Arm Liposuction Surgery (with laser assisted liposuction)

before-arm-liposuctionOn October 6th, 2016 I had my last surgery of this year.  It was my arm liposuction surgery with laser assisted liposuction.

What is laser you ask? You’ve never heard of this being used in Germany?! Well, you’d be right.  While laser has been around for quite awhile (even longer than tumescent lipo), it started to become utilized here in the Netherlands as part of arm liposuction.  I can’t say how other surgeons here do it, but mine does normal tumescent liposuction on both arms first and then hits both arms with the laser to heat up the skin.

If all goes right, there won’t be any need for an arm lift.  Trust me when I’ve seen the results from someone else who has this done in the Netherlands (different surgeon) and the results are spectacular.  Her arms were bigger than mine so I’m hoping my results are just as good.  Especially since I’ve been heavy lifting almost exclusively my upper body the last 26 weeks so I have some muscles to show off.  Green (hulk) paint, please standby!

Arm Liposuction Surgery – Last Surgery of the Day

Apparently my surgeon likes doing arms as the last surgery of the day because it’s fairly quick.  I arrived at 1pm, but they still weren’t ready for me so I was called up from the waiting room at about 1:40 instead.  One of the nurses figured out a few surgeries ago I do understand simple dutch so she was speaking to me in dutch and I was answering in english.

  • Take off clothes and put them in the locker
  • Shove the suppository where the sun don’t shine with the rubber glove
  • Put on the barely there thong (that actually fits much better now that most of my ass is gone)
  • Put on the booties that never seem to want to stay on my feet
  • Put on the hospital gown (which also fit much better w/o my butt taking up room)
  • Put on the hair net

The Talk With the Doc

When I was done being dressed, I was taken to the bed and we went through the standard questions.  Have I eaten, did I take anything other than my birth control, did I start my antibiotics, so on and so forth.

Then, when the Doc came in to mark me up, everyone gathered around because they wanted to see how everything was going too.  The Doc commented that my butt was still swollen (over the tail bone) and we talked about that for a few minutes.  As of this week it’s only 6 weeks since my butt liposuction so we agreed that there was time to go and nothing to be worried about.

My surgeon then marked up my arm.  Since my forearm is starting to grow, he decided to take that fat out as well as some from the top and back of my shoulder.

After that, it was just nap time.

Into the Room I Go and Great Fashion Sense

Now, I fully regret I didn’t ask someone to go and grab my phone so they could take a picture because I got dressed up for this operation.

For once they didn’t strip me naked, they just rolled the gown down around my waist and I got to keep the booties on my feet.  Once they dowsed me in the (ice) cold iodine alcohol solution, they got me up on the table.  That actually kind of hurt since I was right on the swollen spot on my butt.  So they got something for under my knees and I was able to roll over on a butt cheek to stay off of it.

At this point they put some yellow tinted goggles on me and wrapped a medical sheet around my head and taped it on.  The goggles were for the laser and the very fashionable head covering was to keep everything off of me.  I thought it was a little silly in the beginning, but soon I realized why they do this… not to make you look goofy.  Trust me on that…

No Wait Between Induction and Liposuction

In all my previous liposuction procedures, my surgeon would fill the area with tumescent fluid and then leave me for 20-30 minutes.  This time he filled up my left arm, then right, then went to immediately start liposuction on the left arm.  Apparently enough time passes between the two arms being filled that he’s able to start immediately.  I wouldn’t be surprised the lesser amount of fat and smaller work space also speeds up the numbing process.

So he started on one side of my left arm and was having me roll over and twist in all sorts of interesting positions.  Then he went to the right arm but it HURT.  So he filled it with some more local and went back to finish my left arm in order to let the local really soak into my right arm.

Let me tell you, the left arm was nothing.  Even with more local in my right, it still hurt like hell.  But, if you’ve stayed with me through all my surgeries you’ll notice a trend.  My right side has always hurt more than my left.  Right calf, right thigh, right butt cheek, and now right arm.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the left side of my stomach is a cake walk compared to my right (more about that later).

