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Weight Loss and Genetics - a Perfect Candidate for Arm Lift - Seattle, WA

I've been overweight all my life and come from a...

I've been overweight all my life and come from a long history of family members struggling with weight - having 'batwings' was very common in the family. There are two recent events that led me to have an arm lift. First, a trip to visit my mom where I 'saw' my future if I don't take action now and not just cosmetic of course, but health issues as well. During that trip, I was fixated on her sagging arms and knew that is also my future. Second, a recent weight lose of over 50 pounds - while that was a huge accomplishment, my already saggy arms became even more exaggerated and noticeable. Needless to say, no amount of exercise was going to fix the issue.

This January (2014), when I moved past the 50 pounds lost mark, I quickly decided to get an arm lift as that was the area that I was extremely self conscious about and something that I can quickly fix. I have cardigan sweaters in every fiber, color and sleeve length and I NEVER show my arms. So, I did my research on this website and made consult appointments with three surgeons in the Seattle area and had my mind made up to get it done quickly.

I could not be happier with the result - only bummed that I hadn't done it years earlier. I would recommend this procedure to anyone on the fence about it. Do your homework, select your surgeon carefully and make sure you're aligned on their approach. It's important to LOVE the team that will literally have your life in their hands.
Hi there, welcome and thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

Congratulations on your weight loss. How was your recovery period? Did you have much downtime or pain? How long until you could do normal things again, like work, pick things up, etc?
Reply
Hi Kristy, All really good questions - see below: How was your recovery period? Overall my recovery was very smooth and without complications. I would say there are several phases of recovery. Again, I did not have drains and I was able to shower the day after surgery - I also didn't have a lot of pain, more like a sunburn sting (?). The first week showed improvement on a daily basis - I was able to see improvements in my range of motion and strength and did not have much swelling. I wore my compression sleeves about 23 hours a day and slept with my arms elevated and did not lift much weight as instructed. The hardest part was getting my compression garment on (I used the kind that was more like a short cardigan that hooked in the font) - my husband had to help me in the beginning getting it on. By week two, I had enough range of motion to get the compression garment on myself and the bruising on my arms was almost gone. On week three, the surgery tape came off (what was left of it) and I started using New Gel+ strips on the incisions which helped a lot. I say Dr. Park after the first and third weeks and everthing was on track. Now, I'm almost at the 2 month mark and will be posting pictures soon. Did you have much downtime or pain? Very little downtime or pain. I was letter perfect for 1 week and then was getting antsy, so I bought a hands free leash for my dog and we started walking for over an hour each day like normal. I didn't have to use my arms so that was great. Also, my husband spent the first week in the guest room as I took up the whole bed with pillows elevating my arms and a special pillow to keep me semi-upright. Getting in and out of bed was tricky at first but got better every day. I had very little pain - like I mentioned, it was more like a sunburn sting or as if someone snapped a rubber band on my skin the first day after surgery. I took pain medication only at night for 5 days to fall asleep and was completely off pain meds by the end of the first week altogether. How long until you could do normal things again, like work, pick things up, etc? My surgery was on a Friday and I worked from home the following Monday/Tuesday and was back at work on Wednesday (desk job/meetings). I didn't have complete range of motion but nobody noticed as my job isn't physical - I was tired by the end of the week but nothing unmanageable. I was able to drive on day 7, and started walking the dog as I mentioned with a hands free leash. I didn't lift anything over 3 lbs and did not vacuum for two weeks, cooking was simple stuff and I was very careful not to overdo it with lifting. Really, it's the simple stuff that you have to figure out like putting on your bra - without help, there's no way I can hook the bra in the back. I used 'soft bras' for the first three weeks that you can pull up from the bottom. Also, opening jars, putting dishes away, etc. If you're considering this operation, the little things will need to be figured out especially if you're working and have to get yourself ready in the morning. Hope this was helpful. KK.
Reply
Wow, thanks so much for all of that information, very useful!

I will be needing this surgery in the not-too-distant future, so having experiences like yours to work from is invaluable. I think I'm most worried about pain, I have a very low pain tolerance and I'm a bit of a wimp, haha!

I'll definitely be following your progress, so please keep us updated! :-)
Reply

How was the recovery period...

