What are your best arm lift recovery tips?

My arm lift is scheduled for about a week from now and I'm researching ideas on how to reduce the swelling and bruising post-op. Also, will I be able to sleep well? Do I need an extra sleeping pillow to keep me from turning and changing positions in bed? I'm already getting nervous.


F, 61, Maryland

Tags:woman age 55-64 arms recovery bruising swelling lift best

Getting an arm lift is a major cosmetic surgery procedure and you're smart to think about the best ways to take care of yourself during recovery. Your doctor will have a full list of what you should and shouldn't do after you're discharged as well as a timeline for the average recovery, but it's good prepare on your own too.

The best tip that I have for recovery is to wear the compression sleeves for the full amount of time ordered by your doctor. Yes, they are uncomfortable and not terribly attractive, but they really do help to reduce swelling in your arms and the more the swelling is reduced, the better you'll heal. They also help to prevent blood clots, which is always a worry after major surgery.

Some other tips would be to use extra pillows to prop your arms up while sleeping and sitting. Just like any injury or surgery, elevation helps to reduce swelling, too. And take care to keep the drains clean to reduce any infection risk during the recovery period. You'll have to keep your sutures - which will be internal to minimize scarring - taped for several weeks even up to a few months to reduce scarring.

My arm lift recovery went smoothly, and I have some recovery tips that could help you. I bought some extra pillows before the surgery so I could lay comfortably on my back without rolling onto my side. I used two extra-long, body-length pillows on either side of myself each night. You will be heavily sedated the first day, so be sure to use the pillows or sleep in a reclining chair. I also had a friend stay with me for a couple of days after the surgery to help me with getting in and out of bed and making meals. It's also best to go food shopping and to have your house cleaned and organized before the surgery. Your doctor will give you a compression garment that will minimize swelling after the surgery. The healing process was rather quick. I returned to work after eight days, but I still took it easy for the first month. The recovery process is important, so rest and follow all of the doctor's instructions. I am thrilled with my results, and I am sure you will be too!

Hey! Recovering from an arm lift isn’t as bad as you’d think! You’re right about not using your arms, but it’s pretty fast and almost painless… if you follow your surgeon’s advice. ;)

Here’s what happened to me: I was sent home after the surgery with compression garments to keep the swelling down, some pain medication, and a few tubes to drain fluid (which aren’t always necessary, but were for me). I kept my arms elevated for a couple days, and then after I started using them again slowly, but couldn’t do any heavy lifting or move my arms too much for a couple of weeks since I recovered a little slower than normal. After that, it was just a matter of me healing for a couple of weeks. It went by fast and felt like a snap, honestly. There’s not much to worry about.

I had arm lift surgery, and my plastic surgeon gave me a complete list of recovery tips, which I'm sure your surgeon will do as well. After any plastic surgery, you should have a friend stay with you to help you get in and out of bed. Avoid using your arms and apply ice to reduce the swelling. Try sleeping in a recliner so that you aren't slipping onto your side during your sleep. My arm lift procedure and recovery went smoothly, and I'm sure it will go well for you too.