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Arm Liposuction

Arm Liposuction

Lipoplasty, also named liposuction or liposculpture, is a surgical procedure designed to remove deposits of excess fat to create a desired body contour. Although liposuction is not a weight loss technique, it can effectively eliminate excess fat deposits in particular areas of the body, including the arms, restoring a more proportionate and healthy body contour.

Firm, trim arms create a more youthful appearance and can provide an incentive to exercise regularly to maintain fitness. After liposuction, patients who have been self-conscious about their heavy arms gain a sense of self-confidence.



How is arm liposuction performed?

During the procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the skin, typically near the elbow or in the armpit crease, and inserts a thin tube called a cannula into the fatty area. The cannula is used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the area to the desired proportions. Unwanted fat is suctioned out with a high-pressure vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact. The technique chosen for your operation will be determined by a combination of factors, including the scope and location of the area, your surgeon's training and experience, as well as your personal preferences. There are a several techniques available to perform this procedure.

In the super-wet technique, a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated, which makes the fat deposits easier to break up and extract. This extra fluid also minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissue, reducing swelling and post-operative pain. The administration of adrenaline also decreases bleeding during surgery, further reducing risks.

The tumescent technique involves injecting a solution with a local anesthetic into the areas to be treated prior to suctioning. An incision is made near the area from which the fat is to be removed; and a specially designed surgical tube, called a cannula, is placed through the incision into the fat. The cannula is attached by flexible tubing to a vacuum pump that removes the fat by suction as the cannula is manipulated beneath the skin. Compared to other conventional liposuction techniques, the tumescent technique is more precise and accurate. This procedure minimizes blood loss, removes more fat and has a faster recovery time.

A relatively new method, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), uses sound waves to liquefy the fat after the injection of fluids. UAL minimizes trauma, bruising and blood loss. UAL is particularly useful on fibrous areas of the body.

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How long does an arm liposuction take?

Arm liposuction generally takes one to two hours to complete.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Arm liposuction is usually performed using local anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. General anesthesia may also be used, causing you to be asleep during the whole procedure.

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Where is the procedure performed?

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgical facility, or hospital.

When can I return home and resume normal activities?

There is no hospital stay required and normal activities may be resumed in approximately one week.

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How do I prepare for arm liposuction procedure?

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance of your arms is a matter of personal perception and preference, you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during your recovery period.

Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete health history and physical examination to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle tone and the overall distribution of fat deposits. In particular your surgeon will ask you about any problems you have had with high blood pressure, blood clotting or a tendency to develop large scars.

Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention at this time. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for this procedure will be given to you after the health history and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant with your surgeon's instructions.

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What precautions are necessary during recovery?

Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. Compression bands must be worn for several weeks to ensure the shape of your arms. Please ask your surgeon for after care instructions specific to your case, as these will assist you during your recovery period.

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What are the possible complications after arm liposuction?

After surgery, some patients experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be needed to correct these problems. UAL liposuction may cause friction burns to the skin or to the internal organs.

More serious complications include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss leading to shock, fluid build-up in the lungs, and drug overdose. The removal of large amounts of fat, multiple procedures, and the use of general anesthesia is associated with increased risks of serious complications. It is always important to be informed about the possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon.

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What results can I expect after arm liposuction?

Your arm may be stiff and sore for a few days, and you may experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding or temporary numbness. If necessary, your surgeon can prescribe medication to relieve this initial discomfort.

Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection at the incision sites. Your stitches will be removed in a week to 10 days, unless they dissolve on their own. You will be fitted with a compression band to cut down on swelling and to hold your arm in its new shape until the tissues have adjusted.

Since the normal aging process affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin, older patients may not experience results as dramatic as those typically achieved in younger patients. Although liposuction cannot alter skin quality or muscle tone, and should not be a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet, your arm will always be slimmer than it was prior to this procedure.

Arm liposuction is often performed in conjunction with an arm lift to achieve the most desirable results. Most people are pleased with the new contour of their arm and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence.

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Choosing the right surgeon

To obtain further information regarding arm liposuction, we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your area, simply fill out our Online Referral Form or call Toll Free 800.449.1884.

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