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Arm lift next week - VERY UNPREPARED



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I went in for a consult with a plastic surgeon last week and we booked in an extended brachioplasty surgery for September. Yesterday I got a call saying there's a free spot next week on Thursday... so I was like, ok, cool, let's get it over with. I don't want to panic about it for months - this is a good opportunity. So now it's happening next week. I'm a bit worried that I'm unprepared. I'm hoping to have it as a day surgery so I can come home, if not, there's a room booked for me - I'll take an overnight bag just in case. I've taken leave from work. My mother and sister are around to look after me. If the drains gross me out, I can call a community nurse to do them (it's about $100 per day). There's a ton of food in the freezer I can eat. I was thinking of downloading audible so I could listen to some audio books (assuming it's too painful to hold my kindle). There's a ton of shows/movies I want to watch on Netflix etc. I've got some old bedding ready in case things are gross from the incisions, so I don't stain my nice sheets. I'm a non-smoker. I exercise every day so hopefully blood pressure will be OK (unlike when I had VSG). I don't have any scar stuff/compression garments but I think I will get that from surgeon. I have some hoodies that zip down the middle.

Anyone else have any ideas on how I can prepare? I'm sure that I'm missing something. Any hints or tips would be appreciated... particularly from those who have gone through it. My only previous surgeries are gallbladder and VSG, which were both laparoscopic so I'm pretty freaked out, but I really want this.

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I had arm Lipo about 15 years ago and it was a breeze. I know the brac is very different but it sounds like you are really PREPARED. Congrats! Hope it's a breeze and you recover quickly. Love to see pics. Be sure to take "befores"

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you probably won't bleed on your sheets. My incisions were covered with surgical tape for awhile. With my first surgery (a lower body lift), the tape eventually just fell off my itself - piece by piece - until it was all off at about four weeks out. With my second surgeryj (breast lift and arm lift), I had an allergic reaction to the tape, so they put me on prednisone for a few days to suppress the reaction, and then the surgeon removed the tape about a week later. By then none of the incisions were bleeding.

you'll probably get your initial compression garments from the surgeon -- but you may or may not got the scar stuff from him. You usually don't start scar therapy until you're a month or so out.

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8 minutes ago, MaybeMeow said:

I had arm Lipo about 15 years ago and it was a breeze. I know the brac is very different but it sounds like you are really PREPARED. Congrats! Hope it's a breeze and you recover quickly. Love to see pics. Be sure to take "befores"

Thats a good idea - before photos. I didn't get any good ones before my VSG and I really regret it. I have an anxiety disorder and I am in full panic mode. You made me feel better by saying that I seem prepared.

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10 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

you probably won't bleed on your sheets. My incisions were covered with surgical tape for awhile. With my first surgery (a lower body lift), the tape eventually just fell off my itself - piece by piece - until it was all off at about four weeks out. With my second surgeryj (breast lift and arm lift), I had an allergic reaction to the tape, so they put me on prednisone for a few days to suppress the reaction, and then the surgeon removed the tape about a week later. By then none of the incisions were bleeding.

you'll probably get your initial compression garments from the surgeon -- but you may or may not got the scar stuff from him. You usually don't start scar therapy until you're a month or so out.

Thanks, that makes me feel better. I've been looking at stuff on reddit and there are some gruesome stories. Hopefully I don't go through any of that!

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14 minutes ago, LaLaDee said:

Thanks, that makes me feel better. I've been looking at stuff on reddit and there are some gruesome stories. Hopefully I don't go through any of that!

you can probably find gruesome stories for pretty much any surgery - but most of the time, those cases are very rare. I almost canceled my WLS because of the awful stories I read - but I knew even at the time that those cases are rare and most people sail through just fine...

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20 hours ago, LaLaDee said:

I went in for a consult with a plastic surgeon last week and we booked in an extended brachioplasty surgery for September. Yesterday I got a call saying there's a free spot next week on Thursday... so I was like, ok, cool, let's get it over with. I don't want to panic about it for months - this is a good opportunity. So now it's happening next week. I'm a bit worried that I'm unprepared. I'm hoping to have it as a day surgery so I can come home, if not, there's a room booked for me - I'll take an overnight bag just in case. I've taken leave from work. My mother and sister are around to look after me. If the drains gross me out, I can call a community nurse to do them (it's about $100 per day). There's a ton of food in the freezer I can eat. I was thinking of downloading audible so I could listen to some audio books (assuming it's too painful to hold my kindle). There's a ton of shows/movies I want to watch on Netflix etc. I've got some old bedding ready in case things are gross from the incisions, so I don't stain my nice sheets. I'm a non-smoker. I exercise every day so hopefully blood pressure will be OK (unlike when I had VSG). I don't have any scar stuff/compression garments but I think I will get that from surgeon. I have some hoodies that zip down the middle.

Anyone else have any ideas on how I can prepare? I'm sure that I'm missing something. Any hints or tips would be appreciated... particularly from those who have gone through it. My only previous surgeries are gallbladder and VSG, which were both laparoscopic so I'm pretty freaked out, but I really want this.

Congratulations for moving forward with determination and resolve! You've GOT this, and like you said - you do not have to contemplate it for months. This new opportunity and acceleration may just be a blessing in disguise? So happy and excited for you. I meet with my surgeon this Monday about arm lifts. She did an excellent job with breast + tummy lifts in January - I feel incomplete with very saggy, heavy and troublesome arms. They really weigh me down now. Keep us posted. What day next week?

