At Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO, we are proud to offer a number of cosmetic procedures to help our clients feel as self-confident as possible. Today, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about one of our most popular procedures: brachioplasty (arm lift).
FAQs About Arm Lifts Answered
How Long Does It Take to Recover From an Arm Lift?
Everyone’s recovery experience following an arm lift is unique. However, depending on your skin health and overall health, you can expect your recovery to be complete in around two or three weeks.
What Can I Expect During the Recovery Process?
You will need a friend or family member to drive you home following your procedure because driving within 24 hours of receiving sedation or general anesthesia is not allowed. Also, you should expect to not drive anywhere for up to 10 days post-op if you plan on taking analgesics that have the potential to cause grogginess and slow reaction times.
If you have a sedentary job, you can expect to return to work just one week after your brachioplasty. However, if your job is physically demanding, you should expect to take around two weeks off from work following your brachioplasty. Also, you should be aware that you cannot do anything within the first week of your procedure that will elevate your blood pressure.
What Activities May Increase My Blood Pressure?
You’re probably aware that vigorous exercise, including high-intensity interval training, resistance training, and strenuous cardiovascular exercises will elevate your blood pressure. Nevertheless, there are other activities that can increase your blood pressure to dangerously high levels that people rarely think about. For example, your consumption of caffeine should be limited to a fifth of a gram daily during the first seven days of your recovery period because excessive caffeine consumption can elevate your blood pressure.
Also, your consumption of sodium should not exceed three grams per day because excessive sodium can elevate your blood pressure. Alcohol and nicotine consumption can also elevate your blood pressure and slow your recovery. Additionally, your blood pressure and recovery length can increase if you are dehydrated during your recovery period. Therefore, you should make a point to drink at least half a gallon of hydrating fluids daily.
Do I Have to Give Up Resistance Training Completely?
No, you don’t have to give up resistance training completely. However, you must take care to not engage in vigorous resistance training. During the first seven days following your procedure, you may not lift anything over five pounds. You may not lift anything that weighs over 10 pounds in the second week following your procedure. In the third week following your procedure, lifting anything over 15 pounds is off the table.
Note, in addition to very light resistance training, moderate cardiovascular activity is permissible. In fact, it is a good idea to walk for at least 30 minutes daily during your recovery period to increase circulation. The more your blood circulates throughout your body, the more nutrients and growth factors make their way to your arms to facilitate efficient healing.
An Additional Note
Particularly if you receive general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during your procedure, you may feel particularly tired for up to 72 hours post-op. If you don’t feel up to walking for 30 minutes at a time in the early stages of your recovery, feel free to take three 10-minute walks at a moderate pace.
How Can I Speed Up My Recovery Process?
There are a number of steps you can take to make your recovery finish faster. Some are crucial while others should be lower on your priority list. For example, you must avoid tobacco consumption for 42 days before your procedure and 42 days after your procedure. Also, you must not consume alcohol for 10 days before your procedure or 10 days after your procedure. Nevertheless, there are some guidelines you can follow that will result in a smoother, swifter recovery.
For example, your recovery will go smoother if you prepare a recovery room in your home before you come in for your arm lift. This room should be set up with relaxing entertainment and water bottles that are easy to drink out of. Also, you should have all of your medications in your recovery room so you can easily take them as directed.
What Medications Should Be in Your Recovery Room
You should fill your prescription for your post-op antibiotics before you come in for your procedure. The full course of antibiotics must be taken exactly as prescribed regardless of how you feel because they are for infection prevention. You also may want to have analgesics in your recovery room.
Just keep in mind that you should not take blood thinners for several days after your procedure. Also, you need to consider that you can’t drive within 24 hours of taking certain analgesics due to the risk of you becoming drowsy at the wheel.
What Should I Eat After My Procedure?
After your procedure, you should focus on getting lots of soluble fiber and bioavailable protein in your diet. Be aware, eating insoluble fiber is perfectly fine following your brachioplasty. However, people often find soluble fiber to be far more important than insoluble fiber because the former helps to improve the function of prescription analgesics.
It’s almost impossible to advise you on specific foods to eat post-op without a solid understanding of your dietary restrictions. Nevertheless, we can advise you that great sources of both bioavailable protein and soluble fiber include:
- Brown rice
What Should My Post-Op Fluid Intake Be?
It is usually advisable to drink around a gallon of water every day while you are recovering from your brachioplasty. If you find yourself failing to drink a gallon of water daily, make a considerable effort to consume foods that are high in water. For example, you can benefit greatly from eating a broth-based soup that includes carrots, tomatoes, and cabbage.
You can also snack on carrots and celery to get you closer to your hydration needs. Also, be advised that water isn’t the only beverage that will help you reach your hydration goals. You will also hydrate your body if you drink sparkling water, coffee, or tea. It is untrue that there is so much caffeine in tea or coffee that a diuretic effect occurs.
How Long Does This Procedure Take?
Typically, brachioplasty only takes around three to four hours to complete. However, it is usually performed under general anesthesia, so you won’t realize any time has passed at all. When you wake up, excess skin and a small amount of excess fat will be gone, your remaining skin will be tight and smooth, and your triceps will be more defined.
Will I Have to Spend the Night in a Hospital?
No, you will not have to spend the night in a hospital following your brachioplasty. This is an outpatient procedure, so you will be free to return home once we have completed your operation. Just remember that you will not be allowed to drive within 24 hours of receiving general anesthesia. Therefore, you will need a loved one to drive you home.
Also, you should be aware that we will observe you for a brief period following your procedure to ensure you are waking up from your anesthesia normally. Finally, you should be aware that we will review your post-operative care guidelines before you go home. If you have any questions during your recovery process, feel free to call us. We are more than happy to answer all of your questions at any point during your journey to achieving your ideal contours.
Discover Today How You Can Achieve Your Sleek, Strong Arms
Are you over feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your arms? Do you have excess skin detracting from the weight loss you worked so hard for? Are you ready to finally have arms you can be proud of? If so, contact us today at Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO to schedule your initial arm lift consultation.
This outpatient procedure doesn’t take long and recovery is generally complete within two to three weeks. It is absolutely worth feeling self-confident in any top or dress for the rest of your life. We look forward to meeting you soon and helping you sculpt your ideal contours so you can feel as self-confident as you deserve to feel.