Make Your Surgeon Do the Heavy Lifting: Recovering From Brachioplasty
If you’re in the process of deciding whether or not to have an arm lift, there are so many factors to consider. One of the main aspects of your decision should be focused around the recovery time. The recovery time is actually just as important to your outcome as the surgery itself. Obviously, you should talk with your plastic surgeon about the specifics and how the surgery will affect you personally, but here are some things almost every surgeon will tell you about recovering from brachioplasty.
There will obviously be some pain after your surgery. After all, your arm was just cut open, part of it removed, and then sown back together! However, most people consider the pain to be very liveable. In addition, the anesthesiologist will often give you an extra injection in your arm while you are sedated to help with the after pain.
Your doctor will give you painkillers to help for the first few days, as well as antibiotics. Make sure to take these regularly, and only these medications. If you want to take some other medicine, consult with your doctor beforehand, as they may slow the healing process or have very serious negative side effects with your post-surgery body or other medications.
Perhaps the grossest part of your recovery are the drains. Although they are not always put in, they are usually added, as they are a great way to rid your body of excess blood or fluid that gathers in the surgery region. This helps prevent infections. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to properly deal with these drains.
The surgery will leave a long scar on the inside of your arm. It will usually reach from the armpit to the elbow. Ask your doctor about silicone patches or creams that can help reduce scarring. You should also be wearing compression garments. These promote healing by putting pressure on your arm, which minimizes post-surgery swelling, improves blood circulation, and can even help with scarring. Usually the scarring starts to go down in about 6 months.
If you carefully follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon, you should be up and about in no time. Recovery usually takes about a week to return to normal activity, including driving and desk jobs. However, you should refrain from heavy lifting or exercise for about a month, and your full arm movement will be limited for a few weeks.