Under Arm Liposuction: What You Need To Know For Smoother, Tighter Arms

Under Arm Liposuction
Under Arm Liposuction

Under arm liposuction, also known as axillary liposuction, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat from the underarm area. It is a minimally invasive treatment that can provide smoother, more toned-looking underarms.

Liposuction uses small tubes called cannulas that are inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device that suctions out unwanted fat deposits from beneath the skin.

Under arm liposuction specifically targets fat in the axillary region, including the upper arm jiggle area, sides of the chest, and armpit folds. It is commonly performed to:

  • Reduce underarm bulge and flabbiness
  • Eliminate stubborn fat pockets that do not respond to diet and exercise
  • Contour the upper arms and side of the chest for better definition
  • Smooth irregular or asymmetrical hollows in the armpits
  • Allow closer fit for clothing in the underarm region

The procedure removes localized fat deposits to create a slimmer, more toned appearance in the underarms. It can help achieve a flatter, tighter look in areas prone to sagging. The results are permanent, as long as a stable weight is maintained through proper diet and exercise.

Under Arm Liposuction Candidates

Ideal candidates for under arm liposuction are men and women who are in good health, and have excess fat deposits under their arms that are resistant to diet and exercise. The best candidates have good skin elasticity, so that the skin can tighten around the new contour after fat removal.

There are several factors that determine candidacy for under arm liposuction:

  • Body weight – Candidates should be close to their ideal weight, with isolated fat pockets under the arms. Liposuction works best for spot reduction in patients who are not significantly overweight.
  • Skin elasticity – The skin under the arms needs to have good elasticity to tighten around the new contour after liposuction. Older patients or those with less skin elasticity may need an arm lift after liposuction to remove excess skin.
  • Realistic expectations – Candidates should understand that liposuction improves body contours, but does not produce dramatic weight loss. The results are more subtle improvements in the overall silhouette.
  • Health status – Candidates for liposuction must be in good health, without any conditions that could impair healing. Certain health problems may make liposuction too risky.
  • Lifestyle factors – Candidates who maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine will get optimal results from liposuction. The procedure removes fat cells, but significant weight gain can still occur after liposuction if diet and exercise are not maintained.

The ideal under arm liposuction candidate is someone who has isolated pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, has good skin elasticity, and has realistic expectations for the subtle but noticeable improvements this procedure can provide.

Under Arm Liposuction Procedure

Under arm liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from the underarm area. Here are the typical steps involved in an under arm liposuction procedure:

  • The patient is brought into the operating room and anesthesia is administered. General anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation are commonly used. This numbs the treatment area so the patient does not feel pain.
  • Small incisions, about 1-3 millimeters each, are made in the underarm area. The number of incisions depends on the extent of treatment needed.
  • A liquid solution is injected into the fat beneath the skin. This is a mixture of saline, lidocaine (for numbness), and epinephrine (to constrict blood vessels and reduce bleeding/swelling).
  • The surgeon inserts a small stainless steel tube called a cannula through the incisions. This cannula is connected to a vacuum device. The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth to break up and suction out the excess fat.
  • The procedure typically takes 1-2 hours to complete. The length depends on the amount of fat to be removed.
  • After the desired amount of fat is removed, the incisions are closed with sutures. Compression dressings or bandages are applied to the treatment area.
  • The patient is taken to a recovery room to wake up fully from anesthesia. They are monitored for a couple hours before released to go home.

Under Arm Liposuction Recovery

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, so most patients can go home the same day. The first few days of recovery mainly involve managing swelling, bruising, and discomfort.

The arms will likely remain swollen, bruised, and tender for 1-2 weeks. Patients will need to wear a compression garment on the arms during this time to minimize swelling and promote healing. Most swelling subsides within 4-6 weeks.

Bruising is common and can be significant, but should fade within 10-14 days. Numbness or tingling may occur and persist for a few weeks or months as the nerves heal. This is normal.

Some postoperative side effects include:

  • Pain and soreness at the treatment sites
  • Temporary numbness or nerve sensitivity
  • Mild fluid drainage from incisions
  • Nausea from anesthesia

Patients will need to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 2-4 weeks. Normal daily activities can be resumed after about 3-5 days of rest. Stitches are removed after 7-10 days.

It’s crucial to follow all post-op instructions provided by the surgeon to prevent complications like seroma formation (fluid buildup) and infection. This includes wearing compression garments, keeping incisions clean and dry, and attending follow-up appointments.

