Having flabby arms can be a source of insecurity for many patients, especially those who have made significant efforts to lose weight. When conventional weight loss methods fall short of the goal, these individuals often feel frustrated and don’t know how to address the issue. 

The initial step requires identifying what are the underlying causes of the sagging arm skin. More importantly, is it actually sagging skin or sagging fat? This information is key in deciding whether to undergo an arm lift (brachioplasty) or liposuction. 

Dr. Markelov has carried out countless arm lift and arm liposuction procedures on his patients in Tampa, Florida. He utilizes his expertise to elicit the best results imaginable. 

Arm Lift

An arm lift, otherwise referred to as brachioplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to improve the appearance of the upper arms by toning and defining them. Patients who struggle with excess skin rather than excess fat hanging beneath their arms are typically advised to undergo an arm lift procedure. This treatment is particularly helpful to individuals who have experienced significant weight loss over a short period of time, either through surgical or non-surgical means.

During an arm lift, the surgeon removes excess skin from the under-arm region and refines the arm's contours. To achieve this, an incision is made on the inside of the arm, spanning from the armpit down to the elbow. The surgeon will endeavor to place the incision in a way that minimizes visible scarring and aligns with the new arm contours. However, it is important to note that some degree of scarring is unavoidable.


Liposuction is a highly sought-after body contouring procedure widely chosen by individuals who have excess fat beneath their arms rather than loose skin. This cosmetic treatment effectively eliminates stubborn fat that has been unresponsive to diet and exercise efforts. Liposuction for the upper arms is a popular and low-risk procedure that guarantees improved arm tone and a more sculpted appearance. For patients who are looking to reduce excess fat, liposuction can successfully refine the shape of their arms.

It should be noted that a slight degree of skin laxity following the liposuction procedure is no cause for alarm. The removal of fat can temporarily result in mild skin laxity, but over the course of a few weeks, the skin will gradually conform to the new contours of the arms. To aid in skin tightening, compression garments will be provided to the patient.

While liposuction does leave scars along the length of the arms, they are significantly smaller and less noticeable compared to scars from an arm lift. With time, liposuction scars tend to become nearly imperceptible, typically fading away within a few months after the procedure.

Combining the procedures 

Combining both liposuction and skin tightening surgeries may be the ideal approach if you're dealing with arm fat and sagging skin. As we age, the elasticity of our skin diminishes, making it less resilient and slower to bounce back after being stretched. In cases where the skin lacks sufficient elasticity, liposuction alone may not yield optimal results.

You can perform a simple test to assess your skin's elasticity. Pinch a portion of your skin, hold it for a few seconds, and then release it. If your skin quickly returns to its original position, it indicates good elasticity. However, if it takes a moment or two for the skin to regain its shape, it suggests that the skin is inelastic, and liposuction alone may not be sufficient. In a combined procedure, your surgeon can address both excess fat and sagging skin simultaneously, resulting in a beautifully contoured arm, even if your skin doesn't readily adapt to your new body shape following liposuction.

What is the takeaway?

All in all, every patient is unique and will require their own personalized approach. Some patients will benefit more from an arm lift procedure, while others will be better suited for arm liposuction. For some, it is advised that they undergo a combination of the two treatments. 

While patients can often determine which treatment is right for them, it is best to refer to a licensed and experienced practitioner before deciding on a procedure. Dr. Markelov has helped hundreds of patients assess their arm issues and choose the procedure that is right for them, helping them live happier and more confident lives. 

Reach out to us today to schedule a private consultation and learn more about our arm treatments. 

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