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A Tale of Two Arm Lifts (rs & ms.sss)



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So I haven't worn my Abdominal binder in 3 days cuz all 3 of my binders were in the wash and I have been on a super lazy streak and hadn't folded and put away the clean laundry in the basket in those 3 days.

I noticed this morning that the swelling on my lower abdomen had reduced significantly.

HOWEVER.

My waistline has INCREASED signifiantly!!! It is back up to +3" from pre-op. WTF?

I guess the swelling moved from my lower abdomen upwards and across???

I'm not sure what I hate more, 3 month preggo look, or thick waistline. Le Sigh.

Arg...so I put the binder back on anyway since I got my lazy a$$ of the couch and finally put the laundry away.

I am really so over this recovery phase.

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Another short novel...My 2 Month Post Op Update:
** Man, sometimes if feels like its been more like 6 months...


P.S. Re: Pictures: My surgeon will be taking pics of me at the 2 month follow up appt tomorrow, will see if I will post those, or take some myself...will decide later.

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Ugh @ms.sss, you've had it rough.

Where are the open wounds, TT or BL?

So weird about the sutures. I have seen that quite a bit online, but didn't happen to me at all.

I totally get feeling better and doing damage by behaving as if you haven't just had MAJOR surgery. I did internal damage to my muscle tightening sutures. Even 10 weeks post op I sometimes have a significant amount of pain from them.

As far as stinky-ness, silver infused gauze completely cleared that up for me, hallelujah!! (My wound is still open, so frustrating!)

I used this one:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WYZFK5W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I do go out for 1+ hour walks every few days, but I don't really count this as "true" exercise

I. feel.attacked. 🤣

As far as swelling ... I'm happy to report I'm less swollen, more of the time. So hopefully for you it will start improving soon as well. (And I generally don't wear any binders unless it's under a form fitting dress.)

I gotta think sleep + potential SAD has got to be a big part of the blahs. Ever considered light therapy?

I'm a terrible insomniac as well. I'm opposite of you though, I go to sleep fine, but then wake up 2-4 hrs later and cannot go back to sleep. I always just dealt with it. But then post plastics, and dealing with discomfort keeping me from sleeping I got a prescription for Ambien. OMG, why did I never pursue that option before! I love that it makes me feel naturally sleepy (not groggy like narcotics), and I'm completely able to shake it off in the morning, no "hangover." I did though send one Ambien text that I had no recollection of, so that's a little worrisome. Good news is it was completely normal and sane 🤣

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2 hours ago, sillykitty said:

Ugh @ms.sss, you've had it rough.

Where are the open wounds, TT or BL?

So weird about the sutures. I have seen that quite a bit online, but didn't happen to me at all.

I totally get feeling better and doing damage by behaving as if you haven't just had MAJOR surgery. I did internal damage to my muscle tightening sutures. Even 10 weeks post op I sometimes have a significant amount of pain from them.

As far as stinky-ness, silver infused gauze completely cleared that up for me, hallelujah!! (My wound is still open, so frustrating!)

I used this one:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WYZFK5W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I do go out for 1+ hour walks every few days, but I don't really count this as "true" exercise

I. feel.attacked. 🤣

As far as swelling ... I'm happy to report I'm less swollen, more of the time. So hopefully for you it will start improving soon as well. (And I generally don't wear any binders unless it's under a form fitting dress.)

I gotta think sleep + potential SAD has got to be a big part of the blahs. Ever considered light therapy?

I'm a terrible insomniac as well. I'm opposite of you though, I go to sleep fine, but then wake up 2-4 hrs later and cannot go back to sleep. I always just dealt with it. But then post plastics, and dealing with discomfort keeping me from sleeping I got a prescription for Ambien. OMG, why did I never pursue that option before! I love that it makes me feel naturally sleepy (not groggy like narcotics), and I'm completely able to shake it off in the morning, no "hangover." I did though send one Ambien text that I had no recollection of, so that's a little worrisome. Good news is it was completely normal and sane 🤣

Where are the open wounds, TT or BL?

Everywhere! I had:

  • 3 on the TT line (down to one)
  • 1 on my left tricep (healed)
  • 1 on in my right armpit (still there)
  • 1 on my right nipple (healed)
  • 1 on EACH of my underboobs (one is ok now)
  • ...and 1 on my right side boob (still there)

As far as stinky-ness, silver infused gauze completely cleared that up for me, hallelujah!! (My wound is still open, so frustrating!)

