Arm lift recovery can be seamless if appropriate precautions are taken to avoid unnecessary side effects including:
- Incision line healing compromised
- Postoperative swelling
- Inner arm pain
Incision line compromise will occur if the incision line is too tight following repair. This side effect occurs if over aggressive excision of the redundant skin is completed. When skin line repair tightening is observed, the incision line healing is compromised. In some cases, the incision line will actually separate sporadically thus resulting in prolonged arm lift recovery. This can mean a delay to return to full physical activity such as going to the gym or participating in outdoor activities.
Another concern of making incision lines too tight is prolonged incision line prominence resulting in an unsightly scar. Arm lift recovery is not officially over until contour and incision line healing has been optimized. Postoperative swelling can also become observed if inadvertent injury to superficial veins occurs during surgery or if appropriate compression garments are not applied immediately following surgery. Integral to performing upper arm lift is the use of liposuction to remove the fat.
After fat removal with either Renuvion technology and/or skin excision, i.e. brachioplasty, skin tightening is achieved. When excising the skin, it is critical to avoid inadvertent injury to the superficial veins in the arm such as the basilica or cephalic veins. As such, the use of liposuction will result not only in removal of the fat but also in hydrodissecting the vital structures such as nerves and vessels out of the way. In this manner hydrodissection avoid prolonged swelling caused by injured superficial veins. Optimizing postoperative compression garments is also a critical tool to minimizing postoperative swelling. Proper compression garments positioned from the wrist to the shoulder is critical to avoiding what we call the tourniquet effect that is caused by compression garments being positioned and limited to the proximal arm. This results in the superficial vein flow becoming constricted as observed by swelling of the forearm an, wrist, and hands. If not caught early, it will delay ultimate resolution of swelling that typically requires only two weeks.
Inner arm pain is another side effect that occurs when irritation of a sensory nerve occurs during excision of redundant skin. The nerve most often injured is called the antebrachial nerve and it travels on the inner aspect of the nerve. Similar to its protective effects against the superficial veins. liposuction allows not only for the removal of the excess fat but also for hydrodissection of this nerve away from injury. If this nerve is injured, patients can have early postoperative pain which will compromise arm lift recovery.
In summary, with meticulous intraoperative maneuvers and postoperative precautions a smooth and quick arm lift recovery can be assured.
Please enjoy this 50 year old female who was able to return to work with only a one week arm lift recovery