How was your recovery period? Overall my recovery was very smooth and without complications. I would say there are several phases of recovery. Again, I did not have drains and I was able to shower the day after surgery - I also didn't have a lot of pain, more like a sunburn sting (?). The first week showed improvement on a daily basis - I was able to see improvements in my range of motion and strength and did not have much swelling. I wore my compression sleeves about 23 hours a day and slept with my arms elevated and did not lift much weight as instructed. The hardest part was getting my compression garment on (I used the kind that was more like a short cardigan that hooked in the font) - my husband had to help me in the beginning getting it on. By week two, I had enough range of motion to get the compression garment on myself and the bruising on my arms was almost gone. On week three, the surgery tape came off (what was left of it) and I started using New Gel+ strips on the incisions which helped a lot. I say Dr. Park after the first and third weeks and everthing was on track. Now, I'm almost at the 2 month mark and will be posting pictures soon.

Did you have much downtime or pain? Very little downtime or pain. I was letter perfect for 1 week and then was getting antsy, so I bought a hands free leash for my dog and we started walking for over an hour each day like normal. I didn't have to use my arms so that was great. Also, my husband spent the first week in the guest room as I took up the whole bed with pillows elevating my arms and a special pillow to keep me semi-upright. Getting in and out of bed was tricky at first but got better every day. I had very little pain - like I mentioned, it was more like a sunburn sting or as if someone snapped a rubber band on my skin the first day after surgery. I took pain medication only at night for 5 days to fall asleep and was completely off pain meds by the end of the first week altogether.

How long until you could do normal things again, like work, pick things up, etc? My surgery was on a Friday and I worked from home the following Monday/Tuesday and was back at work on Wednesday (desk job/meetings). I didn't have complete range of motion but nobody noticed as my job isn't physical - I was tired by the end of the week but nothing unmanageable. I was able to drive on day 7, and started walking the dog as I mentioned with a hands free leash. I didn't lift anything over 3 lbs and did not vacuum for two weeks, cooking was simple stuff and I was very careful not to overdo it with lifting. Really, it's the simple stuff that you have to figure out like putting on your bra - without help, there's no way I can hook the bra in the back. I used 'soft bras' for the first three weeks that you can pull up from the bottom. Also, opening jars, putting dishes away, etc. If you're considering this operation, the little things will need to be figured out especially if you're working and have to get yourself ready in the morning.

Hope this was helpful.

KK.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

I did a lot of online research, scoured this website, spent time on YouTube and felt prepared to find a surgeon. My first appointment was with Dr. Gregory Park with the Larrabee Center for Plastic Surgery in Seattle. He was very thorough, approachable and spent time going over how he approaches a brachioplasty - from pre-surgery protocols, day of/surgery itself and post. While I loved what he was saying - it almost was too good to be true. It all seemed pretty straight forward and well, 'simple' from his perspective - no drain tubes needed (unless there was something unforeseen), he explained the surgery and recovery time. I got such a great feeling from the environment, the staff and Dr. Park that I canceled my remaining consultations and made the decision to have surgery on January 31st - just three weeks after my consultation. And do you know, EVERYTHING Dr. Park described in the consult went exactly as planned. I was lucky enough to have an early surgery slot, the staff was professional, efficient and highly organized - they have a surgery suite in the office which made it not only easy but you can tell they are a well oiled machine. I was home by noon and on my way to recovery. My surgery was on a Friday and I was able to work from home for two days and I was back to the office that Wednesday (I do have a desk position). Reading other reviews and experiences I feel lucky that I didn't have to go to a hospital much less stay overnight, I had no drain tubes and was able to shower the very next day. That last point is more important than I would have thought as the shower made me feel instantly human - in addition, I was able to measure my improvement as each daily shower gave me more range of motion. I have a very high pain threshold so did not experience much, my arms felt as if someone snapped a rubber band on my skin - more of a sting than a pain. There was some bruising, very little swelling and overall no complications. I have to say, one of the things I was very impressed with is how well I was put back together - my scar is perfectly straight, the stitches are small (and VERY secure, nothing was going to pop open!) and I saw improvements every day. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Park and his staff - there were no surprises (the only surprise was that were were no surprises), the staff was extremely professional and competent and I never questioned that I was in the best of care with Dr. Park. Post surgery, I am following the plan exactly as Dr. Park explained and am six weeks post surgery currently.

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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