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Arm Lift - the First Part of a Massive Overhaul - Frankfort, IL

I have always had larger arms. I became overweight...

I have always had larger arms. I became overweight in jr high and have been obese since then. I had gastric by-pass 5 years ago and lost 150 lbs. I felt great but my body looked horrible. I became depressed because I felt like I looked worse than I did before I lost the weight. Having surgery seemed like it was too expensive to even consider. I have slowly gained 50 lbs back in the 5 years since the bypass. Then I started watching a show on discovery about people who had plastic surgery to help thier self esteem and it clicked. I needed to find a way to have it done. I am going to take out a loan against my 401k. It's a large investment but I figure I spend more than that on a car and my body is more important than a car. It's harder to justify the cost when I could use that money to help my family and use it for the kids. I just know that I need it to be happy and proud of myself. I think that I will be a better role model for my kids with the surgery.

I am starting my transformation with my arms - they are very large and droopy. It's hard to find clothes because of thier size - my body is a size med/large but I have to buy 2x to fit my arms. I hate going swimming because everyone can see them. I really try to make sure no one see them. Luckily the longer sleaves came back into style because it used to be very hard to find summer clothes with arms.

I had consults with two PS in the area and I am going with Dr. Gelman. He has a lot of experience with massive weight loss patients and made me feel very comfortable.

I am scheduled to go in for my arms on 4/15/13. I will wait 4-8 weeks(depending on healing) to have the stomach done, then breasts lifted and possible thigh lift.

I go for my pre op appt tomorrow night. Just one...

I go for my pre op appt tomorrow night. Just one more week until surgery : ) I am very excited and nervous. Trying to get as much done now so I dont have to worry about stuff after. I really hope I end up with the results I want. I really would love to some day wear a sleeveless shirt or dress. I am praying this goes well. I have my tummy tuck set up for May 20th so I am hoping to be ready for it by then

WOW... it's here already! I am excited and...

WOW... it's here already! I am excited and nervous. I have to leave the house at 5:30 am. I hope I can sleep tonight. Arrrgggghhhhhhhhh Bye Bye Arms ... Can't wait to see you go!

POD 3 Thanks for all the well wishes! First few...

POD 3 Thanks for all the well wishes! First few days were pretty rough - I was really hoping to be one of the lucky people who said this procedure was easy breasy -- The first night I had one arm killing me. If both arms would have felt like my left arm - easy breasy - but my right arm hurt like a son of a gun. I remember thinking in the recovery room that I was very grateful I didnt lump anything else with this surgery. WOW I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I will try to get pics tonight - My arms are very swollen but they already look so much better than they did. He did a lot of lipo on both arms and said he removed as much from my arms as he does on a normal tummy tuck. I was pretty doped up at last nights appointment but I think he said he removed about 5 lbs. My drains did not come out last night - still too juicy. That actually made me feel better - i know how swollen i am now - I can only imagine how i will feel after my relief valves are gone. I measured 19.5 inches before and now they are 14.5 with the selling. And they are smothed out - vs being a lumpy deformed mess. Today is the first day I feel like being out of bed and I wish i could do more. I have an appt tomorrow afternoon to see if the drains can come out. i will be glad to have them gone but i also hope that no fluid collects - even the ps said that draining the arm area with a needle is "uncomfortable" Yikes! Hopefully I can post some pictures tonight - I really have not been able to look at my results yet - i looked breifly but my arms are so swolen that its hard to hold them down close to my body. I have a baggy long sleeve shirt on so i really cant see them like i want to. It's like after loosing the weight - i will probably need to stare at them a while in the mirror to make it seem real

Posted a few pics. Nice to finally have a shower :...

Posted a few pics. Nice to finally have a shower : ) The cut goes from my elbow to right under by breast. Not sure if the drains will come out tomorrow - i am still draining a lot of fluid

POD 5 down to one pain pill every 4-5 hours. If I...

