Arm Lift

Arm Lift

What is an Arm Lift?

Arm Lift, also known as brachiaplasty, is one of the fastest growing procedures in the US.  A brachioplasty minimizes excess fat and skin in the arm and armpit areas. An arm lift creates  a more athletic, toned, and youthful appearance to your upper arm extremity by removing the excess skin and fat that obscures the detail of the underlying muscles.

Types of Arm Lifts

There are a number of different types of incisions that may be utilized to achieve an arm lift. The type of incision that Dr. Durkin will use depends on the clinical presenation and fat that is preset in your arms prior to surgery. Currently there are no effective nonsurgical approaches to armlifting. However, an effective training regiment consisting of cardiovascular, weights, and resistance training can prevent the need for an arm lift. Patients, however, who have already developed excess skin and fat can not reverse the effect with exercise alone.

There are a number of different approaches to brachioplasty. The most common approach places an incision along the the medial (inner) most portion of the arm close to the biceps muscle. This incision however, we have found can be noticeable. Therefore, Dr. Durkin has adapted our technique to the inferior aspect of the arm. By placing the incision inferiorly, it optimizes his ability to hide the scar without comprising the amount of skin and fat to be removed. As well, this incision can be extended into the armpit region to tighten up that problematic area as well.  When the incision is carried into the arpit it is termed “extended brachioplasty”. An extended brachioplasty will tone the arms and shoulder. It can also be extended down to include the lateral contour of the chest.

Another type of arm lift approach is through a transverse incision to the armpit itself. This mimimally invasive approach is an outstanding option for men and women who have good fascia tone, muscle mass, with minimal to moderate skin redundancy. At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, Dr. Durkin’s arm lift technique provides you with a comprehensive approach to upper arm rejuvenation.

All of your consultations, pre-operative appointments, surgery, and post-operative appointments are performed at our Vero Beach office. At the time of your procedure Dr. Durkin, marks you in the standing position. You will discuss and come to a mutual agreement on the length, and position of your incision. Subsequently at our surgery center, you are taken to the operating room where our anesthesiologist will cater to your comfort and safety. The actual procedure takes approximately 2 hours but, you will also have time ample time for post-operative recovery. Your arm lift begins with infusion of tumescent solution followed by comprehensive liposuction of the upper extremity. Dr. Durkin removes all available excess skin and fat as agreed to prior to your surgery. He then closes your wound in 3 layers. Surgical drains are used sparingly (rarely used).

Postoperatively, you can expect minimal to some discomfort in your arms and experience a quick recovery. Most patients return to normal activities within 5-7 days. After your surgery, you may receive additional skincare, fractional laser resurfacing, and/or silicone sheeting. All of these post-surgical modulators are available at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery and will be discussed at your consultation.

Before

Brachioplasty Before
Brachioplasty Before

After

Brachioplasty After
Brachioplasty After

Before

Brachioplasty Before
Brachioplasty Before

After

Brachioplasty After
Brachioplasty After

Before

Brachioplasty Before
Brachioplasty Before

After

Brachioplasty After
Brachioplasty After

Before

Brachioplasty Before
Brachioplasty Before

After

Brachioplasty After
Brachioplasty After

Post Op Instruction

Swelling

Every operation, no matter how minor, is accompanied by swelling of the surrounding tissues. The amount varies from minimal to extensive. Sometimes the swelling becomes a little greater 48 hours after your operation and will gradually decrease. Wearing the ace wraps will help control this swelling.

 

Care of the Surgical Site

You will be discharged with ace wraps around both arms for compression. Please wear these wraps at all times. Only remove them to shower when told to do so. You will wear the wraps for 1-2 weeks, or as prescribed by Dr. Durkin.

You may be discharged with drains. It is important to remember to keep them secure as you do not want to have these accidently pulled out. You will need to empty the collection reservoirs at least twice a day or when they become full. You will be given instructions and shown how to empty the drains by the nurse prior to discharge. You will receive a log to write down the amount of output for each drain. Please bring this log with you to your appointments.

An antibiotic has been given to you. Please start the antibiotic the day after surgery and continued until gone. Under no circumstances should ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, or medications containing aspirin or salicylates or ibuprofen, be taken without first consulting us.

