Recovery After Arm Lift and Full Tummy Tuck

I am due to have an arm lift and full tummy tuck (both horizontal scar and vertical) with a little lypo, after loosing 148lb. what will my recovery be and mobility after the procedure is done?

Doctor Answers 10

Recovery after an arm lift and a tummy tuck is about 6 weeks

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Hello - Recovery from these procedures takes about 2 weeks from work and 6 weeks from working out.  I typically remove the dressings at 1 week, and you may have drains that will be in for about 1-2 weeks.  Driving can usually be resumed at 1-2 weeks depending on how you do.  Also, pain is well controlled with oral pain medicine.  Good luck!

The time it takes for recovery will vary

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Everyone is different. Some people take 2 or 3 weeks off work and are requesting to go back to work sooner, others want even more time off and delay going back for even 4-6 weeks. So, your recovery is not only dependant on what you are having done but also how you deal with it. I would typically recommend a patient of mine plan 3 weeks off work to recover from this combination. You may need more or less. Discuss this with your surgeon.

Tummy Tuck And Arm Lift Recovery

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Brachioplasty removes excess upper arm tissue while abdominoplasty removes excess abdominal skin while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles. Patients can anticipate limited physical activity for ten to fourteen days following surgery. I typically tell my patients bathroom and kitchen privileges initially with slow resumption of normal activity over the next two weeks. Patients can usually return to work in two weeks if no strenuous activity or heavy lifting is involved. After six weeks, they can resume all their normal activities including heavy lifting.

Patients typically wear an abdominal binder for three weeks following surgery. This minimizes swelling and increases comfort. Drains are placed at the time of surgery and are usually removed within two weeks of surgery. Pain management is extremely important, especially when the abdominal muscles are tightened. Most patients are initially given narcotic pain relievers and switched to Tylenol five to seven days following surgery.

Patients with small children should have assistance with childcare for at least one week and patients should not drive while taking narcotics.

For many patients, abdominoplasty and brachioplasty are life-changing experiences. After unsuccessful dieting and exercise programs, this procedure results in dramatic changes in self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image.

Plastic surgery after weight loss

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You have to make sure you listen to your surgeon in regards to your limitations after surgery. Probably the tummy tuck will be the procedure that will require more recovery. Every surgeon has post operative instructions that they give to their patients. Ideally you will take 2-4 weeks off after surgery minimally.

Expectations following a tummy tuck and brachioplasty

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You need to inquire of your plastic surgeon what your activities can be and what the restrictions are and for how long. The tummy tuck will be the more uncomfortable part and be the limiting factor for restrictions.

Regarding recovery, everyone is different so that one can't predict specifically in your situation. However, you can generally expect moderate discomfort related to your abdomen for several days to a week.

Recovery of arm lift and tummy tuck

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You will probably have more discomfort from the tummy tuck which will probaly require you to "takt it easy" for a week or two.  But, every surgeon has different post-op instructions.

Recovery after Tummy tuck with Arm lift

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Hi there-

There are a great many factors which will affect the recovery you experience, including your individual pain tolerance, the specific activities you would like to engage in, you work responsibilities, and the details of the planned surgery (which only your surgeon can help you understand)...

Your best bet is to ask the surgeon you have chosen this question.

Recovery after abdominoplasty and arm lift (brachioplasty)

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You are having a fair amount of surgery, but this is not uncommon after such a large weight loss. It is not possible to predict your exact recovery because each person heals differently.

You should not lay around in bed, but instead get up and move around as much as possible. Within reason, it is good to get back to your everyday activities as soon as possible. You will have limitations due to multiple factors- pain in the arms, abdomen, and torso; getting comfortable in bed; and the multiple drains you are likely to have. Do not pressure your surgeon to remove the drains too soon! You will feel tired for several weeks and your surgeon may impose various restrictions on your activities.

Also, it is important that you have some sort of treatment to prevent blood clots in your legs, which could be dangerous.

Recovery Time after Tummy Tuck

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Every patient is different, so it is hard to give you an exact timeframe for your recovery.  However, based on your description of the procedures, you should plan on 10 days to 2 weeks of recovery.  During that time, you will slowly improved.  After 10 days to 2 weeks, you will likely be able to return to full activity, but you may not feel completely back to yourself for several weeks.  Good luck. 

Recovery from Full Tummy Tuck, Liposuction WITH Arm Lifts (Brachioplasty)

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There is NO simple answer to your question as to how would YOU recover from a combined Fleur de Lis (vertical T scar) Tummy Tuck , Liposuction with Arm Lifts. Some patients appear to do well - many others have a rougher time.

In general, the longer the operation, the higher the likelihood of serious complications which would completely negate any economic benefits from combining the operations.

While some of my colleagues, do perform this combination, I advise my patients NOT to combine these procedures. You will find that liposuction of the back and a Fleur de lis Tummy Tuck is not a small operation. You will be sore initially and slower to walk and resume your activities. If bilateral arm soreness is added to the mix you will have a hard time pushing yourself from a chair, washing yourself and performing other functions.

So WHY do it? To "Get it Over With?" that is not the right answer. The best approach to Plastic surgery whenever considering large operations is that is is Safer to run the bases than to go for the home run.

I hope this Baseball translates into English. I know there are no bases in Cricket.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.