a woman holding her arm up to show off her under arm fat

Whether due to aging, weight, or genetics, unwanted arm fat is a common concern. Sagging and loose skin around the arms typically goes hand- in- hand with arm fat and both are a problem for many.

While dieting, exercising, and arm exercises can help you lose fat and build muscle to add definition to your arms, however, you can not spot-reduce fat in specific areas from diet and exercise. Sometimes muscle building just isn’t enough for arm fat removal and skin tightening. To lose fat in your arms through diet and exercise, you need to lose fat all over. For some patients who are happy with their bodies and are just struggling with their arm area, diet and exercise may not be an ideal option either.

So what are your options? Fortunately, several cosmetic procedures are designed to target specific areas of your body in order to achieve your desired fat loss results. Below, we’ll discuss the different options for targeting arm fat removal so you can decide which treatment is best for you.

Arm Fat Removal: CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat removal treatment option that uses cold temperatures to trigger fat reduction in targeted areas of the body. This is an excellent non-invasive, FDA-approved arm fat removal procedure for patients who aren’t a good candidate for surgery or want a treatment option that requires little downtime. 

During CoolSculpting, fat cells are destroyed through cryolipolysis, or fat freezing, which becomes expelled from the body. During a CoolSculpting session, a practitioner will place the treatment pads onto the targeted areas of the arms receiving the treatment. The device will intensely cool fat cells without damaging the skin to destroy fat cells in the arm area. 

In the weeks after a CoolSculpting treatment, your body will naturally flush out the destroyed fat cells. CoolSculpting sessions take between 35 to 60 minutes, and you can return to your normal activities right away. 

CoolScuplting has been found to have profound results for arm fat removal. It’s typical to see a 20%-25% fat reduction from the treated area with each CoolScuplting treatment. You may require multiple sessions to achieve your desired result. Your doctor or practitioner will consult with you on how many sessions you may need.

Arm Fat Removal: Evolve

Evolve is a treatment option that can reduce fat, build muscle, and tighten skin through radiofrequency wavelengths and electromuscular stimulation. This is another great arm fat removal option for patients looking for non-invasive treatment. If you’re worried about sagging skin in the arm area, Evolve can also help target those concerns. 

During your treatment, a practitioner attaches the device to the arm area. You may feel a slight tingling sensation throughout the treatment; however, it is entirely painless. Evolve sessions take up to 30 minutes, and you can resume your normal activities after.

Many patients experience dramatic results of fat reduction and skin tightening in the targeted treatment area. Evolve typically requires a few sessions with follow-up treatment sessions every four months to maintain your new look. Your doctor or practitioner will develop the right Evolve treatment plan for you to provide you with optimal results. 


Due to genetics, fat deposits may remain in certain areas, such as the arms, despite being at a healthy weight. These fat deposits are often unlikely to respond to diet or exercise. If you’re looking for an arm fat removal option to eliminate genetic fat deposits, liposuction might be the right option. In addition, liposuction is still considered the gold standard for spot removal of fat. 

Liposuction allows for targeted, direct removal of stubborn fat deposits. It can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a small incision and suction fat out of the area using a cannula. 

Liposuction is a more invasive option with more extended downtime. Most patients can return to regular daily activities within five to seven days, and complete recovery can take up to six weeks. Patients can expect to see the final result three to six months after their procedure.

VASER + Liposuction

VASER + liposuction is a form of liposuction that is ultrasound-assisted. It’s a good arm fat removal option for those who may have had previous liposuction or want a more dramatic, sculpted result. 

The key difference between traditional liposuction and VASER is how the fat cells are removed. VASER uses a probe that resonates at a high ultrasound frequency. This process shakes the fat cells loose without damaging the surrounding area. The fat cells are then removed through a suction cannula. 

VASER usually requires sedation, and you may experience slight bruising and swelling after the procedure. You’ll need to wear compressions for four to six weeks after the procedure for optimal recovery and results. Swelling will go down, and you’ll see the full results three to six months afterward. 

The real advantage to VASER is slightly quicker recovery and skin retraction as compared to liposuction alone.


Renuvion is the newest technology listed in this section. It delivers RF Plasma energy to the collagen under the skin, causing the fibro septae and skin to contract. Renuvion is not a treatment for the fat per se, but can be used with traditional liposuction to achieve more skin contraction than with liposuction alone. 

The risk of liposuctioning an arm that has excess fat is that you may leave redundant skin that does not contract adequately, resulting in the so-called, “bat wings.” Renuvion can shrink the collagen in an under the skin effectively shrink wrapping the arm to help prevent skin sag. 

Arm Lift

If your concerns include both arm fat and sagging or loose skin around the arm area, an arm lift might be an appropriate option for you. An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, removes excess skin and fat between the armpit and elbow, resulting in a slimmer, toned appearance.

Arm lifts are a good option for arm fat removal if lifestyle changes, non-invasive procedures, or liposuction are not enough to achieve the desired outcome. An arm lift is the best option for patients who are close to their ideal weight, in good health, but have extra arm fat and loose, sagging skin they want to remove. For patients that fall under this description, an arm lift can help trim, tone, and firm the upper arm and improve the body’s overall appearance. 

To determine if an arm lift is the best option for you, consult with a surgeon first. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision on the inside of the upper arm to remove excess skin, subcutaneous tissue, and fat. After the procedure, patients can typically go back to regular daily activities after ten days. They will need to avoid any heavy lifting or excessive arm movement for up to eight weeks. 

Arm Fat Removal: The Bottom Line

Diet and exercise can help reduce arm fat and give a tightened and toned appearance, but sometimes it’s not enough or may not be the best option for arm fat removal. If you’re specifically unhappy with the appearance of your arms and want a targeted treatment option, there are many choices to be found. A doctor will discuss with you the problem area, your desired results, and which arm fat removal option is best for you. 

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers, MD is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re ready to discuss your arm fat removal options, get in touch with his team today.

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