POD 5 down to one pain pill every 4-5 hours. If I make the mistake of 6 hours I am pretty darn crabby. My arms are still very swollen and I am moving like a turtle. The drains did not get removed again today. Now I have to wait until Monday afternoon. Which I know is a good thingbut.... having drains hainging out of you is no fun - i cant really get dressed by myself because i am afraid of snagging a drain. I am supposed to work on Monday. I will probably go in but not looking forward to hanging out with drains under my clothes - they are bulky. Went out to dinner tonight - felt good to get out of the house - i was getting stir crazy. There is a spot by my arm pit that looks a little red - not sure if its just normal healing or if I shoudl put anything on it - before surgery i bought spray neosporin but I forgot to ask the surgeon if I can use it - anyone out there know? I also kinda wished I had the lift chair that I am planning on renting for the TT here now - I cant get comfortable to sleep. I am a crabby mess - mostly due to the soreness then lack of sleep. I think most of the soreness is from the lipo - very little pain from the actuall incision sites. I love that it goes all the way down and curves under my boob - the scar will eventually blend into the one that will be there after BL. I wish I would have thought to measure around ribcage before surgery - I know I am missing several inches - I think that as long as I do the fleur de lis TT I will not need to do the back butt lift. The old bra fat roll is history! whooo hoooo

PO Day 11 - Had that day - the one they warn you...

PO Day 11 - Had that day - the one they warn you about and I knew was coming - WHAT did I do to myself. It was a rough day. Arms are very very tight. I feel fine for about 3-4 hours on Tylenol then at night I take a norco to help better manage the pain so i can get a few hours sleep. I am pretty miserable - the incisions are healing well I think - I will have to take more pictures later tonight. But they are getting so tight feeling - i am walking around looking like i am going to hug someone because I cant put arms flat against my side. I cant really raise them past shoulder height. And the darndest thing is the most painfull part is my lower arm - it is painful for anything to touch - they are swollen and I think the nerves are not liking it. I can say that I see improvement each day, but it feels like this will never end - i had to push myself to stay at work today. I have a desk job but my arms hurt to move to the point i cant think. I wake up at 3am in agony - painkiller wears off by then - i hope this goes away soon. I have MS so I am not sure if it's adding to the nerve pain. I am so glad it's friday. I need some prayers that this gets better - have a follow up appt with ps next week. I am not normally a pill popper but i love whoever invented norco. Its the only thing that takes away most of the pain. BUT I cant take it and drive so Tylenol helps but i am still in pain with it. Argh - i know i am rambling but i am just feeling crabby and sick of the pain. on a positive note - the bruising has gone away on most of my arms - just a few remain. I took the arnica pills so i think that helped because I tend to have bruises linger for awhile.

POD 14- finally a day with no tears! Still...

POD 14- finally a day with no tears! Still having pain but its tolerable with Tylenol every 4 hours. I was able to think at work. I did drink part of a 5 hr energy about an hour before I had to leave b/c I was beat. It did the trick and all was well until I had too much sodium at dinner. But I am icing the swell and its bearable. Thank you all for getting me thru this. It's comforting to know you have been here and understand. I posted some pics I took Saturday. The incisions are healing ok- cant wait for all the swelling to go down. Looking forward to my next appt to hear what dr has to say and to start talking tt. Still on fence about addl lipo so I want to see what he recommends. Have a great night all.

PO day 19 - went to the store and bought a few...

PO day 19 - went to the store and bought a few short sleeved shirts/dresses today and then went to eat with the hubby. I am still very sore - but slowly getting better each day. My stitches are disolving now and i have been pulling the loose ones out. It's still weird- the soreest part is my lower arm where there was no surgery at all - they are very very sensitive to touch. I can hold my arms down at my sides now if i am not moving - walking with them all the way down is still a little painful - it's a tight pulling zinging pain. I am really looking forward to the tt. Still trying to figure out if i want lipo too -- also started looking at my face - under my eyes are wrinkly kinda hollow because of the weight loss - my hubby thinks I'm addicted to ps lol

23dpo Doing better, only take Tylenol once or...

