Get Beautiful Contoured Arms
Loose skin on your upper arms just doesn’t look unattractive, it can also be uncomfortable and make finding attractive clothes a struggle. An upper arm lift tightens skin and reduces the appearance of fat providing a firmer, more toned upper arm appearance through cosmetic surgery.
What Do I Need to Know?
Most patients undergo general anesthesia during the upper arm lift surgery. An incision is made in the inside part of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. Through this incision, your surgeon is able to eliminate excess skin, tighten skin and muscle and remove excess fat. The incision is then closed with sutures and a pressure garment, made of an elastic material, is placed on the arms and worn to help reduce swelling. Liposuction is often used in conjunction with arm lifts to help reduce some fat and provide better contour.
Some surgeons will use a small incision in the armpit and pull much of the excess skin up toward the underarm. This procedure is referred to as the “inner arm tuck” and can avoid the incision made from the elbow down to the armpit. There can be drawbacks to this technique, however, if the incision area doesn’t heal well within the armpit.
Am I a Candidate?
The best candidates for an upper arm life procedure have a desire for a more youthful appearance of their arms. Patients should be in good physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about the results they may expect from the procedure.
How Will I Look and Feel Afterward?
You will have mild to moderate discomfort during the first few days after surgery and will need some assistance. You will be required to wear an elastic support garment or wrap to compress and reduce swelling as well as to reinforce the new arm shape. The compression garment is typically worn for up to two weeks.
Sutures are usually under the skin, dissolving on their own. We use optimal suturing techniques to achieve the best possible results. Although swelling is apparent, most patients will be ready to return to work within two weeks.
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1. If you are a smoker, you should stop completely. This will help to avoid respiratory complications and to improve circulation to the surgical areas.
2. Abstain from taking aspirin, aspirin containing products, or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.
3. Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to your surgery.
4. Do not eat or drink after midnight the day of your surgery. If you must take medications on the day of surgery, you may take them with a small sip of water.
5. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home after surgery. Please make arrangements for a family member or friend to pick you up.
6. Do not apply any body lotions, creams, antiperspirants, hair treatments, or make up on the day of surgery.
Abstain from taking aspirin, aspirin containing products, or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents immediately and following your surgery unless instructed otherwise.
Do not take pain medications on an empty stomach. This may make you nauseated.
Opioid pain medications (Codeine, Viocodin, Percocet, Darvocet, Norco, Hydrocodone, etc.) can cause constipation. Use a stool softener or gentle laxative (MiraLax or Dulcolax) if you experience this. Notify your physician if your constipation does not resolve.
Pain medications and antibiotics are usually prescribed. If they are not prescribed to you please call the office and confirm.
If you are a smoker, you should abstain from smoking immediately. This will help to avoid respiratory complications and improve circulation to the surgical areas.
Avoid alcoholic beverages until advised by your physician.
Drink plenty of fluids after surgery for the first 3-4 days. Avoid caffeinated, sugar or carbonate beverages or drinks.
Unless otherwise instructed, consume only liquids the evening after your surgery. You may then slowly advance your diet the following day to soft and bland foods i.e. mashed potatoes, over-cooked pasta, eggs, etc. It is suggested to stay away from dairy products for 3-4 days.
Keep your arms straight or slightly bent with several pillows the first week of surgery. Your arms should be above your chest level.
Do not stretch or elevate your upper arms above the level of your shoulder until cleared so undue tension is not placed on the incisions.
Walking is important to help with leg circulation and should be increased gradually each day as tolerated.
Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until cleared. Generally no strenuous activity, no lifting greater than a gallon of milk, no vigorous activity, or sex for six weeks. If all has healed well you will be cleared to resume light exercises after 6 weeks.
Deep breathing and coughing is encouraged. Holding a pillow firmly against your abdomen may help reduce discomfort.
You will not be allowed to drive until cleared.
You may have drains coming from each arm. Please measure and empty the drains and record the time and date. If drainage is more that 50ml per hour please notify the doctor or 911 immediately.
You will be instructed to record the drainage from each drain in the 24 hours prior to your first follow up visit.
Drainage usually decreases gradually each day. It is not unusual to have a small amount of drainage around the drain sites or your incision.
The drains will be removed when drainage slows. The amount of time varies from patient to patient. It may stay in for several weeks depending on the output.
If the drain comes out by accident please notify us immediately.
Do not shower until cleared by your physician. After you are cleared it is permitted for soap and water to come in contact with your incisions and drains.
Obtain assistance when showering so you do not fall and get hurt.
Do not immerse yourself a tub, Jacuzzi, or pool until cleared. This is not permitted for at least 6 weeks and possibly longer depending on the incisions being completely healed.
Sleeping on a towel for the first few days may help prevent soilage of your bedding as a result of normal oozing from your incisions and drains.
Do not apply any body lotions, creams, vitamin K, or other skin treatments to your incisions until advised.
Bruising, Oozing, Swelling, Emotional ups and downs, Numbness, Itching, and Discomfort
Make your follow-up appointment by calling the office. If a follow-up appointment is not made for you please go ahead and make one for the day after surgery, 1 week after surgery and weekly while incisions have not healed correctly, or drains are in place.