193 lb weight loss = arm lift with Dr. William T. Stoeckel

I refuse to say that I went on a weight loss...

I refuse to say that I went on a weight loss journey. So, in 2011 I began eating normally and exercising. In the spring of 2014, I hit my goal weight and hated my arms. I worked out more and harder and the skin/flab were still there. I waited one year to see if a miracle would happen and it didn't, so I'm having an arm lift in two weeks and three days. I'm a little freaked out my the pain, but I'm more freaked out by the fact that I'm in a wedding 12 days post-op and the dress is sleeveless. Crazy, right? The bride gave me permission to have this surgery this close to her wedding (I'm a teacher and needed to schedule the surgery over spring break!) because she also wants an arm lift and is dying to see my results. Heehee.

Met with Dr. Stoeckel again today! Surgery is in one week!

So, I've watched a bunch of youtube videos from women who have had brachioplasty and I was freaking out about a few things before I met with Dr. S today! I thought I'd have to have drains (the thought of which makes me cringe) Dr. S said I don't. I thought I wouldn't be able to shower or wear deodorant for weeks, Dr. S said I can shower on Thursday after my Tuesday surgery and I can wear deodorant whenever I want. I thought I'd have to remove all of my nail polish (which will cause me to chew the nails I've worked so hard to grow out!) and he assured me that I could leave it on. Whew! Awesome!
I'm going to have lipo before he removes my loose skin and I feel fine about that. There will be two sets of internal stitches that will dissolve. I'll return to his office 6 days after my surgery to have the tape changed and to have the few stitches that are one the outside removed. Wheeeee I can't wait!

Today's the day!

I'll be leaving in about two hours for Dr. Stoeckel's office. I'm feeling a little anxious and a little excited...just ready to get this surgery finished so that I can start healing and move on with my life! Can't wait to post my "after" pics. Wish me luck!

Home! Drugged! Happy!

I made it, folks. The surgery went well and now I'm just resting and being waited on by my fabulous fiance. When I woke up yesterday, I was a bit scared because I could not feel two fingers on my left hand at all. When Dr. Stoeckel called to check on me in the evening, he told me it would most likely improve and it did. Today I was not numb at all, but my hands were so swollen! I've been resting my arms on bags of frozen vegetables on and off all day and the swelling has gone down a bit. If you're thinking of having an arm lift, get yourself some frozen veggies...it feels sooo good to rest your arms on them :)
We peeled the compression garment off today to change the dressings. It hurt going back on, but I feel much more secure with it on. I think I might wear it for longer than the two weeks that Dr. Stoeckel mandated. I don't see any reason why I couldn't throw it on if I'm going to be hanging around the house for an evening. I'll ask him.
I have no idea what the incisions look like (I'm afraid looking at them will make them hurt!) I just know they've been seeping. It's to be expected. When I go on Monday to get my stitches out, I'll look at the incision. My upper arms, even with the swelling and the garment, look MUCH smaller and less jiggly.
If you're thinking of having this surgery but are hesitating because of the pain, stop. The pain of this surgery is nothing compared to the pain/embarrassment that I felt daily looking at my arms.

48 hours post-op

I took a shower today! Hallelujah! I'm feeling better and better as the hours tick by. The swelling has gone down in my hands. My incisions don't hurt unless I move in a way that I shouldn't. I was supposed to take a dose of pain killers about 1 hour ago, but I didn't. I'm going to try to start tapering off of them now. I haven't been lifting anything of note and have not been making "touchdown!" motions, so I think I'll be okay without them. If I'm not okay, they're right beside me just waiting to be swallowed. I have absolutely nothing on my agenda until Monday morning when I get my stitches out, so I'm planning to simply rest and heal.

Made it through the wedding!

I don't have any pics of me in the bridesmaid dress, but here is one of me dressed for the rehearsal on Saturday. My head is turned because I am in the midst of a total emotional breakdown after seeing my new arms without the garment for the first time. Happy tears! This pic was taken 11 days post-op.

Healing, nothing more than heeeeeeeealing...

Hi, folks! So, tomorrow it will be 4 weeks since my surgery. I've been wearing the compression garment almost constantly, but today I decided to come to work without it. It's in my purse in case I need to throw it on. The incisions look great towards my elbow, but get a little darker brownish/red toward my armpit. Nothing that I'm concerned about. My arms stopped feeling swollen about 1 week ago. I purchased some knock-off Mederma (that stuff is expensive!) at Rite-Aid and just started putting that on three times per day a few days ago. I usually put it on and wait a few minutes for it to "soak in" and then put the compression garment on.
So, things are going well! Can't wait until I stop being too chicken to shave my pits so I can start wearing tank-tops!

Incision pics

Here are pics of my incisions. In the ones from the back, I'm twisting my elbow up towards the ceiling. The pics make it look like the incision goes across the back of my arms, but it doesn't. I was just trying to give you a better view! There are a few spots where the stitches are poking out, but I'm not worried about them. I'm going to see Dr. Stoeckel for my 5-week post-op this coming Wednesday and I'll talk to him about those.
I've stopped using the scar gel because I feel like it was making the incisions look worse. I also don't enjoy the tape very much because it puckers the skin around the incisions and it looks weird. So, I've been wearing the CG or just putting cocoa butter lotion on my arms after showering.

1 month post-op visit today

I had my one-month post-op appointment today and all went well. There were a few stitches protruding from my incisions and he simply yanked them out with tweezers. Now, the incision feels smooth. I told the doctor that I've been wearing my CG a lot and he said it's unnecessary, but if I feel better with it on than keep wearing it. When I showed him my arms, he had a big old grin on his face; he's pleased with the results and so am I! I bought some SPF 50 lotion that I will begin using tomorrow and the doctor said that I can put whatever I want on the scar. I'm going to look into some of that Palmer's stuff that somebody suggested. I told him that I'm freaked out by some of the photos I'm seeing here of people with big, open wounds on their arms. He told me not to worry, that that happens when fluid collects under the skin and finds a way to bust out! Apparently, there is very little danger of that happening to me at this point. Yay! So, that's it I think. Did I mention that I love my new arms?!

Incisions day 40

Hi! Not much to say today. I've been using my SPF 50 lotion and a little cocoa butter lotion at night. Here are my incisions today!


I bought some generic five dollar vitamin E lotion at the grocery store last night and put it on my scars before bed. I just woke up and can't believe my eyes! The incision has completely smoothed out! There are no more lumps or bumps along the whole scar! I was just saying to my fiance last night that I was getting worried because these strange "bumps" were starting to appear; they were about the size of large mosquito bites. He even ran his hand over them. Now they are totally gone after ONE application! Whoa!

Day 48 post-op

I realized I've only been posting incision pics. Here are my guns :)

Official pics!

I went for my pre-op for my next surgeries today and Dr. Stoeckel gave me the "official" 1-month post-op pics for my arm lift. Friggin awesome!

Sorry I've been neglecting my arm page!

I was busy recovering from my other surgeries. My arms are looking and feeling great! The incision has been getting a bit darker in my armpit, but the doctor says they will lighten as they heal. Here are some pics that I took today!
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

He was very patient and kind. Also, his "after" arm lift pics are friggin amazing!

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