won't solve the loose skin under my arms (which is not that prominent, but it bothers me). What do you think?


F, 43, New Jersey

Tags:woman age 35-44 arms lift loose skin

I lost a bunch of weight, but my upper arms were flabby and large. It seemed like every time I chose a great-looking outfit; the extra skin on my arms would destroy my self-confidence. All my friends told me how great I looked and encouraged me to keep on exercising and taking care of myself, but I had hit a roadblock pertaining to my arms. I saw a plastic surgeon for a free consultation on body sculpting and arm reshaping. He did a skin elasticity test to see if my arms had enough elasticity to benefit from liposuction alone. I failed the skin elasticity test in my upper arms. I guess the extreme weight gain and weight loss, plus my age, left my skin depleted.

The surgeon recommended that I have liposuction combined with an upper arm lift. The surgery went well, and the healing process went smoothly. I am so happy with the size and shape of my upper arms. The scars were my only real concern, and they are fading nicely. My arms now look great and no longer steal my confidence.

Congrats on the weight loss! I know what you mean about your arms being flabby after losing that much weight. I lost about 40 pounds last year, and I exercised and lifted weights to tighten my arm skin. I couldn't get my arms to tighten entirely and I had areas of fat. My friend convinced me to look into plastic surgery. I saw a plastic surgeon who recommended liposuction. The procedure reduced the excess fat that was causing that swinging motion. Because I'm still in my 40s, I had a good amount of elasticity and didn't need to have a surgical arm lift with my liposuction. My skin tightened around my newly reshaped upper arms, and I'm really happy with my results! My doctor did say that if I was unhappy, I could have the arm lift completed at a later date. So, you may want to start with the liposuction and have the upper arm lift surgery completed later on if your skin is still sagging.

First, congrats on losing 30 lbs in a year! It's hard to take off the weight and even harder to keep it off - great job!

As for your arms, if you lost that much weight, what you're probably seeing when you brush your teeth or brush your hair or lift your arms up above your head isn't fat, it's likely saggy or loose skin. I don't know if liposuction to your arms will get you the final result you're hoping for - nice, trim, toned-looking arms.

An arm lift (which is known as brachioplasty) is probably what you'll need to remove the excess skin and create a nice contour for your arms. The upside is that a good surgeon can craft the look you want for your arms. The downside is the scarring - you'll likely have a scar from your armpit to your elbow on each arm.

The best thing to do is to have a consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon who specializes in both types of surgery and see what they suggest. And, if you're not already lifting weights or doing upper body toning exercises, consider starting that type of regimen and sticking with it for four to six months and tracking your progress in photos as well as by measuring the circumference of your upper arms.

Hi! I was also in a similar boat when it came to saggy arms, and my problem was definitely solved just through an arm lift. However, my issue was just sagging skin from losing weight too fast, so I think it depends greatly on whether or not there’s a lot of fat in the arms. If it’s just, you know, saggy skin, then an arm lift procedure will fix the issue. If there’s a lot of fat still in the area, then you’re most likely going to need to have your surgeon perform liposuction techniques on your arms in addition to an arm lift in order to get your arms into a shape you’re happy with. Sometimes, though, arm lifts will get rid of excess fat if it isn’t too much. Hope that helps.