Post-Operative Instructions – Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

  1. A responsible adult MUST drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours.
  2. The effects of the anesthetic may remain for 24-48 hours. You should remain in bed with help to the bathroom for at least 24 hours.
  3. Sleep on your back and elevate your arms on 2-3 pillows for the first 2 weeks to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
  4. You may have liquids after surgery if desired. A regular diet should be enjoyed the day following surgery.
  5. Take medications exactly as directed. ALCOHOL is strictly prohibited. It is important to have food in your stomach before taking medications. If you should become nauseated or develop a rash, please call the office. Resume regular medications unless your doctor directs otherwise. Remember, you will need to avoid ASPIRIN and ASPIRIN-CONTAINING products for two weeks after surgery.
  6. You may drive after 3-4 days unless you do not feel up to it. Do not drive, however, if you are taking prescription pain medicine or muscle relaxers.
  7. Do not remove the Kerlix dressing (white fluffy roll) for the first week. You may adjust the ACE wrap if it feels too tight. It should be snug, but NOT constricting. Make sure the ACE is wrapped snugly starting at the hands, going up the forearms, to the arms and ending at the shoulders. If you do not start at the hands, the garment will constrict your elbows and cause forearm and hand swelling.
  8. The incisions are covered with glue and/or Steri-strips. These will stay on for a couple of weeks. Do not remove them until they begin to come off. You may shower after the doctor authorizes it (approximately 2 days post-op). The glue and/or Steri-strips will stay on even with showering, and come off on their own over the next several weeks.
  9. It is extremely important to limit the use of your arms for the first week. Avoid stretching the incisions when reaching. Do not abduct at shoulders more than 90 degrees. Do not lift over 5 pounds during the first post-operative week.
  10. It is common to have numbness about the medial arms for several weeks to months. Feelings of sharpness, burning, or other sensations are common in the healing process. You may have bruising and swelling which should subside over the first 1 to 3 weeks.
  11. You must use your judgment and call the office immediately if you are concerned about a possible complication.