How do I prepare for brachioplasty surgery?

Do I have to take a blood test? I guess that smoking is out of the question before and after the surgery (I'm really not looking forward to that part). What else do I need to know?


F, 58, New Jersey

Tags:woman age 55-64 arms lift Preparation test

Arm lift surgery is a major surgery with recovery time on both arms simultaneously so it's good that you are considering now how to best prepare for both the surgery and recovery.

One of the most important things to do for the best results over the long-term is to lose weight and keep it off so that you are at a stable weight for several months prior to surgery. You don't want to go through surgery once only to lose even more weight and find yourself in need of surgery a second time to remove even more skin.

The best advice I have for recovery is to simply be patient. It takes several weeks to recover fully. You'll likely have drains in your arms in the first few days to help reduce swelling and remove excess fluids to reduce infection. The drains aren't the most comfortable things, but they are temporary. The biggest part of recovery is wearing a compression garment. You'll wear these for weeks and they really help to reduce swelling and scarring. Getting the surgery in the winter months helps because you'll be in long sleeves for cold weather anyways.

My plastic surgeon encouraged me to eat healthy foods and exercise in preparation for my arm lift procedure. He explained that it's best to be close to your ideal weight, plus it can help you to heal better, so weight loss is recommended but not always necessary. As a result of doing pilates and some weight lifting, I was more limber and in better physical health by the time the surgery took place. I also stopped smoking a few weeks before the surgery, which was both the hardest part and best part of the surgery prep. I had struggled for years with wanting to stop smoking but never had any motivation before deciding to have the surgery.

My surgeon had me visit my general doctor before the surgery for blood work and to look over my medical history. The plastic surgeon's office gave me a list of medications and supplements to stop using before the surgery, including Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Check with your surgery center for which drugs you need to stop using exactly. Final tips: do all your house cleaning and food shopping before the surgery and ask a friend stay with you overnight. Also, go to all of your follow ups. You will do great if you prepare for the surgery and follow all the after-care instructions.

I had armlift surgery, and the preparations are pretty much the same as any other plastic surgery. Avoid smoking at least two weeks before the surgery, avoid any herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications that can increase bleeding, including ibuprofen, aspirin and vitamin E. My surgery went really smoothly and I wish you best of luck. I'm sure you will love your results. My doctor also recommended that I do some upper arm exercises and get into shape because it would encourage healing and help my arms to look even better after they were sculpted. I'm thrilled with my results, and I think that the exercising prior to the surgical procedure helped to provide me with a higher level of self-confidence and maximized results.

I was given a brochure before the surgery to go over how I needed to prepare, but there aren’t a lot of things you have to do that are unique for the brachioplasty. It was basically the same stuff as any cosmetic surgery really. The first thing on the list was not smoking before and after the surgery, until I was healed. I also had to go over my medical history, what drugs and over-the-counter medicines I was taking at the time, and do a physical exam. I was also required to not drink alcohol, caffeine, or take any stimulants, just in case they’d mess up the anesthesia. I didn’t have to take a blood test, and there wasn’t any mention of it. Hope that helps!