Full results are visible within 2-3 months as residual swelling resolves. Maximizing results relies on leading a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise.

Under Arm Liposuction Model
Under Arm Liposuction Model

Under Arm Liposuction Results

Under arm liposuction can produce dramatic results by removing excess fat from the upper arm area. Patients will notice a slimmer, more toned appearance in their upper arms after recovery.

Before and After Photos

Before and after photos of under arm liposuction procedures demonstrate the remarkable difference this surgery can provide. Photos show how under arm lipo eliminates sagging, loose skin and stubborn fat pockets that diet and exercise alone cannot address. Patients’ upper arms appear smoother, tighter, and more toned after under arm liposuction.

Description of Expected Results

Patients can expect to see a noticeable reduction in the size and circumference of their upper arms after under arm lipo. Their arms will appear more slender and proportional to their body. The upper arms will no longer have a flabby, sagging appearance. Any stubborn fat pockets and cellulite in the triceps/back of arms and biceps will be eliminated.

While under arm lipo produces significant improvements, patients may still have a small amount of loose skin after surgery. The remaining skin often retracts over the first 6-12 months as swelling resolves. Complete smoothness and skin tightening takes time.

Long Term Outcome

The results of under arm liposuction are permanent, as long as patients maintain their weight. Diet and exercise should be continued after surgery to preserve the slimmer upper arms. Some patients may need touch-up procedures years later if they experience significant weight fluctuations. But in general, the removal of fat cells during liposuction is permanent.

Under Arm Liposuction Cost

The cost of under arm liposuction can vary significantly based on a number of factors. Here is an overview of the typical cost range and what impacts the final price:

Average Cost Range

The average cost of under arm liposuction ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 per arm. This can bring the total to $4,000 to $10,000 if treating both arms. However, prices can be higher or lower depending on your specific case.

Factors That Influence Cost

Some of the main factors that affect the cost of under arm liposuction include:

  • The surgeon’s fee – More experienced surgeons often charge more. Surgeon fees range from $500 to $5,000 or more per arm.
  • The surgical facility fee – This covers operating room costs, equipment, medications, etc. These fees typically range from $500 to $2,000.
  • Anesthesia fees – General anesthesia or IV sedation will add $600 or more to the cost. Local anesthesia is cheaper.
  • The extent of treatment needed – Treating a larger area takes more time and effort from the surgeon. More fat removal equals higher fees.
  • Your geographic location – Prices tend to be higher in major metro areas and on the coasts. Under arm lipo may cost less in less populated regions.

Payment Options

Most cosmetic surgeons accept cash, credit cards, and financing plans for under arm liposuction. Many also offer discounts if you pay the full amount upfront rather than financing over time. Ask your provider about payment options during your consultation.

Overall, under arm liposuction can provide an affordable way to address unwanted fat and improve arm contours. But costs can add up quickly. Be sure to understand all the potential fees involved before proceeding. Doing your research can help you find a fair price for your treatment goals.

Under Arm Liposuction vs. Other Procedures

Liposuction is one of the most popular and effective ways to remove excess fat from the under arm area. However, there are some other procedures that can also be used:

Laser Lipolysis

  • Uses laser energy to melt and liquefy fat before it’s suctioned out.
  • Less invasive than traditional liposuction.
  • Usually requires less downtime.
  • May not remove as much fat in a single session compared to liposuction.
  • Higher risk of burns, scarring, and skin discoloration.


  • Uses extreme cold to freeze and kill fat cells without surgery.
  • Non-invasive, no downtime.
  • Multiple sessions usually required for desired results.
  • Only removes small amounts of fat per session.
  • May not work as well on large fat deposits.

Ultrasound Cavitation

  • Uses ultrasound waves to break down fat cell membranes.
  • Non-surgical, no anesthesia required.
  • Multiple treatments needed over weeks/months.
  • Mild side effects like redness or swelling.
  • Results not as dramatic as surgical options.

Tumescent Liposuction

  • The standard liposuction technique using anesthetic solution.
  • Very effective for removing fat deposits.
  • Higher risk of complications like infection.
  • Involves needles, anesthesia, incisions.
  • Longer recovery time.
  • Provides immediate, visible, and long-lasting results.

So in summary, liposuction is the most invasive option but also produces the most dramatic fat removal in a single session. Non-surgical alternatives like CoolSculpting or laser lipolysis may require multiple treatments over time but involve little to no downtime.

