Arm Liposuction Scars: What to Expect and How to Minimize Their Appearance

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Close-up view of a person pinching the skin on their upper arm, highlighting loose skin or cellulite after arm liposuction.

Concerned about scarring after arm liposuction? Learn what arm lipo scars look like, how to care for them, and treatments to improve their appearance.

Arm liposuction or brachioplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess fat from the upper arms to improve their shape and contour

It can provide excellent results but involves incisions and visible scarring. Here’s what you need to know about arm liposuction scars and minimizing their appearance.

What Do Arm Liposuction Scars Look Like?

Arm lipo scars vary depending on the surgical technique, incision location and size, and your body’s healing process. Generally, arm lipo scars are:

  • Linear incisions, usually placed on the inside or back of the upper arm
  • Often extending from the elbow to the armpit.
  • Reddish or pink initially, fading to white or flesh-tone over time
  • Slightly raised or bumpy at first, flattening out within a few months

Your plastic surgeon will try to place the incisions in less visible locations and keep them as small as possible to minimize scarring. However, some visible scarring is unavoidable after arm liposuction.

Does Arm Lipo Leave a Scar?

A woman pinching her fat arm

Arm liposuction, like any surgery, can leave scars, but they’re typically minimal due to the small incisions. Surgeons use minimally invasive techniques and make incisions in discreet locations, like the inside of the armpits or elbows, to minimize visibility. 

The size of the incision correlates with the size of the scar, and since arm liposuction incisions are usually very small, the resulting scars are often tiny dots or freckles that fade over time.

Do Lipo Scars Go Away?

Lipo scars don’t completely disappear but fade significantly over time, often becoming barely noticeable. The healing process varies, and factors like skin type and genetics affect scar healing

Laser therapy can help reduce scar appearance. Expert plastic surgeons use techniques to ensure well-hidden and fading scars.

Are Lipo Scars Obvious?

Lipo scars are usually not obvious. Surgeons place incisions strategically to minimize visibility, and the small size of the incisions used in arm liposuction means resulting scars are small and fade with time. They may be more visible when you lift your arm, but they are designed to be hidden in the body’s natural contours.

Factors That Affect Arm Liposuction Scar Appearance

Several factors can influence the appearance of your arm lipo scars:

  • Surgical technique: Traditional arm lift techniques involve longer incisions and more visible scars compared to minimal-incision techniques.
  • Genetics: Some people are genetically prone to noticeable scarring.
  • Age: Older skin heals more slowly, leading to more visible scars.
  • Sun exposure: UV rays darken and make scars more noticeable.
  • Infection: Infected incisions heal poorly and develop worse scars.

Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin type and risk factors to determine the best approach to minimize scarring.

Arm Liposuction Scar Healing Timeline

Arm liposuction scars go through stages of healing:

  • Weeks 1-2: Incisions will be red, raised, and hard with stitches or surgical glue.
  • Weeks 3-6: Scars darken and may appear more noticeable. Itching is common as nerves heal.
  • Months 2-6: Scars soften, flatten, and fade in color, may still be slightly pink.
  • Months 6-12: Scars continue to mature and fade to a flesh tone or white. It can take a full year for scars to reach their final appearance.

Following proper incision care and scar treatment protocols will help your scars heal well.

How to Care for Arm Liposuction Scars

A woman pinching her fat arm

Proper post-surgical care is essential for minimizing arm lipo scars:

  • Keep incisions clean and covered as per your surgeon’s instructions.
  • Avoid putting tension or pressure on the incisions.
  • Wear a compression garment as directed to reduce swelling and support healing.
  • Protect scars from the sun with clothing or silicone scar strips.
  • Massage the healed scars to break up scar tissue.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated for healing.
  • Avoid smoking, it impairs circulation and healing.
  • Wait 6-8 weeks before resuming strenuous arm exercises.

Follow your surgeon’s incision care instructions closely for the best arm lipo scar results.

Treatments to Minimize the Appearance of Arm Lipo Scars

If your arm liposuction scars aren’t healing well or are noticeable, several treatments can improve their appearance:

  • Silicone sheets or gels for flattening and fading scars
  • Laser skin resurfacing for scar texture and color.
  • Dermal fillers for depressed scars.
  • Surgical scar revision for wide or raised scars
  • Microneedling with PRP for collagen remodeling.
  • Topical lightening creams for hyperpigmented scars

What Happens if You Don’t Compress Your Arms After Lipo?

Compression garments are crucial after arm liposuction to aid healing and reduce swelling. Not wearing them as instructed can lead to suboptimal results, including increased swelling and potential complications at the incision sites. 

These garments also ensure stitches remain intact and the skin conforms to the new contour, essential for the desired outcome.

Why Do My Arms Still Look Big After Lipo?

If your arms still look big after liposuction, it could be due to several factors. Targeted fat loss in specific areas like the arms is challenging, and arm fat can be stubborn. 

Skin’s ability to retract and tighten after fat removal varies based on age, skin quality, and other factors. Loose or saggy skin may contribute to larger arms post-liposuction.

When to Be Concerned About Arm Liposuction Scars

Signs that your arm lipo scars may not be healing properly include:

  • Increasing pain, swelling, or redness around incisions
  • Thick, raised, rope-like scars (keloids)
  • Scars restricting arm movement
  • Hyperpigmented or discolored scars
  • Scars widening, not fading.

Contact your plastic surgeon immediately if you experience these symptoms. Quick treatment can prevent scar complications.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon to Minimize Arm Lipo Scars

Arm Lipo at Dr. Darren M. Smith

The best way to ensure minimal, well-concealed scars after arm liposuction is to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Darren M. Smith. 

Dr. Smith is a board-certified plastic surgeon with advanced fellowship training from Yale, bringing immense expertise in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. When selecting a surgeon for your arm liposuction, look for someone who:

  • Is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, like Dr. Smith
  • Has extensive experience performing arm lift procedures and uses meticulous surgical techniques to minimize scarring, which are hallmarks of Dr. Smith’s practice
  • Has a portfolio of before-and-after photos showing excellent arm lipo scar results, demonstrating their skill and expertise
  • Makes you feel comfortable and listens to your concerns, as Dr. Smith is known for his compassionate and attentive bedside manner

With his Ivy League training, board certification, and commitment to patient satisfaction, Dr. Darren M. Smith is an excellent choice for anyone seeking the best possible arm liposuction results with minimal scarring

The Bottom Line

Scarring is unavoidable with arm liposuction, but an experienced surgeon can minimize it. Scars will fade over time, and most people find it worth the improved arm contour. If you’re worried about the scars, talk to your plastic surgeon about treatments. With proper care and patience, your arm lipo scars can heal beautifully.