Arm Lipo vs Arm Lift Surgery (Brachioplasty)

Which Arm Procedure Is Right for You?

You may have come across the terms “arm lipo” and “arm lift” during your research for arm surgery. Both procedures offer solutions to change the appearance of your arms, but they differ in their approach and outcomes. Understanding the nuances of arm lipo and arm lift can help you make the right decision about the best course of action for achieving your desired results after getting plastic surgery.

Dr Carmen Munteanu is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon regularly performing body contouring procedures to help patients get the results they want.

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Arm Lipo: Targeted Fat Removal for Better-Defined Arms

Arm liposuction, also known as arm lipo, is a procedure performed with the goal of removing excess fat from the upper arm area. It is a good option for patients who have stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Arm lipo is performed using a small, thin tube called a cannula, inserted through tiny incisions in the arm. The cannula is necessary to suction out the unwanted fat, sculpting the arms and creating a more defined and proportionate appearance.

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Arm Lift: Reshaping and Tightening Sagging Skin

Arm lift surgery, medically known as Brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to address sagging skin and tissue in the upper arm area. It is commonly chosen by patients who have experienced significant weight loss or ageing-related skin laxity. During an arm lift, excess skin and fat are removed, and the underlying tissues are tightened to create a more toned arm contour. This procedure can result in a substantial alteration in arm aesthetics.

Arm lift Surgery by Dr Carmen - Brachioplasty Surgery Melbourne

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The Main Differences between Arm Lipo and Arm Lift

While both arm lipo and arm lift are aimed at changing the appearance of the arms, they differ in terms of the issues they address and the techniques used. Here are the some differences between the two procedures:

Arm Lipo: Targeting Excess Fat

Arm lipo is a less invasive procedure designed to remove excess fat deposits from the arms. It is particularly effective in contouring and refining the arm shape by eliminating stubborn fat that is unresponsive to diet and exercise. Here are some essential aspects of arm lipo:

  • Procedure: Arm lipo involves the insertion of a thin tube called a cannula into targeted areas of the arm. Through gentle suction, the cannula removes unwanted fat deposits, sculpting the arm contours
  • Candidacy: Ideal candidates for arm lipo are patients who have localised fat deposits in the arms but have good skin elasticity. Patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the outcomes
  • Benefits: Arm lipo offers several advantages, including minimal scarring, shorter recovery time compared to surgical procedures, and reduced surgical risks. It can provide noticeable improvements in arm shape and definition
  • Limitations: It is important to note that arm lipo primarily addresses excess fat and may have limited effectiveness for patients with significant skin laxity or muscle laxity. In such cases, combining arm lipo with an arm lift procedure may yield better results

Arm Lift: Addressing Sagging Skin

Arm lift surgery focuses on addressing sagging skin and tissue laxity in the upper arms. This procedure is particularly suitable for patients who have experienced significant weight loss or have loose skin due to genetic factors. Here are some aspects of arm lift surgery:

  • Procedure: Arm lift surgery involves making incisions along the inner or backside of the upper arms, allowing Dr Carmen to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying tissues. The remaining skin is then repositioned for a more toned arm appearance
  • Candidacy: Good candidates for arm lift surgery are patients with excess skin and tissue laxity in the upper arms. Patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the outcomes. It is important to note that arm lift surgery leaves visible scars
  • Benefits: Arm lift surgery can provide visible improvements in arm contour and firmness by addressing sagging skin
  • Limitations: While arm lift surgery is effective in removing excess skin and tightening the arm area, it is a more invasive procedure compared to arm lipo. It requires longer recovery time, carries greater surgical risks, and leaves visible scarring

Benefits and Drawbacks of Arm Lipo

While arm lipo offers several benefits, it is important to consider its potential drawbacks as well. Here are some advantages and limitations of arm lipo:

Benefits of Arm Lipo

  • Refines arm contours: Arm lipo can effectively eliminate stubborn fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise, resulting in improved arm shape and definition
  • Minimally invasive: Arm lipo is a minimally invasive procedure that requires small incisions, resulting in minimal scarring and quicker recovery compared to more invasive surgeries
  • Shorter recovery time: The recovery period after arm lipo is generally shorter compared to surgical procedures. Patients can resume their daily activities within a few days to a week

Drawbacks of Arm Lipo

  • Limited skin tightening: Arm lipo only focuses on fat removal and has no effectiveness in addressing significant skin laxity. Patients with loose or sagging skin may require additional procedures, such as arm lift surgery, to achieve the desired arm aesthetics
  • Potential uneven results: There is a risk of uneven fat removal or contour irregularities, which may require revision procedures to achieve optimal symmetry
  • Not a weight loss solution: Arm lipo is not a weight loss procedure. It is designed to target localised fat deposits and is most effective for patients who are near their ideal weight
  • Surgical risks: Although arm lipo is a relatively safe procedure, it still carries potential risks and complications, including infection, bleeding, scarring, numbness, and temporary swelling or bruising

Pros and Cons of Arm Lift Surgery

While arm lift surgery offers good results for patients seeking tighter and more toned arms, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure. Here are the pros and cons of arm lift surgery:

