Arm Reduction

This is also known as an Arm Lift, and the procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat to the inner arm area.

What Is Arm Reduction?

As we age, the skin and flesh of our upper arms begin to sag, creating a loose “bag” of skin that hangs from the lower side of the arm when the arm is extended. This condition can also occur after substantial weight loss. It can be corrected by removing skin and fatty tissue, however, the surgery will leave a noticeable scar.

As the goal for most patients is to be able to leave the arms bare, some people may not find this a satisfactory trade-off. However, for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, arm lift surgery can be an important part of restoring a balanced body shape.

What to expect from arm reduction

Should you choose arm reduction surgery, your procedure may be performed under general or local anaesthetic and you can either return home the same day or stay in hospital overnight. The procedure normally takes between one and two hours. Depending on the technique used, the scars may be placed only in the armpit, in the armpit and for a short distance on the inner part of the arm, or along the inside from elbow to armpit.

Recovery from Arm Reduction

Discomfort after arm reduction surgery is usually minimal and can be relieved by either prescription painkillers or mild analgesics like Paracetamol.

During your recovery there are several things you should know:

– Some swelling and bruising is normal and should resolve from one to four weeks approximately

– Your sutures may be dissolvable and your bandages will be removed in one week.

– You can shower in four to seven days, but in the early stages you should try to keep the dressings dry.

– Hands and wrists can swell after surgery on the arms, so when you are resting you should try to keep your arms elevated on pillows at your sides.

– Two to four postoperative visits are commonly required, but more may be needed if the scar management requires more intervention.

– During these post-operative visits, your surgeon will suggest measures you can take to control the build-up of scar tissue and minimise the visibility of your scars. These strategies include using silicone gel (cica-care or dermatix) and massage (bio-oil) for a period of several months.

– Arm movement should be reduced for a month.

Possible complications from arm reduction surgery may include infection, bleeding, lymphoedema (fluid) and excessive scarring.

Arnica tablets should reduce bruising and swelling.  These can be purchased from any CHEMIST and these should be started approximately two weeks prior to your operation and four weeks after your operation.

The stitches you have are dissolving and do not need removing. Occasionally a small piece of suture may remain and need removing.

You must keep your dressing as dry as possible until your follow up appointment.

Swelling and bruising may be severe.

Immediately after surgery there will be occasionally dramatic swelling, which means you may be alarmed that your abdomen still appears large. SEROMA will have been discussed preoperatively and may require drainage in out-patients. If you feel fluid is collecting or extreme swelling, please contact the practice. Swelling will decrease over the next 6 – 12 months.

Please bear in mind that we will endeavour to give you the abdominal reduction you desire, but it may be that to obtain the desired reduction in size, this may compromise wound healing as well as shape of the abdomen. This will have been discussed with you at your initial consultation and in your pre operative discussion on the day of surgery. The operation we have performed is to ensure a SAFE and NATURAL result.

Scarring is always an issue and hopefully your scarring will be reasonable. If scarring is an issue we will endeavor to correct this. There is usually no surgeons charge for this, but possibly a facility fee may be due however. Any corrective surgery will only be undertaken when post operative swelling settles which may be after 9 – 12 months.

At your follow up appointment you will be given further advice regarding scar massage.

These include using coconut oil or silicone gel for several months.

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