Upper arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that reshapes the upper arm by removing excess skin and fat. This might help a person who is concerned about extra skin due to weight loss or the natural ageing process.
Recovery is a vital part of the process when undergoing any surgery. It’s important to know what to expect in a recovery from brachioplasty so that you can prepare and feel ready to go ahead with your surgery.
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Stages of Recuperation Following an Upper Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) Procedure
The recovery from an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery is typically divided into several phases, each with its own set of challenges and considerations. Here is a general overview of the different recovery phases:
1. Initial Recovery Phase
This typically lasts for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. In the first few days after surgery, you will need to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. You may need to take pain medication and other medications as prescribed by your surgeon to manage any discomfort. To help reduce swelling, you may need to wear an arm compression garment and keep your arms elevated as much as possible.
You will need to care for your incisions, keeping them clean and dry to prevent infection. You should avoid exposing your incisions to sun or other elements, and they may need to use sunblock to protect their skin. It is also important to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise during this time, as this can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
Despite the challenges, the initial recovery phase is a critical time for patients, as it will set the foundation for the rest of the recovery journey. With the right care and attention, you can increase your chances of successful results.
2. Mid-Recovery Phase
The mid-recovery phase following an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery typically begins 2-4 weeks after the procedure and lasts for several more weeks. During this time, you should begin to experience a reduction in swelling and pain, and you will be able to resume some normal activities.
However, it is still important to take it easy during this time and avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Physical therapy may be recommended to help improve mobility and strength, and you will need to continue to wear an arm compression garment as directed by your surgeon.
You will also need to continue to care for the incisions, keeping them clean and dry and avoiding exposure to sun or other elements.
It is during the mid-recovery phase that you will start to see the final results of the surgery, and you will be able to get a sense of how your arms will look and feel in the months to come. This can be an exciting time, but it is important to remember that the recovery is not yet complete, and you will need to continue to follow your surgeon’s instructions.
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3. Final Recovery Phase
The final recovery phase following an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery typically lasts for several months, and it is during this time that patients will typically experience full functionality and see the final results of their procedure.
During this time, you will be able to return to normal activities, including exercise and heavy lifting, although you should still be mindful of your incisions and avoid exposing them to sun or other elements.
You should continue to follow the care instructions provided by your surgeon, as well as any recommendations for physical therapy or other treatments. It is also important to continue to monitor your incisions and report any unusual symptoms or changes to your surgeon.
Note: The length of each phase and the specific recommendations may vary based on the individual and the type of (brachioplasty) surgery they have received. This outline is meant to provide a general overview and should not replace the advice of a licensed medical professional.
5 FAQs about Upper Brachioplasty Surgery
How long will it take to fully recover from an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery?
- The length of time it takes to fully recover from brachioplasty surgery can vary depending on the individual and the extent of their procedure. Generally, patients can expect to take several weeks to several months to fully recover. During this time, patients will need to take certain precautions and avoid any strenuous activities to allow their body to heal properly. During the initial recovery phase, patients will experience swelling, pain, and bruising, which will gradually subside. Over the next several weeks, they will be able to return to normal activities, although they may need to wear an arm compression garment to reduce swelling. Patients will also need to attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor their recovery and ensure that their incisions are healing properly. They may also be required to attend physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility to their arms. It is important for patients to understand that recovery from an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery is not a quick process and that it may take several months to see the final results of their procedure.
Is there any pain involved during the recovery process?
- There may be some pain involved during the recovery process after an upper arm brachioplasty surgery. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, while others may experience more significant pain. To help manage any discomfort during the recovery process, patients may be prescribed pain medication. This medication can help to reduce pain and improve comfort levels, allowing patients to focus on their recovery. In addition to pain medication, patients may also find relief from other pain management techniques, such as ice or heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Physical therapy may also be recommended by the surgeon to help manage pain and promote healing.
What can I expect during the initial recovery phase?
- During the initial recovery phase after brachioplasty surgery, patients can expect to experience some swelling, pain, and bruising. These are normal symptoms that will gradually subside over time. In the first few days after surgery, patients will be required to wear an arm compression garment to help reduce swelling and support the arms during the healing process. They may also be required to attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor their recovery. During the initial recovery phase, patients will need to limit their physical activity and avoid any strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects or participating in high-impact sports. This will help to prevent any damage to the arms during the healing process. Patients may also experience some discomfort or pain during the initial recovery phase, which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by their surgeon or other pain management techniques, such as ice or heat therapy.
When can I return to work after an upper brachioplasty surgery?
- The length of time it takes to return to work after an upper arm lift surgery will depend on several factors, including the extent of the procedure, the patient’s individual recovery, and their job requirements. On average, patients may need to take anywhere from 7 to 14 days off work to fully recover from their procedure. However, some patients may be able to return to work sooner if their job does not involve any heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity. In these cases, patients may be able to return to work within just a few days after their procedure. Patients who have jobs that involve manual labour or heavy lifting may need to take a longer period of time off work to fully recover from their procedure. In these cases, patients may need to take up to 4 weeks off work or more to allow sufficient time for their arms to heal and for any swelling to subside. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s instructions regarding returning to work and to listen to their body during their recovery. If patients experience any discomfort or pain, they should avoid returning to work until they have fully recovered.
Will I have any visible scarring after an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery?
- Scars are a normal part of the healing process after an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) surgery. The location and extent of scarring will depend on the type of procedure performed. Most brachioplasty procedures involve incisions along the inner part of the arm, which can result in scars that are easily concealed within the natural creases of the arm. In some cases, the incisions may extend to the elbow or armpit, which can result in longer scars that may be more visible. It is important to note that while all scars will mature and fade over time, they will not disappear completely. The appearance of scars can be influenced by several factors, including the patient’s skin type, age, and genetics. To minimise the appearance of scars, it is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s instructions for wound care and to protect their incisions from sun exposure and other environmental factors that can cause hyperpigmentation.
Further Reading about Upper Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
- Read Dr Hunt’s Upper Arm Lift (brachioplasty) Surgery Page
- See Dr Hunt Before and After Upper Arm Lift (brachioplasty) Gallery
- Read Arm Lift (brachioplasty) Vs Arm Liposuction: Which Procedure Is Better for me?
Medical References about Upper Arm Brachioplasty
- What is a brachioplasty procedure? – Medical News Today
- Arm Lift brachioplasty – Mayo Clinic
- Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) – Cleveland Clinic
- Brachioplasty – NCBI
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon and a member of FRACS & ASPS. He has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
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