Pros of Arm Lift Surgery

  • Significant skin tightening: Arm lift surgery effectively removes excess skin and tightens the underlying tissues, resulting in a smoother appearance of the arms
  • Visible arm contouring: This procedure can provide visible improvements in arm contour, creating a more defined and sculpted appearance
  • Long-lasting results: Arm lift surgery provides long-lasting results, as the excess skin and tissue are permanently removed. However, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to preserve the outcomes

Cons of Arm Lift Surgery

  • Visible scarring: Arm lift surgery involves incisions along the inner or backside of the upper arms, resulting in visible scars
  • Longer recovery time: Compared to arm lipo, arm lift surgery requires a longer recovery period. Patients can expect several weeks to months for full recovery
  • Potential surgical risks: Like any surgical procedure, arm lift surgery carries risks, such as infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, asymmetry, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Higher cost: Arm lift surgery is generally more expensive than arm lipo due to the surgical nature of the procedure, operating room fees, anaesthesia costs, and postoperative care

Combined Approach: Arm Lipo with Arm Lift

In some cases, combining arm lipo with arm lift surgery can provide optimal results. This combined approach addresses both excess fat deposits and sagging skin, offering comprehensive arm contouring. Here are the aspects to consider when exploring the possibility of a combined arm lipo and arm lift procedure:

  • Complementary procedures: Arm lipo and arm lift surgery target different aspects of arm aesthetics. Arm lipo removes excess fat, while arm lift surgery addresses sagging skin and tissue laxity
  • Individual assessment: A thorough evaluation by Dr Carmen is essential to determine if a combined approach is suitable for your specific arm concerns. Dr Carmen will assess the amount of excess fat, skin elasticity, and tissue laxity to provide personalised recommendations

Indications and Benefits

  • Significant fat deposits and skin laxity: Patients with both excess fat deposits and significant sagging skin in the upper arms may benefit from a combined approach. This is particularly true for those who have experienced substantial weight loss
  • Enhanced arm contour: The removal of excess fat is complemented by the tightening and lifting of sagging skin, resulting in a more proportionate arm appearance
  • Improved symmetry: The combined approach allows Dr Carmen to address any asymmetry in both fat distribution and skin laxity, resulting in improved arm symmetry

Timing and Sequencing

  • Sequential approach: In some cases, arm lipo may be performed before arm lift surgery. This sequence allows Dr Carmen to remove excess fat, which can facilitate a smoother and more precise arm lift procedure
  • Staged procedures: Depending on the patient’s needs and the extent of the procedure, arm lipo and arm lift surgery may be performed during the same surgical session or as separate stages. This decision will be made based on factors such as overall health, surgical risks, and Dr Carmen’s recommendation

FAQ’s about Arm Lipo and Arm Lift

Are arm lipo and arm lift procedures safe?

  • Yes, both arm lipo and arm lift procedures are generally safe when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. However, like any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications that could occur.

Will there be visible scarring after arm lipo or arm lift?

  • The extent of scarring depends on the procedure and individual factors. With arm lipo, the incisions made for fat removal are small and discreet, resulting in minimal scarring. In an arm lift, larger incisions are made to remove excess skin, which can result in more noticeable scars. However, a skilled surgeon will place incisions strategically to minimise their visibility.

How long is the recovery period for arm lipo and arm lift?

  • The recovery time varies for each patient and depends on the extent of the procedure. Generally, arm lipo has a shorter recovery period compared to an arm lift. After arm lipo, patients can resume normal activities within a few days. However, an arm lift may require several weeks for full recovery.

Will the results of arm lipo or arm lift be permanent?

  • The results of arm lipo and arm lift can be long-lasting; however, they are not permanent. With arm lipo, the fat cells that are removed do not regenerate. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is essential to prevent the accumulation of new fat deposits. In an arm lift, the excess skin that is removed will not return, but the natural ageing process can still affect the overall appearance of the arms over time.

Can arm lipo or arm lift address both excess fat and loose skin simultaneously?

  • Arm lipo primarily targets the removal of excess fat deposits from the arms. If you have good skin elasticity, arm lipo alone may be sufficient to achieve the desired results. But if you have significant skin laxity, an arm lift may be necessary to remove excess skin and tighten the remaining tissue. Dr Carmen will evaluate your specific concerns and recommend the most appropriate procedure to address both fat and skin-related issues.

Further Reading about Arm Procedures with Dr Carmen

Medical References about Arm Procedures

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Dr Carmen Munteanu – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

She is one of Melbourne’s most experienced and sought-after female Plastic Surgeons who offers aesthetic breast surgery and body contouring. That includes Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Implant Surgery and Body Surgery.

With over 25 years of surgical experience in Plastic Surgery, Dr Carmen firmly believes that a good surgeon is first a good doctor. She will always take into consideration all the health aspects and personal circumstances of each patient.

A dedicated Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Carmen is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

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Get a Medical Referral before your consultation with Dr Carmen

  • A GP referral is now essential to see Dr Carmen for any type of surgery.

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  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Carmen – Car parking is available on-site in Mitcham.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Photos will be taken as part of your consultation, please try and wear black underwear.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided.

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  • You can book your consultation with Dr Carmen Munteanu by paying the $300 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

‘Your Goal is my Priority’
– Dr Carmen Munteanu

M.D. FRACS(Plas) Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon

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Call 1300 652 468 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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