23dpo Doing better, only take Tylenol once or twice a day. I have a lot of swelling still. I have a little spot on each arm pit that has opened up and had a little bit of infection. Cleaned it with peroxide and put neosporin on it. I was a little freaked out because everything was closed up now I feel like I am moving backwards. And TOM is here so I am swelling up from that in addition. Had my pre op with my ps for the extended tt. I am doing the fleur de lis for sure and no lipo. I need to start eating healthier and getting more protein. I have noticed hair falling out. I heard that surgery could cause it but its probably because I am post gastric bypass. I am posting new pics

34days po

Not much to update. The swelling is getting better but my arms are still very sensitive to touch. My left arm looks ok but I wish my right one was smaller. I will wait to see if it gets any better before talking to ps about a possible revision. They still look better Han they did. I was able to fit into my goal t shirt that I could not wear because my arms were way too big. The scars look the same. I'll post some new pics. I go in tomorrow am for the tummy tuck. Nervous and excited.

6 weeks po

I survived the tt wow. Don't know how people do it at the same time as arms. I posted pics of the tt ont the tt review. It's not what I expected I wanted the tummy of a teenager and I have a lumpy bumpy Franken tummy. Had a mini breakdown last night/this am but in a better place now. So back to arms...they are still very numb tingly in the forearm area. They did swell back up with the tt but not as bad as from al. The right one is my least favorite. It stil has too many lumps and too big but I am getting over it. I will try to work out after tt heals and if I can't fix it it might need revision? Really depends on how it looks the al pain was sooooo intense. The tt pain is tolerable well as long as I don't move anyways. Lol. Anyone who thinks this is the easy way out is so dead wrong. Being in pain and useless for this long is a drag. If I have any addl surgeries they will not be until the winter. I need time to mentally and physically recover from this.

Still swollen

So I start physical therapy for lymphadema this coming Friday. I am still swollen in arms and they still have nerve pain. The scar is very noticeable right now. I am looking at the pics I just took and they don't look as horrible in person. They are still large arms just not jumbo and as odd shaped as they were before. I ordered the scar away gel strips to help with the swelling - they just came in tonight. I would do the arms again but it's been a long rocky road. I wore short sleeves out and it feels so weird. I am hoping the pt helps with the swelling-it's getting old. Lol. It's tolerable most of the time.
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon

