Arm Liposuction: Can Get Rid of Arm Fats with this Surgery?Body Plastic Surgery
Having bulky or droopy arms can be distressing for some, especially plus-size women. It is very hard to remove fat deposits from the arms by working out or going on a diet, so many patients undergo fat reduction surgeries to have slimmer and more proportioned arms. This article explores different aspects of arm liposuction and discusses its procedure and downtime.
What Is Arm Liposuction?
The reasons for having chubby arms are mainly genetics, hormonal changes, age, weight gain, and poor lifestyle. Arm liposuction, commonly called arm lipo, is a minimally invasive surgery aiming to contour the arms by removing extra fat pockets. Today, four liposuctions are performed to slim the arms; traditional, tumescent, ultrasound-assisted, and laser-assisted. Since the arm’s skin gets saggy after removing fat, arm lipo operation is mostly performed along with an arm lift (brachioplasty) to remove the saggy skin.
Arm Liposuction Vs. Arm Lift
Many patients think that arm liposuction and arm lift are the same. Although mostly performed simultaneously, they have several distinctive features worth mentioning. To begin with, arm liposuction is a fat removal procedure that makes the arms look slimmer and leaner. This operation is less invasive than an arm lift, involves fewer incisions and scarring, and has shorter downtime.
On the other hand, an arm lift is a skin removal procedure during which the excess and loose skin is trimmed to make the arms look firmer. Although small pockets of fat can be removed during this operation, the main aim of it is to cut the saggy skin caused by losing a significant amount of weight and to reduce the volume of armpit skin. An arm lift requires large incisions, and its scars may be visible on the inner arm and the back.
Good Candidate for Arm Lipo
The ideal candidates for arm lipo are the ones who have stubborn fat in the upper arm area. Also, they must have the following features:
- Being physically and mentally healthy;
- Not having any life-threatening disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems;
- Having realistic expectations about the results of the operation;
- Being within 30% of their ideal weight;
- Not having blood clotting disorders;
- Having firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone;
- Being a non-smoker.
How to Prepare for Arm Liposuction?
Despite being easy, preparing for arm liposuction can play an important role in eliminating post-operative complications. To get ready for this cosmetic surgery, you must consider the following points:
- Take necessary lab tests and medical evaluations;
- Take the prescribed medications and adjust your current drugs;
- Avoid smoking from 15 days before the surgery;
- Refrain from taking NSAIDs and OTC supplements from two weeks before the operation;
- Prepare food for your recovery period and store them in the fridge;
- Purchase necessary medications and compression sleeves in advance.
Also, on the day of the surgery, bathe and wash your body with paraben-free soap, wear loose clothes, and go to the hospital on an empty stomach.
Arm Liposuction Procedure
The arm liposuction procedure varies based on the technique used during the surgery. Read on to learn more about the procedure of each method.
Traditional liposuction for arm
Traditional arm liposuction is mostly done under general anesthesia, but the surgeon performs it under local anesthesia if the patient has a serious health problem. After administering anesthetics, a relatively large incision is made on the arm, and a suction device (cannula) is inserted into the fat tissue of the arm. Then, the surgeon moves the cannula forth and back manually to remove the fat deposits. This operation involves scarring, significant swelling, and bruising. Also, it may cause damage to vessels and nerves; therefore, it is only used when the amount of fat in the arm is too much.
Tumescent liposuction for arm
In this method, the surgeon injects a dilute solution containing epinephrine and lidocaine into the fat tissue to numb the surgical area and melt down the fat walls. Then, they make tiny incisions and remove the fat cells using a thin cannula. The main advantage of this minimally-invasive procedure is that it involves less bruising, swelling, and scarring, and its results will be revealed sooner.
