How is Arm Liposuction performed?
Dr. Yates performs liposuction with the patient under sedation or “twilight” anesthesia. These are outpatient procedures. The first step is to inject tumescent solution, a mixture of saline water, lidocaine, and epinephrine, into the target area. This solution has multiple benefits compared to traditional liposuction. First, the lidocaine anesthetizes the treatment area. Second, the epinephrine constricts the blood vessels so there is dramatically less blood loss and subsequent bruising. And the saline solution and epinephrine help to constrict the fat cells, making them easier to break loose and suction out with the cannula.
Next, Dr. Yates makes a tiny punch incision, from 1.5 to 2 mm, to insert the cannula. Depending on the patient’s unique situation, he may use a series of these tiny incisions along the inside of the arm from the armpit to the elbow. For the arms, he typically uses a thin, 14-gauge microcannula, as this allows the most versatility and finesse. Arm liposuction is only used on the upper arms, where the fat tends to accumulate and weigh down the skin on the underside of the arm.
Once inserted, Dr. Yates moves the cannula back and forth to break loose the fat cells. The cannula then suctions them away. Dr. Yates sculpts the entire upper arm in these procedures that take about two hours.
How do I prepare for Arm Liposuction?
These are minimally invasive surgeries, but they are still surgery, so you’ll need to prepare as you would for any surgery. You’ll stop taking any blood thinners, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and most herbal supplements for one week prior to your liposuction procedure. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for two weeks prior to and after your procedure, as smoking constricts the blood vessels, and this can impede healing.
These aren’t difficult recoveries, so you don’t need to create a recovery nest or anything. But you will want to prepare for the fact that you won’t be lifting anything more than a gallon of milk for a couple weeks. You should bring down everyday items you normally would lift out of the cabinets and place them on the counter. If your job involves lifting, you’ll have to make arrangements to curtail this for a couple weeks.
What’s the difference between Arm Liposuction and an Arm Lift?
The difference and need between these two surgeries is the condition of your upper arms. If you have an accumulation of fat and this is weighing down the skin on your upper arms, you’re a good candidate for arm liposuction, as removing the fat is what’s needed. For patients to have arm liposuction, they still need to have excellent elasticity in the skin on their upper arms.
For an arm lift, the problem is loose, sagging skin that can move back and forth with arm movement. This is usually the result of having excessive weight in the upper arms that stretched the skin to the point it has permanently lost its elasticity. If Dr. Yates only removed the fat in this situation, it would exacerbate the problem. An arm lift would be needed to remove the excess skin and to tighten the support muscles of the upper arms. For most arm lifts, Dr. Yates also includes some amount of liposuction, as most patients have a combination of very loose skin and accumulated fat.
Does Arm Liposuction hurt?
These are not overly painful recoveries by any means. They don’t require extensive downtime. The tumescent solution used by Dr. Yates has the added benefit of having lidocaine as part of the mix, which adds a degree of pain relief directly under the skin of the upper arms. Most patients say they equate the feeling of recovery after arm liposuction as an aching feeling, not acute pain.
Does Arm Liposuction create scarring?
Because Dr. Yates can use such small incisions, usually only 1.5 to 2 mm, the resulting scars are quite small. In time, they continue to fade to the point where they are virtually invisible after a period of months. Plus, they are located on the inside of the upper arms where they are usually hidden.
What kind of anesthesia is used for Arm Liposuction?
Liposuction of the arms generally requires sedation and tumescent local anesthesia.