My doc gave me a bunch of silver-tipped swabs to apply on my wounds. Man, those things STING! First time he put it on me, I legit cried. Am still using it, though the stank went away a few days ago.

I find it weird that the general consensus is that it is okay to have an open wound for weeks and weeks! I was always under the impression that long-term open wounds == BAD. Is your doc as unconcerned as mine?

I gotta think sleep + potential SAD has got to be a big part of the blahs. Ever considered light therapy?

No, but I probably should look into it for reals. That one sunny day did wonders for me. Mr. also offered to take us on a mini-vacay down south. I had said no when he first asked cuz I was all sucky about not being able to go in the Water. I'll rethink my decision if I start heading into darkness again...

I got a prescription for Ambien.

Do you take it every night? Do you have a hard time waking up since taking it? I normally just wake up more or less at the same time every day naturally...wondering if Ambien will require me to set morning alarms?

P.S. Glad to hear your swelling is improving...gives me a small semblance of hope...

P.P.S. This past month's recovery has turned me off of future surgeries in my near (and maybe even further out) future. So ix-nay on any facelift plans any time soon, looking into fillers now so I can get results like yours!

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@ms.sss goodness I didn't realize how much trouble you've been having with sutures opening. You're handling it better than I would. I didn't have any of those issues. Maybe my laziness isn't such a bad thing ;) I'm doing really well now. Been keeping the silicone tape on, replacing it about once a week. I saw that the instructions said you can rinse and reuse it, yuck! No way I'm doing that, although it is getting kinda expensive. My next appointment isn't until April. I had a one month appt, then he said see ya in 3 months unless I have issues. Looking back, I can barely recall all the pain and discomfort I had early on. Hoping you're back in your feet, running, soon!

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1 hour ago, ms.sss said:

Where are the open wounds, TT or BL?

Everywhere! I had:

  • 3 on the TT line (down to one)
  • 1 on my left tricep (healed)
  • 1 on in my right armpit (still there)
  • 1 on my right nipple (healed)
  • 1 on EACH of my underboobs (one is ok now)
  • ...and 1 on my right side boob (still there)

As far as stinky-ness, silver infused gauze completely cleared that up for me, hallelujah!! (My wound is still open, so frustrating!)

My doc gave me a bunch of silver-tipped swabs to apply on my wounds. Man, those things STING! First time he put it on me, I legit cried. Am still using it, though the stank went away a few days ago.

I find it weird that the general consensus is that it is okay to have an open wound for weeks and weeks! I was always under the impression that long-term open wounds == BAD. Is your doc as unconcerned as mine?

I gotta think sleep + potential SAD has got to be a big part of the blahs. Ever considered light therapy?

No, but I probably should look into it for reals. That one sunny day did wonders for me. Mr. also offered to take us on a mini-vacay down south. I had said no when he first asked cuz I was all sucky about not being able to go in the Water. I'll rethink my decision if I start heading into darkness again...

I got a prescription for Ambien.

Do you take it every night? Do you have a hard time waking up since taking it? I normally just wake up more or less at the same time every day naturally...wondering if Ambien will require me to set morning alarms?

P.S. Glad to hear your swelling is improving...gives me a small semblance of hope...

P.P.S. This past month's recovery has turned me off of future surgeries in my near (and maybe even further out) future. So ix-nay on any facelift plans any time soon, looking into fillers now so I can get results like yours!

Ok ...sooo interesting!

Re-silver swabs ... how I found my surgeon was very prolific participant here on BP, and elsewhere who had multiple surgeries w my surgeon (and eventually soured, but it seems to be a complicated story). But she had wound healing issues in her armpit after an arm lift. He sent her silver swabs, but it seemed to exacerbate the problem. Which I think explains when I told my surgeon I was using silver gauze his initial reaction was negative.

Yeah, my surgeon is completely fine with open wounds. Totally f'd with my mind as well! But I googled it, and it seems like even the nastiest wounds heal very well without much intervention, as long as their is no infection. My surgeon says I will mostly likely need some scar revision in a year, but can do that in office under local anesthesia. I'm working on trusting that 😂

Are you sure you can't go in the Water? One of the thing my surgeon prescribd is hydro therapy, i.e sitting in my hot tub. I have used my hot tub more in the past month then I have all year.