I found him online by searching for ps who work on excessive weight loss patients. So glad I went there! They are very nice and he really wants his patients to have a great outcome. I did interview one other PS but that interview was a hot mess - would have never gone there for any kind of procedure - total waste of time. I will be having Dr Gelman do my other procedures - TT, BL with Aug, and possible thigh lipo and lift.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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google myotonia congenita, if you have any of the sympoms get tested
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Hi and congrats with your surgeries! How are you now? I had the AL too (5/31/13), I had no complications or major pain, but some days the arms were very uncomfortable. How are your scars healing? My scars have started stretching out. I hate that when my arms are down at my side ppl behind me can see the scar. I have talk to my dr. and he is going to redo my AL to have my scar more under and not in the back. Other than that, I am happy with being able to put my arms in clothes that are my size!! Everything I bought had to go through the arm test!!! lol
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How are you feeling??? Your post is the first post about an arm lift I can relate totally too!! I am 20 days post op and I am going through the pain, numbness, pulling, walking like a bouncer!! How long did that last for you??? I also had a breast lift. Thank all of you for posting!!!
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Hi Mythreeboys, I have been wondering how everything has been going for you. I don't know anything about lymphedema, was this a direct result from your surgery? How is your tummy tuck doing?
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Yea - it can be a side effect for a lucky few. It's probably because my arms were the size of Texas to begin with so it's not been fun. I would still do it but my arms are still swollen and numb/painful to touch. hit me in the arm and I am fine - lightly touch my arm and it hurts like crazy. The TT is doing well. I have a separate review for the TT. Not happy with part of it - there is an extra dip that I do not need. overall I am happy with the TT - healing really well - almost back to normal. Finally sleeping in my bed again -thank the Lord. Looking forward to seeing how I look and feel in another month or two. I start the PT Friday so I am curious to see what that will entail.
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Hello! I had a tt 2 years ago. I know the pain and process but it was the best money I invested. I didnt have gastric I just had a big belly well two bellies and wanted to get rid of it and no amount of exercise would do it. But now am thinking about an arm tuck. My arms are heredity. Am a teacher but I do hair part time. My concern is doing hair and the recovery time with my arms. What do you recommend?
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Weird - I never seen this post before tonight? Everyone is different in the healing on the arms. I am two months out and still have swelling and nerve pain - never thought I would be whining two months later. I had lipo in addition to the arm lift so maybe that helped complicate things. I say, make an appointment with a PS and let them tell you what they think. My PS said that the arm lift is much more difficult and longer recovery time because you are always using your arms and they cant relax where if the tummy tuck is pulling - you hunch over to accommodate for the pulling.
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Hello mythreeboys, I hope this one is easier for you. From what I can see in your photos your stomach does not look bad. Even though we are supposed to be prepared for swelling, it's still a shock. After my surgery on my arms and chest, I swelled up and was bruised on one side all the way down to my hoochie watchy. I understand that it is hard not to compare yourself to other before and after photos on here. You went through so much and disappointment is hard to accept. Just remember where you came from and how much you have changed for the better. For me I am running out of money, so many things have come up, my body lift does not look like it is in the near future. I have to accept that, but I have to make sure that I don't accept gaining weight back. With me living in Las Vegas, I had seen a lot of plastic surgery, but now I have a new respect for it. I never knew how much people went through until I did it, and had read stories on here. Take care of yourself, and I hope that you feel better soon.
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You're looking great! It takes a long time for swelling to go down. I hope your recovery from TT goes well. One day at a time.
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Thank you! I really don't know how you went in at two weeks po arm lift! I was barely ready five weeks later. You were one of my first inspirations to do this and I am so glad you shared your story here.
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I hope everything goes well with your tummy tuck. Take Care!!
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Thanks. I survived and I'm recovering. Posted pics on my tt review. They are not so pretty right now. Guess I will not be modeling for Vicky's Secret anytime soon. Lol
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Hi there! Hope today is a great day for you!! I just want to say please be patient with your body. I know it's so difficult to look at yourself and think that there isn't too much difference or the surgery didn't turn out like you'd expected. Now that I am 5-6 months out I can honestly say that it takes at least that much time for the swelling to go down noticeably. I'd say a year but I'm not there yet although I have resigned myself to the fact that I won't be as active as I was until a full year has gone by. I realize now that although the outside scars are looking great and I feel good my inside scars are still healing. There's a lot of layers that were sutured and each has to heal. Believe me...there were plenty of tears for me at first because it appeared that I didn't see results or things just didn't look right (my butt). I questioned if I'd done the right thing. Over time I don't see those things as issues. Once the swelling went down around my hips and upper butt/lower back my rear didn't seem as flat. Are there things I will live with? Yes! Because overall I now look the way I feel. So, hang in there! Really...take it one day at a time. Try not to focus on little issues and rejoice in the small accomplishments. Hugs!!!
