Overview of the surgery:
Brachioplasty, also known as arm lift reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. Good candidates are those individuals who may have sagging upper arms due to the effects of aging and weight loss.
During the surgical procedures, medications are administered. It includes either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Incisions are placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm extending from the axilla (underarm) to the elbow, depending on the location and amount of excess skin to be removed as well as the surgeon’s preference. Then, tissues are tightened and reshaped with sutures resulting in a smoother and shapely upper arm. The incisions will then be closed with absorbable or non- absorbable stitches.
Duration of the operation:
The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours
Post operative care:
Following your surgery, you may feel some mild discomfort and the surgeon will prescribe pain medications to alleviate pain.
Dressings will be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
Swelling peaks two to three days after your arm lift typically disappear within two weeks. Elevating your arm with pillows can help reduce swelling and increase comfort during recovery.
Dressings are typically applied to the incision. Many of the stitches will dissolve, but those that are not self-absorbing are usually removed within a week. Your surgeon may prescribe a compression garment to allow the skin to adhere to underlying tissues.
You can shower one week after the procedure, and most people can go back to work two to three weeks after the procedure. Your surgeon will likely tell you to avoid any strenuous exercise for one month, and to avoid heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Individual instructions vary.
Possible risks and complications:
With every medical procedure there is a possibility of complications, which can cause a longer recovery period. Arm lift risks include: Infection, hematoma, anesthesia risks, loss of sensation, scarring, swelling of the hands, Seromas (fluid filled masses along the incision line).
The procedure uses general anesthesia or sedation
It depends on your preferences as well as your surgeon’s. Arm lift can be performed on an out patient basis, in the hospital, or in an ambulatory surgical suite.
Preparation before surgery:
- Assessment of the medical history (any allergies, serious medical condition and all medications taken both prescribed and non-prescribed), physical examination, and laboratory tests will be performed during consultation.
- Blood and urine samples will be collected for routine preoperative laboratory tests.
- Smoking must be avoided for about 3-4 weeks prior to surgery, as nicotine interferes with circulation and will greatly affect healing process.
- You will likely to be asked to stop drinking alcohol, a week before the surgery and throughout your recovery period.
- Avoid taking any medications such as hormones, anticoagulants, anabolic steroids and supplements at least 4-6 weeks to prevent complicating medical factors prior to surgery. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
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