1206 Somerville Rd
Decatur, AL 35603
The basic goal of an arm lift is to excise and tighten the skin that hangs downward on the upper arm after massive weight loss. This is the skin and fat that hands below the triceps muscle on the upper arm. Reducing this skin and fat makes the contour of the arm look more normal and improves the fitting clothes. We want the scar to be on the inside of the arm so it faces your chest when your arm is down at your side.
The plan for the operation starts by marking an elliptical skin incision on the inside of the upper arm. The incision length is a little variable and must be long enough to have the end of the incision close smoothly. The length is basically from your "funny bone" into the hair bearing area of your arm pit. Sometimes gentle liposuction is performed prior to making the top incision and loosening the skin. The lower skin is then pulled upward and sutured to the upper incision. This creates a scar on the inside surface of the upper arm.
Arm lifts are always a cosmetic procedure.
During your initial consultation we will discuss all of the aspects of the operation and how it relates to you. We will have a second visit that is the pre-operative visit where I will answer all of your final questions, write the prescriptions for the medicines you will need after the surgery and you will do your pre-operative visit at the hospital.
The operation is done as an outpatient procedure at Decatur Morgan Hospital using general anesthesia. It is done in the main operating rooms at Decatur Morgan Hospital and takes just about 2 hours to perform. We do the operation in the morning and you will get discharged to home late in the afternoon or the early evening. You will go home with a dressing and a lightly wrapped ace bandage.
All patients are unique and the response to post-operative discomfort is variable. Most patients state the upper arm pain feels like bruising. The arm will feel slightly tight. Most patients take the narcotic medicine for a week or two and then switch to Tylenol for pain. Some patients take a narcotic medicine for 3 or 4 weeks after the surgery. As I said, patients are all unique and their pain tolerance is very different. Almost all patients feel normal by 3 weeks. We will use the ace bandage for a couple of days. Prior to the surgery I will ask you to shop for a TIGHT long sleeve shirt. We will use this tight long sleeve shirt to apply some compression to your upper arm.
For a desk job that does not require any heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 10 to 14 days. Some women have gone back to a desk job in as little a 1 week. For a job that requires physical exertion or heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 2 to 3 weeks. If there are any small skin healing problems with your abdomen we may keep you off of work for an additional 1 week or consider a light duty for a week if that is available at your job.
You will need to come to the office the day after your surgery and you need to arrange for someone to drive you to this appointment because you will be sore and on narcotic medications. At this first postoperative check I will change your dressings and teach you how to replace the ace bandages. You can take a full shower 24 hours to 48 hours after this visit. You will take off your ace wrap and dressings and shower. Soapy water will not hurt your incisions, pat yourself dry and replace your dressings. All of the sutures are dissolvable. I will follow your incision closely for a few weeks. Then I will see you at 6 months and 12 months after your surgery and do a final assessment of your size and shape, assess the quality of your scars and get your final opinion on the surgery.
Generally you can resume all of your normal activities, including physical exertion and exercise after 3 to 4 weeks. This could be delayed slightly if there are any wound healing problems.
The basic goal of a thigh lift is to improve the tightness of the upper-inner thigh skin. In patients with minor deformities, sometimes simple liposuction will provide enough correction. In patients with some extra fat and extra skin, some gentle liposuction is done and then followed with a skin excision that is located up high in the groin crease. In massive weight loss patients there can be a flap of skin that is further down from the groin crease and the extra skin can be substantial. In this case I do a direct thigh skin excsion at the level of the maximum skin bulge. This puts the skin incision below the groin crease but it is the only way to achieve a tight inner thigh. In cases like this the inner thigh skin and fat is too heavy to be suspended from the groin crease.
I do not have patient photos for thigh lifts due to the difficulty of documenting this area and providing privacy.