BA/BL with Small Arm Lift - Reasonable Recovery Time?

I am 14 days PO from an extended TT. I lost 85 pounds and in March I will be having a BA/BL with a small arm lift. My arms are not that bad so the incision will only go to the end of a tshirt I am curious on two things: What is the recovery time like? I would have the procedure on a Thursday morning and plan to be back at work (desk job) on the following Tuesday. Does this sound like a reasonable time for recovery? Also, do you think drains will be required with this surgery?

Doctor Answers 11

A week may be enough for a desk job

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You should plan to be off work for up to 5-7 days, although this can vary from person to person. If your work is more physically demanding, you'll probably need to wait about 3 weeks and wait 6 weeks before lifting. However, please ask your surgeon as they may have different guidelines.

Time off Work for desk job

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As far as time off work post breast augmentation, each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for recovery. Typically, patients can return to light activity after 5 to 7 days. More strenuous activity may take 3 to 6 weeks. Consult with your board certified surgeon as he or she will understand the scope of the surgery and the specifics of you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Recovery time for an augmentation mastopexy with an arm lift.

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The recovery time depends on many factors and your return to work depends on what you do. The BA/BL is usually a well tolerated procedure with ~3-5 days of downtime. Mostly, this is due to discomfort from a submuscular implant placement. The arm lift recovery is due to tightness and pain, particularly if the incision extends into the armpit. Garments are usually given which help with support, however anticipate 5-7 days of discomfort. The return to work depends upon how you feel. If you require narcotic pain medication, or if sudden movements cause significant pain, then driving is not an option. Having the ability to take more time off of work is important, but I typically advise at least a full week off before returning.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Recovery time after BA/BL with arm lift

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Thanks for the question. If you are driving to work and have a kind of job like lifting books or some heavy objects I would not think it’s wise to do the surgery until you have another 2 days extra to be on safe side to go to work. Strong minded person with good surgery perhaps still can do that .But you are the best judge.

Recovery time following a breast augmentation

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It is likely that if you had a smooth recovery from your abdominoplasty then the recovery from a breast lift / augmentation and mini-brachioplasty should be a lot simpler.  I would think that planning 4-5 days for recovery time should be fine.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast augmentation and lift and arm lift

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I often combine arm lifts with breast augmentations and/or lifts.  As for return to work, it may be a bit soon to return in 4-5 days.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

BA/BL/arm lift recovery

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Four days isn't enough recovery time, particularly when you include the arm lift. I would never want to underestimate the days off from work and have you at the mercy of an unhappy boss! It is always better to plan for more time off than to return to work prematurely, particularly if you drive to work.


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Congrats on the weight loss. 4 days of recovery may be pushing it a little.  You will probably need a little Ibuprophen to help you get throught the day.  Normally I would not use a drain.  Good luck.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Recovery after Breast and Arm Surgery?

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Congratulations on your significant weight loss and having undergone the extended tummy tuck operation. Generally speaking, you will find that the breast and arm surgery that you are contemplating will be associated with much less discomfort and “recovery time”. In my practice, however I would suggest that you take more than 5 days off of work (at least one week).  Concerns in this regard include level of discomfort, use of medications, fatigue, swelling of the arms/hands… The use of drains will vary from one surgeon to another.

 Best wishes.


BA/BL with Small Arm Lift - Reasonable Recovery Time?

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Both of these questions are best asked to your surgeon. 

Chances are you can be back at work by 5 days. Some surgeons would always use drains for this procedure,  some seldom, and many on a case by case basis. Do check with your doc about this.

Thanks, best wishes for your upcoming surgery. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.