A Quick Look At Recovering From Arm Lift Surgery

Posted on: 28 June 2018

If you have sagging skin under your arms, you might be embarrassed to wear sleeveless tops. It can be uncomfortable to keep your arms hidden in hot weather, and if you have to hide your arms, it limits the type of clothing you can wear. An arm lift could be the solution. This surgery removes excess fat and extra skin so your arms are tight and have a more toned appearance. An arm lift can change the appearance of your arms in a way that can't be achieved through exercise. Here are a few things to know about recovering from this surgery.

You'll Go Home With Medications

An arm lift is usually done as an outpatient procedure. You might have general anesthesia or a local anesthetic with a sedative. The injected anesthetic helps ward off pain during your initial recovery, but you'll probably need to take prescription pain relievers as well. Within a few days, your pain should be managed well enough that you can switch to over-the-counter pain relievers.

Your doctor might also provide muscle relaxants for you to take. These also help control pain and they might help you sleep easier at night. Sleeping may be difficult for several days since you'll need to sleep in an elevated position such as in a recliner, and the relaxants may reduce twinges of pain so you can relax and sleep in an unusual position. In addition, you'll probably have to take antibiotics to prevent an infection in your incision.

Your Activities Are Limited

You should have help right after the surgery because of the effect of the sedative medication and because the use of your arms will be limited. You won't be able to lift your arms over your head or pick up heavy objects. Your goal is to restrict activity so the incision will heal without splitting or stretching open. However, you don't have to stay sedentary. Once the effects of the surgery have worn off, you should begin gentle exercise such as walking that doesn't involve the use of your arms.

You'll have follow-up visits with your doctor and during that time, he or she will discuss your progress and let you know when you can resume full activities. It will probably be several days before you can drive and several weeks before you can resume your normal lifestyle.

You'll Need To Care For Your Incision

For several days after the surgery, your arms will be swollen. You might have drains installed to collect fluid and blood so they don't build up under the skin. You'll also wear bandages or a compression garment that controls swelling. You'll probably have to wait a few days before you can shower and it might be a few weeks before you can swim or take a tub bath.

Protecting the incision is important so it doesn't split or become infected. The stitches holding it closed will probably dissolve on their own or your doctor will remove them. You'll want to protect the incision from sunlight so the scar will be less visible once you've healed. Your doctor may also give you ointment to help the healing process and limit scar formation.

Although recovering from an arm lift seems like an ordeal, the toughest part is usually over within several days. It might take several weeks for all the swelling to go away and for sensation to return to normal in your arms, but once you see the new shape of your arms, the surgery and recovery will seem well worth it.  

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