At some point during the liposuction portion, my surgeon and the nurse realized they had an American who couldn’t escape them.  So they started asking me about the upcoming election (seriously, being an American living overseas during a presidential election is tiring.  EVERYONE wants to know our opinion).  Since it was during my right arm I’m kind of grateful because it was a distraction.

Why They Gave Me My Fashionable Hat

The googles were supposed to be for the laser, but both the goggles and hair covering served a great purpose.  It kept fat and tumescent fluid from getting in my eyes and in my hair.  Seriously, that stuff was getting everywhere.

During infiltration there was a few times the hose popped off the cannula that was being used for infiltration and fluid went all over me.  Then there was some times during lipo where my arm was pushed over my face and all that fluid inside started leaking out.  At some point I got tumescent fluid up my nose! And at the end I found some fat globules on my hand.

So yea, I’m sad I don’t have a picture (it could have been my 2016 christmas card!) but glad I had it all on.

Finishing Up With the Laser

Once all the fat was out of my arms and my surgeon checked to make sure everything was even, came the laser.  Basically he threads the laser into what looked like a cannula of some sort and then he goes and sticks it into all of the areas to heat up the skin.  This will eventually make it all retract so that hopefully an arm lift won’t be necessary.

From how I was laying I really couldn’t see the laser in the skin, nor did I feel anything at all.  There was no heat, no stinging, nothing.  The laser part of this procedure was completely and totally 100% pain free.

Tidying Me Up and Getting Me Out the Door

After the surgeon was done, the nurses patched up the holes and put on the compression.  The compression is kind of hysterical, they take an XS Mediven Thrombexin 18 Anti-Embolism Stocking and put it on my arm, cut off the foot and cut a hole for my thumb.  I figured I’d get a good pair of arm compression sleeves the next day at my post op checkup since that seems to be when I get the good compression.  This worked, and why ruin a good pair of compression with all the leaking?

After the compression was on, they made a bolero out of the medical grade “puppy pads” , got my gown put on properly and into bed for my post op snack (I was rather disgruntled that there was no ontbijtkook (a sweet spice cake the dutch eat for breakfast).  Ah well, so be it.

Back at the Hotel 

post-op-nightThe nurses at the clinic told my husband and I to either see if the hotel needs their windows washed, or get a whole bunch of pillows to keep my arms propped up so that the tumescent liquid drains out of the punctures in the arm pits and doesn’t get the fingers all swollen.  Needless to say, I was toast (especially taking the afternoon surgery spot) and I opted for the pillows.

Arm liposuction hotel tip: get extra pillows from the hotel, and request garbage bags as well.  This way you can cover the pillows with garbage bags to keep them clean and you can build yourself a pillow empire to prop your arms up on.


As far as pain went, I totally forgot to pack my paracetamol and only had the Tramadol with me.  While pain wasn’t horrible, right before falling asleep I did pop one just so the pain didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night as the LA drained out.  And it wasn’t very far after this until I fell asleep because like I said, I was pretty tired.  Unlike with all the other surgeries, I only woke up once needing to pee and that was pretty much it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what I’m holding up and pointing at… that is one of the best damned macaroons I’ve found in Europe which is by a company called Madame Cocos.  They’re big, dense, and crispy.  My mother and husband found them at a weird fruit festival back in September, then we found Madame Cocos back in Rotterdam at the Markthall and I made my husband SWEAR that he’d get some for me so I’d have them post op.

Needless to say, there was a 3am wake up call where I was starving and I may have gotten into the macaroons….



PetraAnn was first diagnosed with Lipedema in fall 2015 after years of eating keto and exercising with no weight loss results.After diagnosis, she has gone through 8 tumescent liposuction procedures from 2016 until 2018 and on 17 December 2019 underwent an abdominoplasty to remove the remaining 3-4 liters of lippy fat and loose skin.