Re: Ambien ... It is amazing! I also usually wake up everyday on my own. For me usually between 5:30 to 7. I also don't set an alarm unless there is something I need to do, like get on a conference call, or catch a flight. I don't take it every night since my insomnia is different. I only take it if I wake up between 1-3 am and can't go back to sleep within a 1/2 hr or so. No hard time waking up at all. What really impressed me about it is one morning I woke up about 3, couldn't go back to sleep, and took an Ambien. I kept emailing while waiting to get sleepy, and east coast peeps started responding, called me, I started earnestly working etc. I was able to work through the sleepiness. I could have slept if things were calm, but I was able to push it aside as needed. It felt so different then narcotics, that give you that grogginess you can't shake.

I have a face lift, and potential arm lift planned on 10 yrs or so. But I am seriously considering a butt implant for next December. As hard as this recovery has been at times, I feel like I need the butt implant to complete the hourglass figure I aspire to :(

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7 hours ago, rs said:

Been keeping the silicone tape on, replacing it about once a week. I saw that the instructions said you can rinse and reuse it, yuck! No way I'm doing that, although it is getting kinda expensive.

LOL, don't gag, but I've been taking them off, rinsing and letting them dry as I shower every day. Then I reapply them. This way they last about two and a half weeks.

They ARE pretty expensive. They are much, much cheaper for me to order them from the US Amazon site, ship to my sis in Florida then she ships to me. Considering I plan to use these suckers for several more months, I need to save where I can. My next batch should be here soon hopefully cuz I'm running low.

(The whole clean/rinse and re-apply of the tape takes up a lot of time. Add to that my daily wound management routine and regular skin care stuff, and I'm in the bathroom for well over an hour. Add another 1/2 hour to 45 mins if I'm going out and need to do hair and make up. Jeez.)

I'm glad you are all mended up...I remember the probs you were having with the dreaded garment in the early days...I hope to be following in your footsteps soon!

How are your scars?

7 hours ago, rs said:

Hoping you're back in your feet, running, soon!

You and me both.

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7 hours ago, sillykitty said:

Are you sure you can't go in the Water? One of the thing my surgeon prescribd is hydro therapy, i.e sitting in my hot tub. I have used my hot tub more in the past month then I have all year.

That's what he said at my 6 week appt. I would LOVE to sit in a hot bath though! I'll ask him again this afternoon.

7 hours ago, sillykitty said:

I have a face lift, and potential arm lift planned on 10 yrs or so. But I am seriously considering a butt implant for next December. As hard as this recovery has been at times, I feel like I need the butt implant to complete the hourglass figure I aspire to

I want some sort of butt attention too! Fat transfer was out of the question pretty much. My doc said he usually needs about 10 lbs of fat to harvest which he said may prove difficult on me. Which left just a plain butt lift cuz I didn't want implants. Now that I am spooked on the idea of further surgery, I did a bit of research and read about Sculptra which is an injectable that is used in the butt. Results up to 5 years, but total cost is comparable to an actual butt lift.

Have you done any reading on this? Thoughts?

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@ms.sss Oh my, you really are reusing that tape? No way I'm doing that. My scars seem to be coming along ok. To be honest I haven't paid much attention since they're always covered up with the tape. I really should take some pics next time I switch the tape. Gosh that dreaded compression garment was the worst!

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1 hour ago, rs said:

@ms.sss Oh my, you really are reusing that tape? No way I'm doing that. My scars seem to be coming along ok. To be honest I haven't paid much attention since they're always covered up with the tape. I really should take some pics next time I switch the tape. Gosh that dreaded compression garment was the worst!

Yeah! I wanna see! I wanna see! LOL.

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Soooo....went to my 2 month follow up yesterday and Doc scheduled me for some steroid shots next month...I guess he is not happy with my my scar healing (I was fine with it, but I guess he knows better ;) )

He also asked me again to not wear my tape as much as I have been. I wear them basically 23 hours a day and he wants me to halve that, if not more (he asked me to do this last time, but I didn't listen...but since he asked AGAIN, I guess I should pay attention). I have been tape-less since about 6pm yesterday, and it feels odd. Almost as if the incisions are getting sore again? Only on my arms though...my boobs and tum feel the same. *shrugs*

I do notice this morning that a lot of dried skin was flaking off the (healed) incision lines...not sure what the impact of this is *shrugs again*. I slathered some bio oil on them (he did tell me to moisturize).

Wound update: I was down to 3 open wounds yesterday! BUT...this morning a new one opened on my left underboob due to another suture expelling, so my number stays at 4. Le sigh. Btw, Doc says that part of the reason why I'm expelling so many sutures is because I am "so skinny". Something about no where for the sutures to be absorbed into.

