Also known as brachioplasty, arm lift surgery is a procedure that aims to improve the contour of certain areas of the armpit and the upper arms which have deformed due to rapid weight loss or due to the deposition of too much fat. Because of the many benefits it can offer, many would love to undergo one. However, the worry is how to recover from the procedure. Here are important things to remember along this line.
Taking Care of Your Dressings
Once this form of body plastic surgery is done, a gauze will be wrapped around your arm. This should stay at least 36 hours before it can be removed. Make sure that you leave the steristrips on the incisions. You can take a shower after removing your dressings but make sure you pat the area dry after. Steristrips will fall off by themselves a week after they have been placed. In case they do not, you can remove them. There will be sutures left on the incision site and these ones will fall by themselves too or can be removed when you visit your surgeon for your follow-up.
As mentioned awhile back, you can take a shower 36 hours or 3 days after the surgery. Make sure that you take showers for one month and never submerge yourself in a bath tub or Jacuzzi. You are not allowed to swim until after one month following the procedure.
Exercises and Other Activities
It will be best to take a rest and lay in bed after the surgery. Once you get home, you can walk around the house for twice a day. Make sure that you do not do household chores or lift anything heavy. You will not be allowed to drive for at least 36 hours especially when you are under pain medication. A week after the surgery, you will be allowed to engage in some physical activities including walking outside, or on a treadmill, or on an elliptical at low speed.
Take note that you may get tired easily a month after the surgery and you may need more rest than usual. Do not worry because you can resume your regular exercise a month after or depending on what your body says. If it still hurts moving your arms then you should not yet return to your regular chores.
Eating and Drinking
You will only be allowed to eat soups, rice, sandwiches or soft foods in small quantities right after the surgery. This is to prevent nausea. Bloating may also be a concern which will make you weigh more once you tip the scale. You can resume to your normal diet if you feel you are ready to take it. Usually it takes three days before shifting back to the normal foods you eat. Alcohol intake is not allowed at least two weeks after undergoing the surgery.
Dealing with Swelling and Pain
It is totally normal to observe some swelling or unevenness on the arms up to six weeks after the surgery. You can relieve yourself from pain by using bags of frozen corns or peas for the first few days. You may observe that one arm may be bigger or more swollen than the other. Taking pain medications or muscle relaxants for the first week will be recommended but only as needed.
There are yet other things to watch out for if you want to recover from an arm lift surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions that you must follow.
This article was not written by Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D and may not represent his views. To talk to Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D. please contact the office directly.