Medication Instructions

Every post-op patient will recieve the following four meds which may be adjusted due to medication allergies etc.

  • Antibiotic to start the following day aftersurgery
  • Muscle relaxer typically this is Diazepan.Take one tablet every 12 hours as needed. Please take this one hour apart from your pain medication. This can be sedative do not drive while taking.
  • Pain medication to be taken with food you may start once you get home after surgery. We advise you to take a stool softner as your pain medication may cause constipation. You may alternatively take Tylenol if you chose. DO NOT take IBUPROFEN or ASPRIN.
  • You are given a packet of Ondansetron for nausea. this is to take only as needed. Once every 8 hours. If symptoms do not resolve contact office.

 

Pain

You will receive a prescribed pain medication and it can often cause sensations of light-headedness or sleepiness, particularly in the immediate post- operative period. Under no circumstances should ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, or medications containing aspirin or salicylates or ibuprofen, be taken without first consulting us. If the pain is severe and the prescribed pain medication is not helping, please do not increase the recommended dosage or supplement with your own medications. Notify our office and we will evaluate the next step in controlling your pain. You may want to purchase a stool softener such as Colace or Ducolox and use it on a daily basis. Pain medication can cause constipation and you want to avoid any straining.

 

Diet

A normal diet is permissible providing there is no nausea. The night of your surgery you may feel nauseated. We have provided you with anti-nausea medication. You can take the medication and only take a few ounces of clear fluids until the nausea passes. Please no drinking of alcohol for the first 3 weeks and/or while taking the pain medication and the anti-anxiety medication. Alcohol may raise the blood pressure and initiate bleeding and swelling.

 

Activity

You will have restricted activity and exercise for the first 4 weeks after your surgery. For the first week do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds. After the first week, you will be limited to lifting nothing greater than 10 pounds (approx. a gallon of milk) for a total of 2 weeks. Depending on your healing, Dr. Durkin will determine when to increase your level of activity. Please wear the white stockings that we gave you until you are up and around most of the day. These stockings prevent blood clots from forming in your legs while you are recovering. We will inform you as to when you will be able to get back to a regular exercise routine.

 

Returning to Work and Social Activities

When you should return to work depends on the amount of physical activity and public contact your job involves. The average patient may return to work or go out socially 2-3 weeks after surgery. Do not drive until you are given permission from Dr. Durkin.

Finally

A normal diet is permissible providing there is no nausea. The night of your surgery you may feel nauseated. We have provided you with anti-nausea medication. You can take the medication and only take a few ounces of clear fluids until the nausea passes. Please no drinking of alcohol for the first 3 weeks and/or while taking the pain medication and the anti-anxiety medication. Alcohol may raise the blood pressure and initiate bleeding and swelling.

 

Activity

You will have restricted activity and exercise for the first 4 weeks after your surgery. For the first week do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds. After the first week, you will be limited to lifting nothing greater than 10 pounds (approx. a gallon of milk) for a total of 2 weeks. Depending on your healing, Dr. Durkin will determine when to increase your level of activity. Please wear the white stockings that we gave you until you are up and around most of the day. These stockings prevent blood clots from forming in your legs while you are recovering. We will inform you as to when you will be able to get back to a regular exercise routine.

Returning to Work and Social Activities

When you should return to work depends on the amount of physical activity and public contact your job involves. The average patient may return to work or go out socially 2-3 weeks after surgery. Do not drive until you are given permission from Dr. Durkin.

Remember these things:

  1. You will need a responsible adult to drive you home and remain with you for 24 hours after your procedure.
  2. You must wear the ace wraps at all times except when showering
  3. No driving until released to do so by Dr. Durkin
  4. Restrict your lifting to 5 lbs. for the first week.Then you may increase lifting to 10 lbs. for 2 weeks following. Dr. Durkin will increase your activity level as you heal.
  5. Under no circumstances should ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, or medications containing aspirin or salicylates or ibuprofen, be taken without first consulting us.

6. Report…
(a) Temperature elevation
(b) Sudden swelling or discoloration
(c) Discharge from wound or other evidence of infection
(d) Bleeding
(e) Development of any drug reaction

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the office at (772) 234.3700. If you have an emergency after regular office hours, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room.

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