Ultrasound- and laser-assisted liposuction for arm
These two techniques are done under local anesthesia and have similar procedures and complications. In these methods, the surgeon makes small cuts in the arm and inserts the cannula and laser or ultrasound probe into the fat tissue simultaneously. The probe melts the fat pockets, and the cannula sucks out the fat cells at the same time. The advantage of laser-assisted liposuction is that the laser energy firms the skin, while in other methods, the skin gets firmer on its own after a couple of months.
In all the techniques mentioned above, the incisions are delicately sutured after removing the cannula, and the arm is wrapped in bandages. Also, these procedures take one to two hours, and you can return home on the same day.
Arm Liposuction Recovery
The recovery time from arm liposuction takes two to four weeks, but most patients can return to work a week after the surgery. Bruising, swelling, and mild discomfort are natural during recovery and will be minimized within two weeks. During the arm lipo recovery, consider the following aftercare tips:
- Do not move your arms too much until your wounds are healed;
- Avoid driving and riding a bicycle or motorcycle as you may stretch your sutures;
- Get enough rest for the first three days;
- Keep the incisions clean and dry;
- Apply prescribed ointments on the incisions to prevent scarring;
- Get lymphatic drainage massage to get rid of lumps and bumps;
- Avoid stretching your arms, lifting, pushing, and pulling;
- Use ice packs to reduce the swelling and bruising;
- Wear a compression sleeve to minimize the swelling and help your skin adjust to the new contour;
- Take antibiotics to prevent the infection;
- Take prescribed sedatives to control your pain; and
- Be careful of the signs of infection.
Risks and Side Effects of Arm Lipo
As mentioned earlier, scarring, swelling, and bruising are inevitable complications of arm lipo, but there are other complications that you may face after this operation, including:
- Pain and discomfort;
- Skin discoloration;
- Development of keloids or hypertrophic scars;
- Contour irregularities such as lumps and bumps;
- Skin indentation;
- Damage to blood vessels and nerves;
- Prolonged numbness;
- Fat embolism;
- Formation of seroma under the skin;
- Tissue necrosis; and
- Complications of anesthesia such as vomiting, headache, and dizziness.
Are the Results of Arm Liposuction Permanent?
During the arm liposuction surgery, most fat cells are removed from the body for good. So, it can be said that arm liposuction results are lifelong. However, if you gain weight, the fat cells will regrow and cause the arms to look chubby and flabby again. To prevent the regrowth of fat deposits, you must maintain a healthy low-fat diet, be more physical, and improve your lifestyle.
Arm Liposuction Scars
Scarring is an unavoidable side effect of any surgical procedure which requires an incision, including arm liposuction. Depending on the technique and procedure of the surgery, the size and location of post-lipo scars are different. Although most scars fade away independently over time, some need extra treatments, such as ointments, laser therapy, and skin scrub. Wearing compression sleeves, keeping the incisions clean during recovery, and avoiding sun exposure is important in minimizing liposuction scars.
FAQs About Arm Liposuction
1) How long should I wear a compression sleeve after arm liposuction?
Wearing a compression sleeve day and night for at least four weeks following the surgery is recommended. Most compression garments can be concealed under long-sleeve shirts so you can wear them even at work.
2) How many days should I take off from work for arm lipo?
You can return to work within 7 to 10 days after the procedure, but if you have a physically demanding job, you must wait at least two weeks before returning to work.
3) What operations can be done along with arm liposuction?
Arm liposuction can be performed along with arm lifts, back liposuction, and laser skin resurfacing for the chest.
4) Is arm liposuction a risky surgery?
Arm liposuction is not risk-free but has fewer complications and risks than stomach or buttock liposuction.
5) How painful is arm liposuction?
The first three days following the arm liposuction are the hardest, but the pain and swelling will be reduced over time, and you will feel less tightness in your arms. On a scale of one to five, the pain of arm liposuction is two (slight to mild).
6) What happens to the skin after arm lipo?
Arm lipo alone will not cause the skin to get tighter. If you have loose skin, you must ask your surgeon to trim it through arm lift surgery.