Brachioplasty vs Liposuction: Which One Is Right For You?

Whether you’re trying to get fit, have extra upper arm fat, or your skin is aging, excess skin under the arms can leave you feeling self-conscious. Sometimes called “bingo wings” or “bat wings,” this problem can be fixed with many procedures. Both brachioplasty and liposuction can help with this common problem or even be done simultaneously. 

In short, an arm lift addresses excess sagging skin while upper arm liposuction reduces arm fat. Below we will look at the pros and cons of each procedure and help you determine which one is right for you.

What Is A Brachioplasty?

A brachioplasty, more commonly known as an arm lift, focuses on tightening skin and adding contour to the arm. It is a cosmetic surgery. While it does remove some fat, the focus is on removing excess skin.

There are also mini-brachioplasty procedures which can be used to remove only a small amount of skin. While there is still recovery time and the potential for scarring, these mini arm lift surgeries may not leave a scar. However, they only remove a little bit of skin and are not suitable for everyone.

Pros Of A Brachioplasty

An arm lift removes excess skin and tightens existing skin, resulting in more toned arms. Because it focuses on removing excess skin, brachioplasty is great for people who are aging or lost weight rapidly. By tightening the skin, a brachioplasty also adds contour to the arms and reduces the dreaded “bingo wings.” 

Simply put, a brachioplasty:

  • Removes excess skin
  • Adds contour to the arm
  • Removes some excess fat


Brachioplasty is best for:

  • People who are aging
  • People who have experienced rapid weight loss
brachioplasty, liposuction
brachioplasty, liposuction

Cons Of A Brachioplasty

As with all surgeries, there are risks to getting an arm lift. The primary downside of an arm lift is the potential for scarring. While not particularly visible, there is typically a scar left on the back of the arm. It can also remove some fat but not much, since it is primarily used to tighten skin.

Like liposuction and many other procedures, a brachioplasty can also result in your arms being asymmetrical. This is because it is difficult for a surgeon to make things perfectly symmetrical.

The primary downfalls of an arm lift are:

  • Potentially leaves scarring
  • Doesn’t address excess fat
  • Requires anesthesia
  • Takes two or more weeks of brachioplasty recovery

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What Is Arm Liposuction?

If you’ve tried working out but still have stubborn fat around your upper arm, a liposuction procedure might be a good fit for you. Arm Liposuction, sometimes called an invisible arm lift surgery, is minimally invasive and focuses on removing fat around the upper arm. It’s a suitable choice for people who have tried working out but have stubborn fat. However, most liposuction procedures require the patient to be in good health to minimize the potential complications.

There are many kinds of liposuction, including laser-assisted and ultrasound-assisted but they all achieve the same goal of removing fat. Laser liposuction is increasing in popularity and is particularly known for being noninvasive and having a quicker recovery. You can ask your cosmetic surgeon about what kind of liposuction they recommend for your unique needs.

Pros Of Liposuction

Performing an upper arm liposuction is a very different process than a brachioplasty. The major benefit of getting liposuction is that it’s not very invasive and typically leaves no scarred tissue. 

The perks of getting liposuction are:

  • Short recovery time
  • No scarring
  • Minimally invasive
  • Reduces fat in the upper arm

Liposuction is best for:

  • People who are aging
  • People who have experienced rapid weight loss

Cons Of Liposuction

Like most procedures, there are many drawbacks to getting liposuction on your upper arm. Because it only addresses fat, some patients who get liposuction may also need an arm lift. This is because a brachioplasty can be used to tighten the skin around areas that lose fat from a liposuction.

Because a liposuction addresses fat, you should try other options like exercise or a healthy diet before resorting to this procedure. We always recommend addressing your lifestyle – the choices for what food you eat and the exercise you get before having a medical procedure.

The primary downfalls of upper arm liposuction are that it:

  • Only addresses fat
  • Potentially leads to the patient needing an additional arm lift
  • Not a substitute for poor food and exercise decisions
  • May leave the patient with an indention or contour irregularities

Liposuction And Arm Lift Combination

You don’t necessarily need to choose between an arm lift and an upper arm liposuction, in some cases the procedures can be combined. In fact, fat removal from a liposuction can result in excess skin and the need for an arm lift. Because of this, the procedures may sometimes be done simultaneously or one shortly after the other.

Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Or Liposuction: Which One Is Right For You?

Both procedures focus on the area between your elbow and armpit. Both also result in the arm having a more toned look. However, the procedures and outcomes can be quite different.

To find out which procedure is best for you, figure out if you want to remove fat or skin from your arm. If you want to remove skin, an arm lift is likely the best fit. If you have tight skin and would like to remove fat, an upper arm liposuction would be a better option. If you would like to remove fat and skin, the procedures can be done simultaneously or one shortly after the other.

Final Word on Brachioplasty and Liposuction

The answer to how much is liposuction and brachioplasty cost varies based on the intensity of the procedure. The next step in the process is to talk to a Plastic Surgeon.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Antonetti is an expert in brachioplasty and liposuction. Consultations with him are free of charge. Most importantly, Dr. Antonetti looks at each patient individually and will prescribe these procedures only if they are safe and are supported with healthy lifestyle decisions.

Contact us today for a free consultation or schedule a Virtual Visit if you’re outside of the Dallas area.


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