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Lake Country Plastic & Hand Surgery

The Recovery Timeline for Arm Lift Surgery

By tmccall on November 11, 2016

A woman's tricep and upper armWhen it comes to body contouring and sculpting surgery, the team at our Milwaukee plastic surgery center takes great care in providing patients with pre-op and post-op information. When patients know what to expect before and after surgery, they are more likely to experience a speedy and complication-free recovery.

With this in mind, we would like to go over the basics of healing after arm lift surgery (brachioplasty). This timeline is general, but it should give you a good idea of what to expect.

How Long Should I Take Off from Work?

When it comes to arm lift surgery, patients should generally take two to three weeks off from work. Three weeks is more likely if a patient undergoing an extended arm lift.

Keep in mind that when you return to work, you may need to refrain from performing normal job duties for a few weeks more. This is particularly the case if your job involves a lot of physical exertion, such as heavy lifting, pushing, or manual labor.

How Should I Sleep After an Arm Lift Surgery?

After arm lift surgery, patients should sleep on their backs rather than on their stomachs or on their sides. To improve comfort, patients can prop up their arms with a few pillows during sleep. This should be done for a few weeks as instructed by your surgeon.

What to Expect Immediately After Arm Lift Surgery

Immediately after an arm lift has been performed, patients will often feel groggy, nauseous, and dizzy. This is common as a person comes out from the effects of general anesthetic. A loved one should drive you home or help you home since you will be in no fit state to operate a vehicle.

The First Days After Arm Lift Surgery

In the first days after arm lift surgery, patients will experience pain and discomfort. Bruising and swelling during this time tends to be rather pronounced as well. Patients are encouraged to get ample rest, wear their compression garments and use cold compresses as directed, and to avoid strenuous physical activities. Walking around a bit is helpful, however, as this helps prevent harmful blood clots from forming in the legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis.

The First Week After Arm Lift Surgery

By the end of the first week after surgery, patients will have visited the practice again for a follow-up visit. This will be to monitor the recovery process and note any signs of complications or issues with post-surgical side effects.

By the end of the first week, patients should notice some steady improvement with pain and discomfort. By the end of the second week, patients will have noticed improvement with bruising and swelling.

The First Month After Arm Lift Surgery

At the end of a month, patients will have returned to work. Pain should be generally non-existent by this time. Bruising should have mostly faded by the end of a month, and there should be some mild swelling around the arms. This swelling may persist for several more weeks. So keep this in mind. Additional follow-up visits will have taken place during this period.

The Months Ahead: An Overview

In the months after arm lift surgery, patients will notice improvements with all symptoms, including the end of minor swelling and improved overall appearance of the arms. Scarring will be pronounced for a few months after surgery, which is to be expected after a surgical procedure. Over time, this scar will fade, though keep in mind that the fading of a surgical scar can take a year or more.

Learn More About Arm Lift Surgery

For more information about arm lift surgery and how it can help you achieve an enhanced overall appearance, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. The team at our practice is here for you.

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