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8 thoughts on “Arm Liposuction Surgery (with laser assisted liposuction)

    1. All of the surgeries have been painful at some point during the procedure, and afterwards. But they haven’t been so painful that I couldn’t deal with it. In fact, with 2 out of the 5 I’ve had so far I only had to take paracetamol as a pain killer. The rest were a low dose of Tramadol with paracetamol. It’s defiantly not an easy way to get fat off your body, but when this is the last resort the way to look at it is the pain is only temporary.

  1. HI, I am new of all of this and am pretty sure I have lipedema and would love to email you pls. I am in the States. Thank you!!

  2. Hi I would love to pick your brains. I had leg surgery that i am not at all happy with and looking at options in Europe when I am visiting family. Thinking I might start with my arms as relatively small op compared to legs. What were you like a few days after arms and a week after, and say 16 days after? How long do you wear arm compression and is it 23/7 or just half the day? I am wondering if I could do my arms when I come to visit my family in UK but will have to fly back to sydney via a few days holiday in langkawi after 16 days. Not sure if this is realistic or not.. I will want to be able to join in family events while in london too, before that. thanks

    1. Hi Nicky! Thank you for commenting! I never got around to doing follow up posts for my arms, I really should go back and do those. 😉

      Out of all 6 surgeries so far, I think the arms were the easiest. For all of my surgeries, except stomach and arms, I was in the gym 2 days after liposuction. Arms I’d have been at the gym on day 2, but I unfortunately had to go to a funeral where only my closest family knew about the surgery. I was wearing a sleeveless dress and you’d think with the compression garments being very visible, people wouldn’t come up and grab me by the arms and shoulder to do the dutch 3 kisses! So that was a pretty sad and painful day. I finally had to tell my husband to get the word out the next person that touched my arms was probably going to get decked…

      I think it was on day 6 or 7 that my husband, a good friend and I drove to Krefeld, DE to go see the Finnish metal band Lordi. I had my reservations since mosh pits always break out where ever I’m standing, but it turned out aside from one person who accidentally pushed into my arm while carrying beer to his friends, all the attacks on my arm were friendly fire. My husband and friend kept wacking my arms. Mind, I knew this was a risk going to a metal concert a week after liposuction but it wasn’t bad at all.

      A little less than 2 weeks after surgery I flew (with my surgeon’s blessing) from Amsterdam to the states for my best friend’s wedding. With my compression, the flight was a non-issue. I flew about 4 weeks after my calves to Phoenix last year and had much more swelling. I also did plenty of hiking and went to the gym the 3 weeks I was at my home town.

      As for compression, I had to wear it 24/7 (except when showering) for 2 weeks and then I was allowed to ditch it. In reality, I wore it 24/7 for about 3.5 weeks since it was too uncomfortable both during daytime activities as well as sleeping without it. At around 3.5 weeks I was able to ditch it for sleeping as long as I wasn’t rolling around violently, which happens from time to time. I think there was a few nights I had to put it on in the middle of the night just because everything was too sensitive and the pulling of the skin from tossing and turning hurt.

      By the time I flew back home 3 weeks later, I wasn’t wearing compression anymore. I did put it on for the flight home, just in case there was any swelling but ended up taking it off mid flight as it wasn’t necessary.

      So yea, I do think it’s completely realistic! Although, I would suggest doing the surgery in Germany or even the Netherlands (my surgeon is in Rotterdam, which you can actually take a ferry over from Dover on) since the surgery is A LOT cheaper than in the UK. For example, arms from my surgeon is 2,750 euro (that includes laser lipo and a night at the hospital hotel) while I know the UK prices are freaking insane. To put it in perspective, for some of the quotes I’ve seen for 1 or 2 surgeries… I’ve gotten all 6 of mine for AND I can include hotel costs (I started before my surgeon offered the hospital hotel option).

      If you have any other questions, please let me know!

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