A brachioplasty, usually called an arm lift, is an excellent solution to improve the appearance of the arms. If you have excess skin and fat in this area, this procedure will remove it, leaving a tighter contour. Yet, while this surgery is very effective, it’s critical to follow certain precautions afterward. Your surgeon will tell you what to do and what to avoid after your procedure. You must pay close attention and adhere to their instructions. One instruction they will give is to avoid raising your arms over your head immediately after the surgery.
What Does an Arm Lift Involve?
An arm lift is an effective cosmetic surgery procedure to eliminate excess skin and fat from the arm. It is quite an invasive procedure that surgeons carry out with the patient under a general anesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision along the underside of the upper arm. A skilled surgeon will do everything possible to hide the incision as far as possible to minimize noticeable scarring. They will then cut away the excess fat and skin and drape the remaining skin to create a pleasing contour. Finally, they will suture the skin back in place. The final result is a tighter, slimmer-looking upper arm.
Why Must I Be Careful When Moving My Arms After Surgery?
During arm lifts, the surgeon removes skin and fat, placing incisions to hold the arm’s new contours in place. If the patient doesn’t take care after the surgery, the incisions can burst. That can result in pain and the possibility of infection, and a greater chance of noticeable scarring. The incisions need time to heal, so resting the arms is vital. Avoid raising your arms over your head, lifting anything heavy, and moving vigorously after this surgery.
Also Read – What Do I Need to Know About Having an Arm Lift?
How Long Does It Take to Recover From an Arm Lift?
The recovery process after an arm lift will take around six months overall. The final outcome is usually visible six months after your surgery. However, within a couple of months you’ll notice your arms starting to feel better.
Immediately after your procedure, you’ll have some pain, swelling, and bruising. You may find it difficult and uncomfortable to move your arms at first. You should take a couple of days post-surgery to rest and recuperate. Make sure to stay well-hydrated and take any painkillers your surgeon prescribes. After a few days, you can start doing some gentle exercises, but avoid moving your arms vigorously. Gentle exercise will help to boost your blood flow and promote effective healing.
During your recovery, you must follow all your surgeon’s instructions carefully. You must wear your compression garment as prescribed and attend your follow-up appointments. Your surgeon will advise you about when to return to work and start exercising again. They will certainly tell you to avoid swimming, bathing, heavy lifting, and raising your arms over your head. It’ll take at least six weeks after surgery before your surgeon agrees to you returning to all your normal activities.
What Are the Signs That Raising My Arms is Safe?
You should always wait for your surgeon to give you the green light to raise your arms after your surgery. Nevertheless, there are certain signs to look out for that show healing and recovery are going well. These signs include:
- Reduced swelling
- No pain
- Healed incisions
- Improved arm strength
- A greater range of movement in the arms
Even if you notice these signs, you still shouldn’t take any risks. Always consult your surgeon first before trying any rigorous new movements.
Returning to Arm Movement
After an arm lift, it’s essential to return to normal arm movement gradually. The first couple of days after your procedure should involve no significant arm movements at all. After a few days, you should start with some gentle stretching. Your level of arm movement can then increase gradually over time while avoiding any excessive and sudden strains. You should always avoid carrying anything immediately after your surgery. You can start to lift light items after a couple of weeks. You must avoid any heavy lifting until your surgeon advises you that it’s safe. In all cases, it’s crucial that you listen to your body and don’t push yourself past the point of comfort. You don’t want to take any action that could negatively affect your recovery and the outcome of your surgery.
A good surgeon will always advise you when to raise your arms after your arm lift. They will give you a program of movement that you can follow. They will also give you checkups after surgery to check your healing. You must attend these appointments so that your surgeon can keep a close eye on your progress.
If you’re considering an arm lift, get in touch with the ArtLipo team to learn more and arrange a consultation.
Dr. Thomas Su, is the owner and cosmetic surgeon of Artistic Lipo. He has led our full-time clinic specializing in awake-only liposuction since 2007. Dr. Su began his medical career in internal medicine, practicing that until 2005, when he began to provide a full spectrum of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.