Finding an Under Arm Liposuction Surgeon

Choosing the right surgeon is crucial for safe and effective under arm liposuction. Here are some tips for finding a qualified surgeon:

  • Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon. Confirm they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This ensures extensive training and expertise in liposuction procedures.
  • Ask about their experience with under arm liposuction specifically. An experienced surgeon will have performed many procedures and can show before/after photos. Be wary if a surgeon claims it’s a simple or routine procedure.
  • During a consultation, ask questions about their technique, pain management, potential risks, and expected recovery. A reputable surgeon will provide detailed answers and guidance.
  • Avoid surgeons who push for excessive procedures or seem focused on selling you surgery. Look for a doctor who listens to your goals and offers realistic advice.
  • Confirm the surgical facility is accredited. Surgery centers should have anesthesia certification and meet safety standards.
  • Watch for warning signs like discount pricing, high-pressure sales tactics, or promises of dramatic results. Under arm liposuction should not be treated as a discount cosmetic procedure.
  • Check reviews from past patients, but be wary of doctors who only show perfect reviews. Some negative feedback is normal.
  • Request before/after photos of the surgeon’s actual patients, not stock photos. Evaluate if their results align with your goals.

Taking the time to thoroughly vet surgeons can help avoid complications and ensure you get the under arm contouring results you want.

Under Arm Liposuction Risks and Complications

Under arm liposuction is considered a relatively safe procedure, but there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of:

  • Bruising and Swelling – It’s common to experience bruising, swelling, and soreness under the arms after liposuction. This usually resolves within a few weeks.
  • Numbness – There may be some temporary numbness or altered sensation under the arms after surgery. This typically goes away over time as the nerves regenerate.
  • Infection – There is a small risk of infection with any surgical procedure. Following proper aftercare instructions can help reduce this risk. Signs of infection include redness, heat, swelling, and drainage from the incisions.
  • Fluid Accumulation – In some cases, fluid can accumulate under the skin after liposuction, called seroma. This may require drainage with a needle.
  • Contour Irregularities – With aggressive fat removal, some minor surface irregularities in the under arm area may occur. A skilled surgeon will take care to avoid this.
  • Damage to Deeper Structures – Very rarely, the ultrasound or suction cannula could potentially damage deeper structures like nerves, blood vessels, or muscles under the arms. This risk is minimal with an experienced surgeon.
  • Scarring – Some minimal scarring is expected with the small incisions made for liposuction. Proper wound care helps minimize scarring.

To reduce risks, choose a board certified plastic surgeon, follow all pre- and post-operative instructions carefully, attend follow-up visits, and contact your doctor right away if any concerning symptoms arise. While risks do exist, liposuction can be safe when performed by a reputable surgeon on an appropriate candidate.

Under Arm Liposuction FAQs

Under arm liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat from the underarm area. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about this procedure:

What is the recovery like after under arm liposuction?

The recovery period is usually short after under arm liposuction. You may experience some swelling, bruising, and soreness for a week or two. Your surgeon will likely recommend wearing a compression garment for a few weeks to help reduce swelling. Most people are able to return to work and normal activities within a few days.

How long do the results last?

When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, the results of under arm liposuction are permanent. The treated fat cells are removed from the body during the procedure. However, it’s important to maintain a stable weight through diet and exercise after liposuction. Significant weight gain can result in some recurrence of underarm fat.

Am I a good candidate for under arm liposuction?

The best candidates for under arm liposuction are men and women who are in good overall health and have good skin elasticity. People who are bothered by stubborn, localized fat in the underarm area that is resistant to diet and exercise are typically good candidates.

Does under arm liposuction leave scars?

Under arm liposuction is minimally invasive and the incisions are very small. The scars from the procedure are usually tiny and fade over time. Scarring can be minimized by choosing an experienced, skilled plastic surgeon to perform the procedure.

Is under arm liposuction painful?

There may be some mild discomfort during the first day or two after surgery. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medication to help manage any pain. Within a week, most patients experience very little if any pain in the underarm area.

How much does under arm liposuction cost?

The cost for under arm liposuction ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 on average. The exact price you pay will depend on your surgeon’s fees, the extent of correction needed, and your geographic location. Many plastic surgeons offer financing options for liposuction procedures.

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Dr. David moved on from the College of Toronto Clinical School in 1985. He spent the following six years in postgraduate specialty preparing. During these years he served a clinical entry-level position at the Ottawa General Clinic followed by a residency in Ophthalmology at a similar medical clinic.

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