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Sophie7713 said:

Congratulations for moving forward with determination and resolve! You've GOT this, and like you said - you do not have to contemplate it for months. This new opportunity and acceleration may just be a blessing in disguise? So happy and excited for you. I meet with my surgeon this Monday about arm lifts. She did an excellent job with breast + tummy lifts in January - I feel incomplete with very saggy, heavy and troublesome arms. They really weigh me down now. Keep us posted. What day next week?

Thanks. It's happening on Thursday! I'm so glad you breast/tummy work went well. How long was your recovery? I'm doing arms first. Then in the future, breasts and tummy would be great.

I'll try and keep you posted. I should some before and after pics.

I'm really going between anxiety and excitement at the moment... Also scared that they will stop elective surgeries again because of COVID-19. Now, I just want it over with!

Edited by LaLaDee

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My "before" photo - only a few days to go....

IMG_2408.jpg

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You're going to have GREAT results!!

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I thought I would share more about my Brachioplasty. I know that I scoured these forums and reddit trying to get info and advice before hand, so it only seemed fair to share my story too. I had the surgery a few days ago. Despite concerns around scarring, nerve damage and the surgery triggering an autoimmune response (I dealt with a ton of horrible illnesses after my VSG), I decided to go through with it. My first consultation was July 7th and I had the surgery on the 23rd of July when a slot became available (probably due to a cancellation from the pandemic). I felt like the universe was giving me a nudge and I had to take it!!

While I'm only a few days post op, I'm so thankful that it went well. Minimal pain (particularly compared to my VSG). I was so relieved that I could still move my arms a bit, I was concerned I wouldn't even be able to feed myself! I can't lift anything heavy, but I could drink from a glass of Water after the surgery.

I actually ended up staying the night in hospital. I could have gone home, but the general made me pretty groggy so the nurse suggested I stay. My family was quite relieved as my VSG was quite tough on my body - my blood pressure wouldn't go down and then my body freaked out with a range of autoimmune disorders from the shock a week or two later.

While the drains are pretty gross, it's manageable. I've been able to sleep really well in my bed (I read about people having to sleep upright in a chair but I didn't have to do this). There also hasn't been any horror movie style blood on my sheets (OK, a few small spots through my PJs). My hands are a bit less swollen today so that's exciting. It really feels like I'm already on the mend and it's only been a few days.

I'm looking forward to getting the drains out in the next few days. I can't wait to walk the dogs again. I know that I've got a lot of work ahead in terms of scar management, but I'm hopeful that they won't be so noticeable with time.

I've been so busy the last few years, that it's felt weird to just lie in bed and watch Netflix. Even with the quarantine, I was working crazy hours from home. Never just relaxing. Then I started a series of projects at home. I went through my closet, organised the pantry, took longer walks, did craft, cooked and baked etc, helped a friend with her studies, etc. There's always somewhere to be, something to do. After a few days, I'm starting to enjoy this forced rest and relaxation. I don't need to be busy all the time, I can be still.

I'm so thankful that I found a surgeon and anaesthetist who took such great care of me. Even though, I have (diagnosed) anxiety, I was able to get through it all because they kindly answered all my questions.

My key learnings from surgery:

  • Keep the old button up PJs and zip up hoodies when they get too big for you as you lose weight. They might come in handy for plastics - they're easy to put on and fit loosely around drains and swelling.
  • Have a surgery plan (people to take you to hospital, meals in the freezer, someone to care for pets, children, plants).
  • Have lozenges on hand (my throat still hurts from the surgery), lip balm, a good book, pack light for the hospital (someone else will have to carry your bag).
  • Find the right surgeon, go to multiple consultations. Make a list of questions. Call them up with more questions.
  • Keep up hydration and walking after surgery.

Hope everyone is doing well at the moment! Much love to my bariatric pals. Other than some of my family, I don't share that I had the sleeve and plastics. Sometimes I feel really weird about my "secret life" that I keep from everyone, but that's what makes me comfortable. Here with you wonderful people, I feel less lonely. I'm one of the many vets who dropped off a bit. You start living life and it gets busy! However, right at the time in my life, I'm happy to be in this community with such supportive, lovely ladies (some of the guys here are OK too).

Anyway, wow - that felt like an essay. Whew! Some pics below in case anyone is interested.

anon.jpg

anon2.jpg

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Glad to hear everything went well!!! Rest up and I look forward to seeing more pics as you continue to heal up!! Thanks for the surgery tips too!!

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12 hours ago, ChubRub said:

Glad to hear everything went well!!! Rest up and I look forward to seeing more pics as you continue to heal up!! Thanks for the surgery tips too!!

Thanks ChubRub! xx

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Your arms will look so great when healed! I can see the difference already! Congrats!

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Posted (edited)

Another quick update because it's been 5 days since my extended brachioplasty. I saw the surgeon and nurse today for my follow up appointment. The bandages are off and the drains are out! I'm allowed to shower again! I feel like a new woman! YAY!!! I haven't taken any pain killers at all today. Things are a bit itchy, my skin has small rashes from where the compression bandages are (this is just my pale sensitive skin doing its thing), so I'm supposed to use body lotion - except on the incisions. I also got a new compression garment. I'm tempted to order another one on Amazon so that I don't have to frantically wash it all the time, but we'll see. My surgeon's clinic also gave me a cute gift bag with a nice note, products and some fancy chocolate.

Feeling so happy and thankful. Hope everyone else is doing well!

Edited by LaLaDee

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