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PS...your stomach looks amazing! Go back and look at your before pics. If you can, put like pictures in order so that you can see your amazing results! = )
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Wishing you a safe and successful surgery tomorrow. Rest up and try not to be nervous. Easier said than done, right?
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One more week until the tummy is gone! Yeaaaaa... arms feel a little bit better each day - still taking much longer than I thought. The small places they had opened up are closed and the swelling is still there but not as bad as it had been. I have been doing a lot of my normal daily routine - it's nice to finally feel normal. Still cant reach very far and getting dressed can be a little challenging lol. I am looking forward to surgery except the part when you wake up feeling like you were hit by a bus. I am soooo looking forward to part two. I have always hated my stomach. Then in the fall, I hope to get my thighs and breasts done.
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mythreeboys... I admire your strength. Are you more nervous now that you know what to expect? How is your infection looking, are you getting a fever with it, or just fluid? I am following you, and I can't wait to see how your body lift works out. I also can't wait for you to buy that slinky fitted dress and post a picture. It may be a while, who knows, but you will have your day. So Happy For You!!
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Thanks - no, i dont think the TT can be worse than the arms - and if it is, well I wont know untill it's too late : ) I am just excited to get it done - I hate waiting! I am a little nervous about the pain waking up - that just hit by a bus , what did I do feeling. But I am looking forward to having my abs tightened even though it will be painfull.
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Hi! Your arms are looking SO good!! Glad you're not hurting so much. That's great. There will be little things that will happen along the way, not setbacks, just healing and the process. Stay positive with those and look at the bigger picture as I know you are. I tried to get a high protein diet in before surgery. I found a good protein powder with high protein and low carb. I made smoothies using Greek yogurt with it. I, too, noticed some hair loss so I made sure to keep the protein up even after surgery. It helps your body heal too. I'm excited for the next part of your journey!
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Thank you! I jinxed myself - arms were very swollen today - and the spots that popped open are small and very minor they are both smaller than a pencil eraser - they just scare me - seen too many images of healing gone wrong lol I am worried about the t junction of the tummy tuck - that has a higher rate of complications healing and i am paranoid that I could have issues especially since my pto days are dwindling down quickly lol.
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Here is some food for thought. I was told that due to work the TT needs that lipo should be done before the TT. This is because the PS cant do the work and lipo to the extent you might need during the TT. I was shocked to recently hear this from my PS. Check this with your PS while you're considering the lipo . It may thinks a little clearer for you.
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I didn't even bring up lipo at the visit I decided I don't need it and I don't need the added pain. I am getting very excited for my next step. I am ready to roll out the lumps.
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Maybe he's going to do the lipo as part of your TT.
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Hi there. I know it doesn't seem like it when you hurt and see the scar and have limitations but you ARE doing better and will continue to improve. I have to tell you that my arms, and you are correct about the nerves, felt like someone was brushing a metal brush on them any time I would have fabric on them or the inside of my arm would brush my breast. That went away! So hang in there. I know that we only see the outside of what the surgery did but inside is a much different reality. We have layers of flesh and nerves the were cut. It takes time for it all to fully heal and I think I am most happy that some of me is still numb. As parts "wake up" it can still hurt deep inside. I really wish you didn't have to go to work and could stay home and get your pain pills in you on a more regular basis. OK, please check with your doctor about this but my hubby is a pain management doc and long ago he said I could take Tylenol with Advil because they are not the same type of medication. Works wonders and quicker. Ask your doctor how much you can take per day of each and put yourself on a schedule for taking them. It WILL help, I promise! I think it's safe to say that all of us who have had these surgeries has, at one time or another, asked ourselves WHAT THE HELL HAVE WE DONE! Heck, I say it now sometimes but...as you heal and time goes on you will look back and be so glad you did it! One day at a time is your motto now. I said this before but I will say it again...my PS told me this, "One day this will be a distant nightmare." Gentle hugs!
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Thanks for listening to my craziness. I wish i could take advill but because i had a gastric bypass, i am not supposed to take anything but Tylenol based painkillers. Did you have pain in your lower arms too? my elbows and lower arms are swollen and hurt like crazy. I was just wondering how long the swelling in your arms lasted? I am icing them down but i swear it helps for an hour then the pain comes right back. Did you have this crazy pulling? How long does it last? I guess the unknown is really making me crazy.
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