On another note: Speaking of being "so skinny", when I asked Doc about what we can do about my saggy butt, he said that I am not a good candidate for a BBL in my current state, unless I want to gain at least 10 lbs OF FAT. Um, no thanks. He also does not support nor perform implants, which left his option recommendations to:

  • Traditional butt lift
  • Some machine treatment (I forget the name), which is basically a device that simulates 100's of mini squats per session (think Dr. Ho's)
  • Actual Squats

I'm gonna go with the Actual Squats ;)

Edited by ms.sss

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On 2/19/2020 at 6:39 AM, ms.sss said:

That's what he said at my 6 week appt. I would LOVE to sit in a hot bath though! I'll ask him again this afternoon.

I want some sort of butt attention too! Fat transfer was out of the question pretty much. My doc said he usually needs about 10 lbs of fat to harvest which he said may prove difficult on me. Which left just a plain butt lift cuz I didn't want implants. Now that I am spooked on the idea of further surgery, I did a bit of research and read about Sculptra which is an injectable that is used in the butt. Results up to 5 years, but total cost is comparable to an actual butt lift.

Have you done any reading on this? Thoughts?

I ruled out a fat transfer/BBL when I started researching ps in earnest. IMO the results are too unpredictable. It's a moot point now anyway, since I also don't have the body fat.

I have done some reading on Sculptra. I'm not sold on it. I think it is too new and unproven. It also just seems odd to me, basically it's forming, scar tissue? How does that feel and look, especially on a scale to be noticeable on the butt. And the cost, ugh, as much or even more than a BBL or implants.

I actually talked to my boss last night and got the green light for more non-travel time for plastics at the end of the year again. So my new booty is one step closer to happening!

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7 hours ago, ms.sss said:

I slathered some bio oil on them (he did tell me to moisturize).

On another note: Speaking of being "so skinny", when I asked Doc about what we can do about my saggy butt, he said that I am not a good candidate for a BBL in my current state, unless I want to gain at least 10 lbs OF FAT. Um, no thanks. He also does not support nor perform implants, which left his option recommendations to:

  • Traditional butt lift
  • Some machine treatment (I forget the name), which is basically a device that simulates 100's of mini squats per session (think Dr. Ho's)
  • Actual Squats

I'm gonna go with the Actual Squats ;)

I found out I am terribly allergic to something in bio oil .... the burning itching was awful!

Re: butt lift. So the back part of a LBL is basically a butt lift. It did my booty no favors, I'm as flat as a pancake. It is actually the expect (unfortunate) outcome of an LBL. So I'm curious if your surgeon believes he can actually add volume, as opposed to just removing excess skin.

Isn't it interesting how surgeons are so different. My surgeon doesn't do or support fat transfers. But he does support butt implants, although doesn't perform them himself.

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17 hours ago, sillykitty said:

I found out I am terribly allergic to something in bio oil .... the burning itching was awful!

Re: butt lift. So the back part of a LBL is basically a butt lift. It did my booty no favors, I'm as flat as a pancake. It is actually the expect (unfortunate) outcome of an LBL. So I'm curious if your surgeon believes he can actually add volume, as opposed to just removing excess skin.

Isn't it interesting how surgeons are so different. My surgeon doesn't do or support fat transfers. But he does support butt implants, although doesn't perform them himself.

Boo about the Bio Oil...did you switch to something else, or are you going au naturel?

Doc basically said the exact same thing you said: that getting a butt lift would be basically completing an LBL on me. And that it would not provide volume, just skin lifting. Which honestly is my main purpose of addressing my a$$. Yes its flat, but its the quadrouple-chin effect under my butt cheek crease that I cannot stand (I'll DM you a pic in a bit, it's pretty funny looking).

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@ms.sss are we supposed to be massaging our incisions? Is that what helps flatten them out? My Dr never said anything about that but I've read from you and others that you are doing it. My left arm is pretty flat but my right arm is still pretty raised along the entire incision line. Plus there are also a few spots where it's almost cyst like and I want to pop them but they won't pop. I took my silicone tape off tonight to check everything out and noticed all this stuff. I think I'm better off keeping that tape on if for no other reason than to keep me from messing with the incisions. I'm not taking pictures until they're flatter. Or maybe I'll just take a pic of my left arm because I think it looks pretty good. I really am happy with how both arms are noticeably slimmer overall, with all that flabby skin gone.

Edited by rs

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