Arm Lift Surgery: Patient Healing and Recovery By Oren Zvi Lerman, M.D. on November 09, 2017

A woman checking the flab under her armAn arm lift surgery (brachioplasty) can make a major difference when it comes to your appearance. Patients who undergo this body contouring procedure at our Manhattan practice experience the benefits of having toned, trim upper arms without sagging or flabby skin hanging low.

For the best results, patients need to follow their surgeon's instructions for post-operative care. Below is a brief rundown of what patients can expect from the recovery and healing process.

How Much Time Should I Take Off from Work?

For an arm lift, patients will want to take at least a week to two weeks off from work. The nature of your job and your job duties will determine the appropriate amount of time. Even when you return to work, you may want to avoid performing certain duties that involve heavy lifting or reaching high above your head. During a consultation, we can discuss these matters and offer an activity timeline for your job.

What to Expect After an Arm Lift Is Performed

After an arm lift, patients can expect to feel groggy and tired. This is common as the general anesthetic wears off. Patients should get ample rest after their surgery, sitting in bed with their back propped up by pillows. Patients should avoid lying on their side so their arms can heal properly.

Common Side Effects Following Surgery

The following side effects are common after an arm lift is performed:

  • Pain and Discomfort – Pain is to be expected after any sort of surgery, though it abates steadily as patients continue to heal. Prescription pain medications can be taken as directed to manage the pain, with over-the-counter medications as a supplement as the soreness eases in the days ahead.

  • Bruising – Bruising occurs after any sort of trauma or injury, including surgical procedures. Major bruising will be visible for the first two weeks, with additional minor bruising and discoloration persisting for another two to three weeks afterwards.

  • Swelling – Swelling can be quite pronounced after undergoing a surgical procedure. Generally, major swelling lasts for about two weeks, with some mild swelling lasting for another two weeks after that. Very minor swelling may persist for a few weeks more as patients heal.

  • Numbness and Tingling – Numbness and sensitivity around the incision sites is common given the way skin and nerves respond to surgery. These sensations should be less of an issue as the weeks and months go by, becoming a non-issue when patients make a full recovery.

Walk to Promote Circulation

While resting is important as you heal, patients are encouraged to walk for a little bit each day in the weeks after surgery. This helps prevent blood clots from forming and allows patients to get some non-strenuous exercise in as they ease back into normal daily activities.

Your First Follow-up Visit

Patients will have the first of a few follow-up visits by the end of the first week or so. These follow-ups will help monitor the patient's healing progress. Be sure to attend all visits as scheduled to ensure you get the attention you deserve from your surgeon.

Scarring After Arm Lift Surgery

Scarring is a reality after any surgical procedure. All efforts will be made to minimize the size of the incisions during an arm lift. Scars will tend to be most visible in the first weeks after surgery, though they will fade month to month and in the years ahead. The arm lift scars can be concealed by many shirts, blouses, tops, and sleeved garments.

Learn More About Arm Lift Surgery

For more information about arm lift surgery and how it can help you experience improved health and wellness, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon today. We will offer our expertise to help you look and feel your very best.

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Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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