Improving Outcomes in Upper Arm Liposuction

Dermatologic Surgery


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Improving outcomes in upper arm liposuction: adding radiofrequency-assisted liposuction to induce skin contraction.
Duncan DI. Aesthet Surg J. 2012;32:84-95.

An arm lift (brachioplasty) is generally considered a better solution than traditional liposuction for patients concerned with excess subcutaneous fat in the upper arms when the area is also characterized by sagging skin. At the same time, those patients may not satisfied with the tradeoff of a visible scar. This study looks at the viability of combining liposuction with radio frequency (RF) treatments as an alternative option in a prospective study of 12 patients with arm laxity classified according to the El Khatib / Teimourain system as stages 2b, 3, 4. Duncan reports using a pinch test and vertical measure of the lax skin under the bicipital groove as well as novel calipers for the volar skin at baseline. Using a Vectra system (Canfield, NJ), tattooed treatment areas were confirmed prior to treatment with BodyTite (Invasix, Israel). Using a paired t test, statistical analysis showed significant (P > .001) skin contraction at 1-year post RF treatment, which was reduced in the volar area by 33.5% bilaterally and by 50% bilaterally in the vertical hang under the bicipital groove. While patients in stage 2b and 4 had satisfactory results using RF instead of surgery, those patients in stage 3 underwent a surgical (short-scar) arm lift to achieve successful results.
Available at PubMed (PMID: 22231416):