Arm liposuction is almost an exclusive procedure for women. Its primary goal is to remove just a small amount of fat to achieve a smooth contour and preserve the feminine appearance.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley warns that excessive liposuction almost always produces a masculine-looking arm and possibly some skin irregularities that could be difficult to correct.
Dr. Smiley says the effects of excessive liposuction can be improved by fat transfer, which in essence is a reverse liposuction. It collects donor fats from one area of the body, purifies them, and re-injects them to the “botched” sites, he explains.
To achieve good results from arm liposuction surgery, the celebrity plastic surgeon has explained his “guiding principles.”
- A thin layer of fat beneath the skin should remain.
A thin layer of fat will ensure smooth and natural results. The use of microcannulas (flexible tube whose outside diameter is less than 2.5 mm), and moving them at correct rhythmic speed are the key factors to produce a smooth skin surface.
- Most of the arm circumference must be liposuctioned,
It is of critical importance to treat 75 percent or more of the arm circumference so that the weight of residual fat on skin is well distributed. This guiding principle also ensures good skin shrinkage.
- Consider removing the armpit fat.
It is important that the armpit will not distract from the smoother, more feminine upper arm. For this reason, some patients need liposuction in this area as well.
The armpit fat may be positioned anteriorly or posteriorly, or even both.
- Examine the skin elasticity or shrinkage.
A liposuction-only approach is suitable for patients whose skin has a decent amount of elasticity, allowing it to shrink-wrap around the new contour as the body moves forward to recovery. Should there is any sign of tissue laxity, an excision-based surgery may be needed to achieve a proportionate result.
If skin laxity is quite limited, only affecting about a third of the upper arm, a short scar that lies precisely within the armpit skin fold can produce better results as compared to a liposuction-alone approach. But in severe cases of redundant skin—a typical problem of massive weight loss patients—the scar must be extended down to the elbow, specifically along the inner side of the arm for better concealment.